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Turtle Hole a secret swimming hole for Durham nature lovers

Posted August 12, 2011 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2018 6:26 p.m. EDT

— During a hot summer, one Durham swimming hole seems to be downright perfect for swimmers who want to cool off and take a dip in the water.

"When I think of Durham, I think of the (Durham Bulls) ballpark and the Lucky Strike tower," said Sarah Leathers. "I never think of the Eno River. It's a nice getaway, makes you feel like you're not in Durham anymore."

Turtle Hole, part of the Eno River, sits smack dab in the middle of Durham, but it's a place where Mother Nature doesn't seem to mind if you drop in unannounced.

"It's really pretty. It's relaxing. The water is calming," said Durham resident Jordan Maunder. "You have to be lucky enough to find it or know someone who knows where it is."

Charles Viles took the day off work to spend time with his family at Turtle Hole.

"We like to come when it's quiet, so we can just fiddle around in the water," he said.

"I like it a lot. There's a rope swing over there when the water is high enough," said Tom Viles.

"This is like a waterfall place. You can sit right there and let the water flow over you," added Clare West.

Skipping rocks across the water with the family might be a summertime cliche, but it's a Mayberry-type moment 17-year-old Bradley Viles can embrace.

"It's very calm. I came out here after just waking up, and it's a good way to ease into the day," he said.

Getting to spend time in nature is an "escape for your everyday life," according to Leathers.

"It’s gorgeous. It's quiet. You can hear the water rushing," she said.

Visitors can get to Turtle Hole from the end of Landis Drive. The Eno River has seven species of turtles living there.

This story is part of WRAL's summer travel series, "Nooks and Crannies," which airs every Friday in WRAL's News at 5:30 p.m.