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Park Information

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Christina D. Sorensen

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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Park Hours: 8 a.m.–30 minutes before sunset, seven days a week


Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day


There is limited drinking water available along the trail, so remember to bring plenty of water for you and your pets!  Enjoy the new drinking fountain at our Wimberly parking area!

General Information
  • The American Tobacco Trail (ATT) north from Wimberly Road to White Oak Church Road is approximately 2 miles.
  • The trailhead on White Oak Church Road has parking for 45 vehicles and 10 trailers.
  • Due to safety reasons with dismounting a horse along the trail, equestrian volunteers work together each week to clean up manure left on the trail.  
  • Restroom facilities are located at the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road and White Oak Church Road trailheads! These restroom facilities close 15 minutes before the posted park closing time.
  • The total mileage of trail managed by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space is 6.5 miles.
  • The New Hill parking lot closes at the time posted at its entrance gate.
  • Wimberly and White Oak Church parking lots are open for 24-hour trail access.
  • If suspicious activity occurs in these parking areas in the evening, please contact Security Forces Incorporated at 919-856-7007.

Trail Rules & Info

The following rules have been established to ensure a safe and pleasant visit:
  1. Trailhead parking hours: Opens at 8 a.m., closes one hour before sunset and will be appropriately marked.
  2. No littering (including cigarette butts). Take out what you take in.
  3. Animal waste must be removed from the trail by the owner.
  4. Stay on the trail. Do not trespass on private land.
  5. The following are PROHIBITED:
    1. ATVs and other motorized vehicles
    2. Overnight parking and camping
    3. Firearms
      • This does not prohibit concealed handgun permit holders from legally carrying a concealed handgun in accordance with N.C.G.S. 14-415.11 and with written permission from the US Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Commander (or designee).
    4. Open fires
    5. Use of any tobacco and vapor products
  6. The following regulations apply to hunters using the trail to access NC Wildlife game lands:
    1. No loaded firearms on the trail
    2. No discharge of firearms on or across the trail
  7. During hunting season you may see a hunter on game lands in close proximity to the American Tobacco Trail (ATT). Hunters are allowed to gain access to game lands from the ATT corridor. During hunting season this activity is permitted, as long as they are on game lands and are wearing hunter orange attire.
Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and/or RC Vehicles
Due to FAA regulations, unmanned aircraft such as drones are not allowed at the American Tobacco Trail. 
Sights and Sounds
Along the trail, you can expect to see and enjoy a variety of wildlife, including beavers, great blue heron, red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, a variety of songbirds, squirrels, owls, white-tailed deer and other animals. Please try not to disturb the wildlife in their habitat.


  • Restroom facilities are available at the New Hill-Olive Chapel and White Oak Church parking areas. These restrooms are pit toilets and do not have flushing capabilities. They are an upscale portable toilet system.
  • No drinking water is available at any trailhead.
  • Picnic tables have been installed at the New Hill-Olive Chapel, Wimberly and White Oak trailheads.
  • For those interested in knowing how far they have traveled, mile markers are located every half-mile along the trail.
  • Benches are located throughout the trail and within 400 yards of each trailhead.

Geocaching at the American Tobacco Trail

The hunt is on during this high-tech "treasure" hunting game, where park visitors come equipped with GPS devices in search of hidden geocaches! The geocaches located along the American Tobacco Trail are hidden containers that have been approved by park staff and placed on park property for your exploration and enjoyment. Geocaches can be of varied sizes and hidden in easy to difficult-to-find places. The basic idea is to use GPS devices to help find these hidden containers and then record your find on the paper log provided in the geocache. Some geocaches have little "knick-knack" items, such as toys and stickers, that you can collect and replenish as you play, so the activity can be a real "treasure hunt." This activity can be self-guided by getting coordinates from and bringing your own GPS unit, or you can participate in one of our scheduled introduction to geocaching public programs!

Placing a Geocache

Geocaching on Wake County Park property is handled on a park-by-park basis. To see if geocaching is allowed and what the approval process is for placing a cache, please contact each park directly.
Geocaching is an accepted recreational activity at the American Tobacco Trail. The park maintains a maximum number of caches on park property. Those wishing to establish a new cache must receive approval from staff prior to placing a cache. To obtain the approval you must complete and submit a Geocache Placement Request Form to the park office. Please refer to the placement request form for more information.

Park Photography Policy

Are you a professional or amateur photographer interested in taking photos at the American Tobacco Trail?
The American Tobacco Trail is picturesque and provides the perfect setting for a variety of photography opportunities. To ensure that all park visitors have an enjoyable experience, registration is required for photo shoots.
Please see the Photography Permit Information for a complete list of rules and guidelines and how to register for a permit.
Brief History
The American Tobacco Trail is a recreational rail-trail located on an abandoned railroad corridor of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Constructed in 1906, the original railroad traveled from Duncan to Durham near the New Hope River, transporting tobacco leaf from farming communities in Wake, Chatham and Durham counties for processing at the American Tobacco Company in Durham. Construction of Jordan Lake in 1971 necessitated moving a section of the railroad corridor (from Bonsal to southern Durham County) several miles eastward, onto higher ground. Railroad traffic decreased after this time due to competition from interstate trucking. One of the last major uses of the railroad was to haul materials for the construction of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant near New Hill. With the railroad no longer in use, the tracks were removed in 1987.
Local residents began using the rail corridor as an informal recreational trail, and in 1989, a group of citizens organized the nonprofit Triangle Rails To Trails Conservancy to promote the development of the corridor into a managed rail-trail. The N.C. Department of Transportation purchased the corridor from the railroad company in 1995 and subsequently leased the corridor to the counties to be developed and operated as a recreational trail open to the public. It was officially named the American Tobacco Trail to reflect its historical roots, and planning and construction of the trail began. The trail was built in sections, the first of which opened in 2001 in downtown Durham. Wake County opened its first, 3.75-mile section, from New Hill-Olive Chapel Road to Wimberly Road, in 2003. Wake County opened Phase II of the American Tobacco Trail in July 2005, extending the length from 3.75 miles to 5.5 miles. In 2006, the remaining one-mile section in Wake County was completed to fully extend Wake County's portion of the trail to 6.5 miles. Then Chatham County opened its 4.7-mile section in 2010. With the completion of the I-40 bridge in Durham in 2014, the trail now extends 23 miles, one way, starting from the New Hill Trailhead and heading north to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Other links to American Tobacco Trail-related websites




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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 91.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:06 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 4/4/2019 11:32 AM by Christina D. Sorensen


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