American Tobacco Trail Hours & Information

Two people riding horses and a person on a bicycle on the American Tobacco Trail

The Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) is a recreational rail-trail open to walkers, runners, dog walkers, bicyclists and horseback riders. Natural and environmental, cultural history and recreational programs are also offered. This rail-trail project spans 22 miles, from rural New Hill in western Wake County through northeast Chatham County to downtown Durham near the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Currently, Wake County manages 6.5 miles, Chatham County has 4.5 miles, and Durham County has an 11-mile section.

The ATT involves many governmental and nonprofit partners including:

  • Chatham County
  • City of Durham
  • NC Division of Parks and Recreation
  • NC Department of Transportation
  • NC Horse Council
  • NC Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Town of Cary
  • Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • US Federal Government
  • Wake County

Directions

Three parking areas

​Three parking areas provide easy access to the Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail: New Hill-Olive Chapel, Wimberly and White Oak Church. Two parking areas accommodate both personal vehicles and equestrian trailers: New Hill-Olive Chapel and White Oak Church. The Wimberly parking area is smaller and strictly for personal vehicles. A water fountain is also located at the Wimberly parking lot. Restroom facilities are available at the New Hill-Olive Chapel and White Oak Church lots. All three areas have handicapped parking.

New Hill-Olive Chapel Road parking area

A photo of the New Hill-Olive Chapel parking area on the American Tobacco Trail

1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road, Apex

From Durham and points north, go south on N.C. 751 to the U.S. 64 traffic light. Go straight through the light and continue two miles to the gravel drive on the left, shortly after the Beaver Creek bridge. See the blue Wake County Parks sign.

From Pittsboro, Jordan Lake and points west, go east on U.S. 64 to the N.C. 751 light. Turn right, or south, and go 2 miles to the gravel drive on the left, shortly after the Beaver Creek bridge. See the blue Wake County Parks sign.

From the south, take U.S. 1 to Exit 89 for New Hill/Jordan Lake. Go left, or north, on New Hill-Holleman Road to the intersection of Old U.S. 1. Go straight onto New Hill-Olive Chapel Road for approximately 3 miles, crossing the New Hope Valley railroad tracks. About 8/10-mile beyond the tracks, turn right into the gravel drive that leads to the parking area. See the blue Wake County Parks sign. If you cross the Beaver Creek bridge, you've gone too far.

Wimberly Road parking area

A photo of the sign located at the Wimberly Road parking area on the American Tobacco Trail

1017 Wimberly Road, Apex

From Raleigh, Cary and points east, take U.S. 64 west to Jenks Road. See the Citgo convenience store at this intersection. Turn right on Jenks Road and go 1/3-mile to the first left. Turn left onto Wimberly Road. Go approximately 1 mile, passing the Cary-Apex Water Treatment plant and crossing the White Oak Creek bridge. The parking area is located on the right along with a blue Wake County Parks sign.

From Durham and points north, go south on N.C. 751 to the U.S. 64 traffic light. Turn left onto U.S. 64. Go approximately 2 miles to Jenks Road on the left. See Citgo convenience store. Follow above directions.

From Pittsboro and points west, go east on U.S. 64 to the N.C. 751 light. Go approximately two miles past the light to Jenks Road on the left. See Citgo convenience store. Follow above directions to the parking area on Wimberly Road.

White Oak Church Road parking area

A photo of the sign located at the White Oak Church Road parking area on the American Tobacco Trail

1305 White Oak Church Road, Apex

From Durham and points north, go south on N.C. 751 to Lewter Shop Road (Jean's Berry Patch). Turn left onto Lewter Shop and go 2.5 miles to White Oak Church Road. Turn right onto White Oak Church and continue for 1/2-mile. The parking area is on the left, along with a blue Wake County Parks sign.

From Pittsboro, Jordan Lake and points west, go east on U.S. 64 to the N.C. 751 light. Turn left or north, and go 3.1 miles to Lewter Shop Road (Jean's Berry Patch). Turn right onto Lewter Shop and go 2.5 miles to White Oak Church Road. Turn right onto White Oak Church and continue for 1/2-mile. The parking area is on the left, along with a blue Wake County Parks sign.

From Raleigh and points east, take U.S. 64 west to N.C. 55. Turn right, or north, on N.C. 55 and continue to the High House Road/Green Level West Road intersection. Turn left on Green Level West and go to White Oak Church Road. Turn right on White Oak Church and go 4/10-mile. The parking area is on the right, along with a blue Wake County Parks sign.

From Cary, take High House Road to N.C. 55. Go straight through the light onto Green Level West Road, and continue to White Oak Church Road. Turn right on White Oak Church and go 4/10-mile. The parking area is on the right, along with a blue Wake County Parks sign.

Park News

COVID-19 Service Update

The health and safety of our visitors and staff remain the top priorities for Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. As Wake County follows the state's phased approach to lift COVID-19 restrictions, we are also working to safely reopen park services in phases over the coming months.

People are encouraged to follow current masking and social distancing guidelines when visiting Wake County parks and preserves.

Shelter Rentals and Park Use Agreements
Shelter rentals and other park use agreements are available.

Playgrounds 
Playgrounds at parks managed by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space are open to the public. 

Park Capacity
Measures to limit the number of people allowed in the park at one time remain in place. If a gate is closed or cones are blocking the entrance, that means the park has reached capacity. Parks that are run by towns or cities may be operating differently – please reach out to them directly before visiting their parks.

Park Centers
In an effort to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, employees and visitors to county buildings will be required to wear face masks starting Monday, August 2, regardless of vaccination status. This means that you’ll need to wear a mask in park centers, restrooms, and other buildings. Children's play areas inside the park centers at Historic Oak View and Historic Yates Mill county parks will remain closed.

The following restrictions will remain in place at Wake County parks and preserves:

  • Major park events are canceled through the end of 2021
  • Park programs will be held outdoors with limited participant capacity to allow social distancing and additional safety measures.
  • Special operations, such as boat rentals, group camping and lodge rental, are not available.
     

In the meantime, be sure to check out our digital programming at Wake Parks from Home!

Monthly Email Newsletter

View our monthly e-newsletter for Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail to stay up to date on programs, events and other park happenings!

Public Notices and Closures

There are no closures at this time.

Park Information

Hours

Park Grounds Hours

Monday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–30 minutes before sunset
Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day

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General Information

  • The Wake County portion of the The American Tobacco Trail (ATT) is about 6.5 miles in length and consists of three parking areas: 1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road, 1017 Wimberly Road and 1305 White Oak Church Road.
  • 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.
  • 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

The following rules have been established to ensure a safe and pleasant visit:

  1. Trailhead parking hours: Opens at 8 a.m., closes 30 minutes before sunset and will be appropriately marked.
  2. Stay on the trail. Do not trespass on private land.
  3. Clean up after your pets.
  4. Keep pets on a 6-foot leash.
  5. Park only in designated areas. (No parking on roadsides or outside park gates.)
  6. No unmanned aircraft allowed.
  7. The following are prohibited:
    • Open fires
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Tobacco and vapor products
    • Feeding of wildlife
    • Swimming, wading, and boating
    • Collection or release of any animal, plant, or mineral material
    • Amplified music
    • Littering
    • Overnight parking and camping
    • ATVs and other motorized vehicles
    • 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).
  8. The following regulations apply to hunters using the trail to access NC Wildlife game lands:
    • No loaded firearms on the trail
    • No discharge of firearms on or across the trail
  9. 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.

Wheels Yield to Heels and Passing Etiquette

View of the American Tobacco Trail with "Wheels Yield to Heels" sign

Be mindful of other trail users. Respect the rights of other trail users and obey park rules and regulations. Show courtesy when passing trail users and follow protocol for yielding right-of-way. Bicyclists yield to all other trail users; pedestrians yield to equestrians. For detailed information about horseback riding in the Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail, please see Equestrian Information.

Bicyclists
Approach other trail users slowly and give an audible signal or call out when approaching from behind. Pass with care. When encountering a horse, remember that a bicycle is quiet and may startle a horse if it comes up quickly. Make verbal contact with the rider and have their assurance that it is safe before you pass. When meeting a horse coming from the opposite direction, please stop or reduce your bicycle speed and allow the horse to pass, unless the rider indicates that it is safe for you to proceed.

Walkers/Runners
Approach other trail users slowly and call out to indicate your presence when passing from behind. When encountering a horse, remember that it may be startled by a runner approaching quickly from either direction. Slow down and do not pass until you have made verbal contact with the rider and have been assured that it is safe. It may be appropriate to stand still or step to the side of the trail if a horse seems unsure.

Equestrians
Approach and pass other trail users at a walk. When approaching from behind, call out to indicate your presence and that you would like to pass. Allow pedestrians to move to the side of the trail before passing.

PASSING ETIQUETTE

  1. Stay to the right of the trail, except when passing. Move off to the side of the trail when stopped to allow others to pass.
  2. Always look ahead and behind before passing slower traffic on their left.  Give an audible warning signal when passing for example, call out “passing on your left.” 
  3. Yield to other users when entering or crossing the trail.
  4. Travel at a reasonable speed, always slow down and proceed carefully when approaching other trail users going in either direction.
     

BRIDGE CROSSING & TUNNEL ETIQUETTE
Please do not linger on the bridge if others are waiting to cross.

Bicyclist or Pedestrian
Please walk or push bicycles across the bridge if it is congested. Keep to the right and pass with care. If a horse is on the bridge when you arrive, allow the horse to clear the bridge first before starting to cross.

Equestrians
If other trail users are on the bridge when you approach (including other horses), allow those trail users to clear the bridge first before starting to cross.

Park Visitation Photography Notice

Parks, Recreation and Open Space staff may take photographs or video of park patrons of all ages to demonstrate the use of our parks. Photographs may be used in print, video or digital media. Any Wake County staff taking photographs or video for this purpose will be wearing recognizable Wake County Parks uniform or other visible ID. If you do not want to be photographed or have your child photographed during your park visit, then please notify park staff.

Professional Photography in the Park

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.

Metal Detecting and Magnet Fishing

Wake County Parks, Recreation & Open Space has a "No Collection" policy that does not allow visitors to take things (natural or man-made) from the parks. Our parks contain both historically significant structures and documented cemeteries that should not be disturbed.

Metal detectors and magnet fishing may be used to look for an item you have specifically lost, but not to "treasure hunt" in general. The Park Manager must be notified and grant permission in advance of using a metal detector or magnet fishing to search for a personal lost item.

Drones/RC Vehicles/Model Rockets

The use of Unmanned Aircraft (Drones), Remote Control Vehicles and Model Rockets is allowed subject to these regulations.

Geocaching

Photo of a family using GPS units to locate a geocache on the American Tobacco Trail

The hunt is on during this high-tech "treasure" hunting activity! Use GPS devices to find hidden containers within the park. This activity is self-guided by getting coordinates from Geocaching.com and bringing your own GPS unit, or to learn the basics of geocaching with a park staff, you may register for one of our scheduled "Geocaching 101" public programs.

To learn more about geocaching, here is a short introductory video created by Park Manager Christina Hester:

Watch the video here

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 visit a specific park's website or contact them directly.

Park Amenities

Restrooms

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.

Restrooms automatically unlock at 6 a.m. and automatically lock 15 minutes before posted gate closing time.

Drinking Water

Drinking water is available at the Wimberly trailhead (1017 Wimberly Road). No drinking water is available at the New Hill-Olive Chapel or White Oak Church trailheads. Plan ahead and remember to bring plenty of water for you and your pets!

Picnic Opportunities

Picnic tables are available at the New Hill-Olive Chapel, Wimberly and White Oak Church trailheads.

Mile Markers and Benches

Photo of one of the mile marker signs located on the American Tobacco Trail

For those interested in knowing how far they have traveled, mile markers are located every quarter-mile along the trail.

Benches are located throughout the trail and within 400 yards of each trailhead.

Park Picks – Selfie Stations

A photo of the Park Picks Selfie Station sign located along the American Tobacco Trail

We want to see YOU in our favorite park spots! Look for the #ParkPicks sign along the American Tobacco Trail (hint: it is near a bridge), STOP and SNAP a selfie and SHARE it with us using the hashtag #ParkPicks. We can't wait to see your selfies!

Give Us Your Feedback!

Customer Satisfaction Survey

We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts and opinions about the Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail by taking our park survey.

Thank you in advance for your feedback!