Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals

An abundance of plant and animal life call the Eno River home, including several rare and endangered species. At Tips Tree Planting, we are committed to balancing the protection of these species and their habitats with providing public access to recreation and respite. Knowledge is key to fostering engagement in environmental stewardship. Join us for an immersive experience along the Eno River through our monthly education programs or by booking an exploration for your school or group. In the meantime, let’s explore the remarkable plant and animal life that thrives in this unique ecosystem.

Plant Life

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Despite the dense urban development nearby, the woodlands of the Eno River remain a peaceful haven. The timber industry had a significant impact on the forest until 1941, but today, the ridges, slopes, and floodplains are once again flourishing with vegetation. The area is dominated by a rich variety of trees, including pine, cedar, poplar, maple, dogwood, oak, and hickory.

Venture onto the slopes and bluffs, and you’ll encounter mountain laurel, Catawba rhododendron, and graceful ferns. In the spring, wildflowers bloom beneath the canopy of trees, and vines such as greenbrier, grape, and trumpet flower add to the park’s natural beauty.

Animal Life

The plant communities along the river provide a perfect habitat for various animals. In the old fields, you might come across bobwhite quail and eastern cottontails resting in the weeds. White-tailed deer, raccoons, and opossums find nourishment in the fruits and seeds of the hardwood forest. Keep your eyes peeled for chipmunks, gray squirrels, and if you’re lucky, a glimpse of a river otter.

Birdwatchers will delight in the symphony of sounds created by the birds of the Eno River. Listen to the calls of the red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, and barred owl harmonize with the melodies of various songbirds. Wood ducks, great blue herons, and belted kingfishers thrive around the river, adding bursts of vibrant colors to the landscape.

One of the park’s most intriguing animals is the beaver. Once nearly eradicated in North Carolina due to excessive trapping, these resourceful creatures have made a comeback in many parts of the state. Although elusive, you can spot evidence of their presence through gnawed stumps and tree trunks. For the best chance to catch a glimpse of a beaver, visit the river at dawn or dusk.


Have you ever wondered about the rocks and soil beneath your feet? Explore the Geology of North Carolina website for fascinating geological tours of the Eno River. Gain a deeper understanding of the land’s geological history and how it has shaped the ecosystem we see today.

Learn More

  • iNaturalist: See what everyday Eno visitors are observing in Eno River State Park right now, and contribute your own observations. Scientists and researchers use the data from iNaturalist to gain insights into the Eno and its surrounding areas.
  • EBird: With over 150 species of birds, the Eno River is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Discover EBird’s hotspot locations and share your own bird observations. You never know what exciting bird species you might encounter!

At Tips Tree Planting, we’re passionate about sharing knowledge and fostering a deep appreciation for nature. Join us as we explore the wonders of the Eno River and discover the remarkable plant and animal life that thrives in this beautiful ecosystem.

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