Durham County News

Cliff jumping still popular at Eno River Rock Quarry despite warnings from park rangers

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Park rangers are warning people of the dangers of swimming in the Eno River Rock Quarry after a teen girl fell from a 25-foot cliff on Sunday afternoon.

Crews responded around 3:10 p.m. at Eno River Rock Quarry off Pleasant Green Road, just inside Orange County near U.S. 70 east of Hillsborough about three miles east of Durham, according to Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood.

He added that the 15-year-old girl was pulled from the water by friends who were at the scene.

The girl was then taken to Duke Hospital for evaluation after suffering cuts and scrapes in the fall, Blackwell said.

The state has owned the quarry since 2003 and park rangers say along with cliff jumping injuries, there have also been several drownings.

“It’s 60-feet deep, there are no lifeguards, it’s not a designated swim area, there’s no safe way to get into it, there’s no safe way to get out of it,” said Park Superintendent Keith Nealson.

Nealson says they have ambulance calls at the quarry every weekend during the summer.

Warning signs mark the trail around the quarry, asking people to avoid getting in the water. Nealson says while they advise against swimming, it's not something they enforce.

"Part of the parks mission statement is recreation and if people want to come out and take a risk doing something we don’t advise, that’s also one of the reasons why parks exist," said Nealson.
Many of those who decide to swim in the water say they’re aware of the dangers and are extra careful.

“I understand that it can be dangerous,” said Alec Gilmore. “But it’s not going to stop me from coming back.”

“It’s a safe place, it really is, as long as you make smart decisions,” said Nelson Martinez.

Sheriff's officials say the girl is going to be OK. First responders took her to Duke Hospital after suffering scrapes and minor cuts.

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