Three Hours in the Triangle: American Tobacco Trail and Watt’s Grocery

February 28, 2014

triangle land conservancy

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10 a.m. Arrive at the downtown Durham entrance to the American Tobacco Trail, 705 Willard Street, Durham. After a long awaited construction project, the 22+ rails-to-trails project has been completed and is open to the public. This historic trail connects with the East Coast Greenway, which stretches along the east coast from Maine to Florida.

Walk the trail two miles down before turning around and heading back. This section of the trail was built in 1925, writes Tony Reevy in a trail guide, “by Norfolk Southern circa 1925 to reach the American Tobacco factory in what was then and now downtown Durham.”

Enjoy crossing a small creek between the one and a half and two mile mark, as well as Fork Creek half a mile farther. In addition, at two miles visitors will find the unmarked grave of Blind Boy Fuller, a “principal figure in an historic Durham Piedmont Style blues scene that centered upon the warehouse district.” 460 feet down the trail is an additional marker to commemorate Fuller and other musicians of the period.

12 p.m. Head five minutes downtown to Watt’s Grocery, 1116 Broad Street, for a delicious farm-to-table brunch.  “I’ve wanted to open a restaurant that’s an intimate part of the Durham community for as long as I can remember – one where you can go any time of the day or night for a great meal that speaks of our region and roots,” writes Amy Tornquist, owner and chef, on their webpage.

Enjoy Bill Neal’s Shrimp and Grits with bacon, green onions, and mushrooms ($13), an omelet featuring chicken apple sausage, arugula, and cheddar cheese served with grits or hash browns ($9.50), or a simply beautiful stack of buttermilk pancakes with warm maple syrup ($8).

Note: Watt’s Grocery is open for brunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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triangle land conservancy

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