New Hope Creek Corridor Advisory Committee


New Hope Creek from NC 54 to Chapel Hill Road
(Component 1 of New Hope Corridor Open Space Master Plan)

Click to enlarge.

Description and Special Features

Leigh Farm, an 19th century plantation now owned by the City of Durham and being preserved as a Heritage Park

An NC54-I40 Corridor Study is underway. Our Committee is thinking through how widening of NC 54 east of I-40 would affect New Hope resources, and also considering bike/pedestrian links east and west and the relation of them to Leigh Farm Park and to our planned trail between Chapel Hill Rd. and NC 54.

Read about a Civil War skirmish near the present-day site of Leigh Farm Park.

In the News

Links to news stories:

    Text from 1991 New Hope Corridor Open Space Master Plan

    Existing Land Use & Ownership

    • Corps of Engineers flood and mitigation lands along the entire length of New Hope Creek
    • Low-density residential use between Farrington Road and Garrett Road on non-Corps land
    • Leigh Farm, former plantation with surviving buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, two acres of which was purchased by the Triangle Land Conservancy in 1995
    • Jordan High School (Durham County Schools)

    Future Land Use

    Undeveloped privately owned lands will probably remain single-family residential. Future land use in this vicinity is shown in the Southwest Durham Plan as less than four units per acre.

    Significant Resources

    The entire 100-year floodplain is owned by the federal government and is subject to its protection measures. In particular, much of the land in this component lies within the Corps of Engineers land for Jordan Lake. Eight vegetation sites were identified by Ed Harrison in this component, comprising the New Hope Bottomlands Forest and Tributary Wetlands, the New Hope Swamp Forest and Tributary Wetlands, and the Leigh Farm Area Upland. Additionally, two sites from the Inventory of Natural Areas and Rare Species of Durham County lie in this area, the New Hope Bottomland Forest and the New Hope Overcup Oak Forest.

    The Corps land is included in this component because the Master Plan provides an opportunity to develop the existing resources of the Corps land and other adjacent resources into an integrated system for educational and recreational use. The Corps land, significant Durham County Inventory sites, Jordan High School, and Leigh Farm offer the possibility of developing a trail network and a center for cultural history and environmental education.

    Recommendations for Protection & Use

    • Develop cooperative relationships with the corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission concerning this and other recommendations of the Master Plan.
    • Establish an unpaved nature trail following the western edge of the floodplain, extending from Chapel Hill Road to NC 54. Establish lateral connections to Jordan High and Leigh Farm.
    • Support the acquisition of the historic Leigh Farm for the establishment, with the continuing support of local jurisdictions and civic organizations, of a major open space center at the southern terminus of the corridor. The emphasis of the center would be cultural and historic interpretation, with accompanying incidental recreational activities, in a manner similar to the center at West Point on the Eno. The acquisition of the tract would help preserve the scenic value of the landscape along this stretch of the Interstate 40 corridor.
    • Establish a trail entrance and anchor at the portion of the Leigh Farm tract in the vicinity of the existing historic buildings. Corridor public funds should be used only for acquisition of the portion of the land suitable for the anchor use, not for purchase or restoration of historic buildings.