Duke Forest maintains two picnic shelters located off of Highway 751 that are available to rent.  Descriptions of each site are found below.  To make shelter reservations, you must first contact the Office of the Duke Forest (call 919-613-8013 or email dukeforest@duke.edu) to check availability on your date of choice.

As you can see from the image above, we do not allow firewood to be brought into the forest; instead, we provide it for you.  Unfortunately, firewood is a great way for many forest pests and diseases to catch a ride and find new forests to eat.  Check out this brochure for more info: Don’t Move Firewood.

  • If you are a member of the public, please read the General Public Regulations.
  • If you are student, please read the information under Student Reservation Process below.

Student Reservation Process

  1. Contact the Office of the Duke Forest at (919) 613-8013 to check on shelter availability.
  2. Download and submit a Student Shelter Request to dukeforest@duke.edu.
  3. Await a response from the Office of the Duke Forest to determine whether or not the event has been approved.
  4. Upon receiving an approval notice for the event from the Office of the Duke Forest, pay for the picnic shelter rental and bring a $500 check for the deposit, as well as a completed copy of the Student Shelter Regulations to the Office.
  5. If necessary, submit a staffing request to Duke University Police and provide the Office of the Duke Forest with appropriate confirmation documentation (see details under Rule #1 of the Student Shelter Regulations).
  6. If necessary, demonstrate compliance with any additional conditions required by the Office of the Duke Forest in the approval notice.
  7. Reservations may be cancelled at any time if these steps are not followed, or if any requests by the Office of the Duke Forest are not completed.

Student Shelter Request

Student Shelter Regulations


Bobby Ross, Jr. Memorial Shelter (Gate C)

RE_BRshelter_19Feb15Click here for map, directions, and a photo.  The shelter includes a picnic shelter with a fireplace, four large picnic tables (50-75 person capacity), and a grill.  The site does not have an outhouse, electricity, or running water.  The shelter is situated near the trail head for the Shepherd Nature Trail, a self-guided 0.8-mile trail through the surrounding Forest.  Fee: $35.00

The combination to the entrance gate lock will be sent when payment has been received.

To reserve the Gate C picnic shelter, please contact the Office at 919-613-8013 or dukeforest@duke.edu.

Once you have confirmed availability, please click here to pay for the shelter.


R.L. Rigsbee Shelter (Gate F)

RE_RLRshelter_19Feb15Click here for map, directions, and a photo. The shelter includes a picnic shelter, several tables (50 person capacity), grill, outhouse, and a volleyball court (ball not provided).  The site does offer electricity and lights but no running water. Fee: $40.00

The combination to the lock for the entrance gate and the power box will be sent when payment has been received.

To reserve the Gate F picnic shelter, please contact the Office at 919-613-8013 or dukeforest@duke.edu.

Once you have confirmed availability, please click here to pay for the shelter.


Comparison of Picnic Shelter Facilities

Bobby Ross Shelter (Gate C) R.L. Rigsbee Shelter (Gate F)
Capacity

50-75 persons

50 persons

Outhouse

Yes

Electricity Yes
Lighting Yes
Fireplace Yes
Fire Ring Yes
Volleyball Court Yes
Nature Trail Yes
Running Water