The Ellerbe's watershed begins near Orange County north of Interstate 85, near the WDNC radio tower and Bennett Place. The creek flows through many of Durham's most historic and culturally significant areas, including Ninth Street, Downtown Durham, beneath Durham Athletic Park, The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the Museum of Life and Science, the old Durham Landfill, Duke University East Campus, Northgate Mall, and towards the end crosses Fishdam Road. The Ellerbe eventually flows into Falls Lake, about a mile south of the Eno River.
The Ellerbe is notable for its quiet seclusion, despite running through some of Durham's most populous areas.
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