Hiking a young park with views of the Little River
The park can be found by taking Guess Road out of Durham. The entrance is one mile after you cross into Orange county on the right. Great directions and wonderful information is found at the Little River Regional Park official web page. Likewise, you can use google maps from the embedded map below to create directions to the parking lot.
Upon entering the park, several houses are visible along the park entrance. The entry road ends at a parking lot that has a small children’s playground and open play area on the left. Closed bathrooms, park office, and a covered pavilion is nearby. At first glance the differences between the bike and hiking trails are not obvious. The hiking trails start by walking through the small, covered information building. I’ve marked the hiking entrance on the picture below.
The trail begins on a concrete trail. The natural entrance of the trail is fairly well marked. A small house that was used as a tobacco house and storage area is a brief focal point before the main section of the trail begins.
The initial Ridge Trail section of the hike is typical for the area with hardwoods and small pines. The trail is in excellent shape and well marked with signs. In the winter you easily get the feel that you are on a small ridge. Typical leaf-fall and downed trees are visible.
On the ridge were these small green fern-like plants that I love. They were covering one small section of the ridge. Measuring from the parking lot, the Ridge Trail is about 0.8 miles one way.
On the way to the North River Trail you will the fork to South River Trail .
Included below is an embedded google map of the GPS tracking of the trail and the various waypoints. You may have to click on the viewpoints to see their labels.
View Little River North Loop in a larger map
At the end of the Ridge Trail, an information station and sign can be found. An emergency access actually forks here as well so it can be a little confusing. I’ve marked the proper direction of the trails below. When in doubt, remember that passing through the metal trail protectors/gates is always the correct path.
The North River Trail as you can see above is a loop that briefly parallels the Litte River. There is a minor climb down to the river and a subsequent climb back toward the trail. The Little River as a whole is certainly smaller than the Eno. It is typically shallow enough that young children can play safely, but it also brisk enough to create gentle babbling and tinkling noises around the rocks.
Before long, the trail loops back on itself and you return to the parking lot via the Ridge Trail. Sit down and enjoy the wonderful, Little River experience before you head back home.
Ridge and North River Loop Trails–
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Surface: Natural
- Bicycles: No
- Length: 3.3 Miles
- Blazes: Green Flexible Posts
Maps and Links:
- Google Maps: Little River: North River Loop and Ridge Trails
- Eno River Association: Little River Regional Park Page
- Orange Country: Little River Park Page
- Flickr: Little River Photo Set from this hike