This past Saturday we checked another state park off of our list with a visit to Raven Rock State Park located in Lillington, NC. The website can be found here: https://www.ncparks.gov/raven-rock-state-park
We arrived pretty early (around 10am) and the parking lots were already starting to fill up with people. My husband wanted to check out the fishing (big surprise) so we swung by the park office first thing to ask the rangers about trail recommendations.
Per the park rangers advice we decided to start with the Northington Ferry trail because she said that it wasn’t as busy and would take us all the way down to the Cape Fear River. The map above is a bit deceiving, as the trail goes all the way down to the point where the Cape Fear River and Campbell Creek intersect. When first looking at the map, my plan was to hike Northington Ferry and then cut over to Campbell Creek Loop trail but as it turns out there is no safe way to cross the creek with a five year old in tow. What you see below is the end of the trail and across the creek is the other trail – unreachable. Hard to tell from this picture but the banks of the creek are quite steep and it is much wider than it appears.
Side note – fishing in this spot was not great.
We hung around for awhile, ate lunch and then hiked back out to the park office. They have a small museum there with some information about the area and the local wildlife. After that, we decided to take the Fish Traps trail back down to the river. The hike is appropriate for small kids but coming back is mostly uphill so it might be exhausting for little legs and you might just end up carrying kids back up it.
We only had time for a few of the trails here and ended up hiking around 6 miles total that day. There are some really cool views of the Cape Fear River but much of the trail hiking is woods like the picture above.
It was about 80 degrees the day we went and I would recommend you bring plenty of water with you. I had to bribe the little with a Frosty to get her to hike the last mile without complaint (uphill). Haha.
We are planning a return visit to check out the Campbell Creek Loop trail and the Raven Rock Loop trail soon.
This is a very busy park on the weekend and by the time that we left for home – the parking lots were all full of cars with a line of cars at the entrance.
Fun day and good hiking.