You encounter a good drop over the first mile — 40 feet — but Paul Ferguson says there are no big drops, just a consistently descending run of Class I and II rapids “and fast water over rock gardens.” It’s a narrow passage and downed trees are not uncommon; be on guard.

Though the gradient lessens the number of Class I and II rapids increases. Look for small ledges near the bridge and takeout.

And look, too, at the gorgeous surroundings. The Little has been the focus of conservation efforts by the Triangle Land Conservancy and Eno River Association. That’s in part to preserve water quality in the Little but also the natural resource lining its banks.

For a complete description of this stretch, including hazards, consult “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” (see below).

More info, including maps and access: “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” Paul Ferguson (2007, Pocosin Press).

Getting there from downtown Raleigh

Photo: The Little River, the North fork at least, has humble beginnings just upstream from Section 1.
Rating: Class I-II
Length: 4.1 miles
Drive: 50 minutes from downtown
Put-in: South Lowell Road
Latitude: 36.0987
Longitude: 78.5695
Take-out: Johnson Mill Road
Latitude: 36.0849
Longitude: 78.5515
Time to complete: 1.5-2 hours
Gauge: USGS Little River at SR 1461 near Orange Factory
Minimum flow: 120 cfs
City: Durham
State: NC