A good sign of possibly mountainlike waters in the coastal plain: mountain laurel can be found along some of the banks along this incarnation of the Little River (Paul Ferguson lists four separate Little Rivers in his “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” not to mention an Upper and Lower Little River). Another good sign, 3 1/2 miles in: a quarry sends the left bank rising 75 feet above the river. Signs of a river that’s got something planned.

The fun begins shortly thereafter, with several Class I rapids spread over a few hundred yards. Shortly, there’s a Class II ledge rapid (which, Ferguson says, may need more flow than the advertised minimum to run). Rocks from an old dam create the last Class I rapid, about midway through the trip.

From there, it’s flatwater paddling more typical of the coastal plain.

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 Greenville


Rating: Class I and one II
Length: 9.5 miles
Drive: 1 hour
Put-in: SR 2320 (Rains Crossroads) bridge
Latitude: 35.3081
Longitude: 78.0947
Take-out: SR 1234 (Capps Bridge Road) bridge
Latitude: 35.2802
Longitude: 78.0554
Time to complete: 5 hours
Gauge: USGS Little River near Princeton
Minimum flow: 90 cfs
City: Goldsboro
State: NC