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Little River in North Carolina

Trip Overview

Me and my constant companion (Female, Sadie) Canine put in at the Wildlife ramp off of 301 North, approx 2 miles South of Kenly, near Bagley for a leisure paddle and fishing trip. The day was mostly sunny with some clouds, but a threat of afternoon storms, lay on the horizon. After insuring we had plenty of grub, water and cold drinks, we shoved off, but had made only a few strokes when Sadie advised me we had forgotten the bait, so we returned to the dock, which by the way is an easy access for canoe or kayak, leaving the dock and proceeding to the left is a nice one half day trip, but those taking this route should be aware that approx 4 miles up the river is a dangerous dam, almost not recognized, until you are at the edge, so beware, no bank available to portage around is available either.

Due to this fact, Sadie and I had selected to go to the right from the landing to provide for a full day paddling and fishing trip. For those looking for white water, this is not the river, as for the most part the current is sluggish, but is convenient for the return trip as you are not fighting a strong current on your return, laden down with Bass, Perch, ShellCrackers and Catfish.

The Little River offers a variety of wildlife as occasionally a deer, opossum or coon can be seen by the quiet paddler, as well as a variety of birds, unknown to me, as I hardly know a sparrow from a Hawk, except for the size, but for the avid birdwatcher, it should be a paradise. Abundant too, are lots of water snakes as well as the dreaded cottonmouth, which I have seen, but not very often.

The trip this day was great, as we slowly paddled and stopped occasionally to wet a line in a likely looking spot, with some great success on occasion pulling in some good-sized perch or breem. The Little River is a great place to paddle, especially in the early Fall, especially when the leaves are turning and there is a crisp feel to the air, but on this trip we did not have that luxury and had to partake of water quite often. Sadie is a patient partner, and does not complain very often, but is very nonchalant about paddling and has never seemed to catch on to the idea very well.

As the day wore on, fishing began to slow and we decided to find a place to stretch our legs and take a dinner break. We spotted a likely looking spot with a small sandbar, lucky us, as we have had more than a usual amount of rain and this does not contribute to sandbars on the Little River. After a great dinner, comprised of Vienna Sausage, Crakers, a candy bar, and coke, we once again set off to paddle, fish and enjoy the river, around 3:00PM, an ominous rumbling alerted us that we were a long way from the landing and that in an attempt to not get wet we had better head back, needless to say, Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom saw fit to destroy that notion and we arrived back at the landing, rather wet and tired, but still looking forward to further trips down or up the river, and also looking forward to getting back home to the creature comforts. Say "Sadie" what do you think about an overnight on the river about next Weekend?

For those that may be interested in a day trip, that portion of the Little River that I use is located north of Smithfield, N.C. Take I-95 North to the Bagley Exit, turn left off the ramp and proceed across the bridge and cross over US 301 North and look for the Wildlife Ramp on the Right turn down the gravel road and the Ramp is approx 1/10th of a mile.


There are stores and restaurants and hotel accommodations available in Kenly, approx 2 miles North on US 301


Take I-95 North from Smithfield, N.C. Take the Bagley exit Ramp and turn left and go across the Bridge. Cross over 301 North and look for the Wildlife Ramp (gravel Rd) on the right.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip