Little River Regional Park in Durham, North Carolina, a relatively new addition since December 2004, promises something for every cyclist with a predilection for a mixed bag of terrains and features. Spearheaded by DOMBO and the local parks & rec, this trail offers a blend of varying elements that can either elevate your experience or leave you wanting.
- Distance: 6 miles
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Loop
- City: Durham, North Carolina
How to Get There
Exit I-85 at the Guess Rd (Hwy 157) exit (#175) and proceed north for approximately 12 miles. You'll find the entrance to Little River Regional Park on your right, clearly marked by a sign.
Layout and Difficulty
The trailhead starts at the north side of the parking lot, and the initial 1/2 mile of winding singletrack will lead you to the first loop. There are two main loops connected by a double track, labeled as hard and easy paths.
- Signage: Trails are well-marked and offer optional routes.
- Obstacles: "Hard" trails feature around 10 or more sizable log crossings and halfway through expect some good climbs.
- Terrain: Rolling hills, technical winding singletrack, and occasionally off-camber spots make for an interesting ride.
- Lack of Flow: Numerous riders point out that the trail offers very little in terms of flowy downhill sections.
- Technical Elements: If you enjoy technical features like log crossings, then this trail might be for you.
- Maintenance: The trail can be a bit unkempt due to less frequent use; watch out for spiderwebs.
Personal Takes and Suggestions
Based on the seasoned riders' comments:
- Best Bike for the Trail: An old-school 26'er with narrow handlebars and a short wheelbase.
- Riding Direction: For longer but easier climbs, go clockwise. For shorter and steeper climbs, choose counterclockwise.
Seasonal Notes and Recent Updates
- The trail is mostly open, but it's always wise to scout before heading for a long ride.
- A lot of work has been done in recent times to keep the trails in shape; new bridges and ramps have been installed.
- Trail seems faster with the newly installed features.
Conclusion: Worth a Spin, But Know What You're Getting Into
Little River Regional Park may not satisfy the appetite of every biker; however, it stands as an option for those in the Triangle area, especially when other trails are closed due to weather. It’s a great place to experiment with different kinds of terrains and improve your technical skills.
- Look out for seasonal trail closures.
- Be prepared for some intensive pedaling; this isn’t a downhill paradise.
- If you're seeking more flow, perhaps consider nearby trails like Brumley and Crabtree.
Give Little River Regional Park a shot if you are looking to diversify your trail experiences; just be prepared for its unique set of challenges and features.