Fish Traps Trail is a 0.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lillington, NC that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Lillington, NC: Raven Rock State Park is located in Harnett County, 6 miles west of Lillington and 20 miles east of Sanford. Turn off US 421 and follow Raven Rock Road for 3 miles to the park entrance. Park in the first lot after the entrance. Trail begins on north side of lot.
Lots of fun, and a good place to cool off.
This was a great trail with a great ending point. The trail ends with a view of the fish traps and makes for a great resting point as well as a great photography spot. From here you are able to spot many different types of wildlife including birds, fish, and an abundance of frogs. The steps can be brutal to those tired from hiking other trails or those out of shape.
It's fun going down, but the stairs will get you on the way back up. Really nice trail though with gorgeous views at the bottom.
This is a great, short hike that's relatively kid friendly. The main feature of this hike for us is the actual "fish traps" on the river. There's a natural water slide in the rock formations and plenty of fun wading in the rivers for the kids.
The park has made some improvements to the trail this year including efforts to reduce erosion from water flow during rain and carting in soil and rocks to fill in badly eroded areas on the trail. There's only one small section of the trail that requires much effort, and that's when you begin your descent to the river. It's not hard, but if your knees aren't great, it can cause a bit of strain.
My only complaint about this trail is that some people like litter the area by the river. I recommend bringing a few bags and possibly even a pair of disposable gloves because I have seen (and removed) the remains of amorous encounters (i.e. used condoms - yuck!). I don't want that laying around and don't want my kids to helpfully clean up our mother and grab that. If you have kids, definitely jump down on the rocks by the bank and do a quick scan to make sure all is clear and safe in regards to litter with bodily fluids.
Don't forget to bring a towel!
Fish Traps Trail is very interesting down the trail to and alongside the Cape Fear River. The "fish traps" are eddies created as the river flows which create great resting spots for fish. The trail descends past some cool milky quartz rocks (must be a vein nearby) and down some wooden steps to the path at the water's edge. Some good rocky spots to sit and enjoy the rushing water right next to the "traps" as well as a path along the river to an overlook at a big rock - good place for a picnic with a view downriver. This was our second favorite to the Raven Rock Loop trail. Highly recommend this one.