Fish Traps Trail

EASY 20 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

Fish Traps Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lillington, North Carolina 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.

1.8 miles
216 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips

paddle sports






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.

8 months ago

Loved this trail. The end allows you to step out one some rocks on the river and my kids loved it. Great little trail with a great ending.

11 months ago

I did this with a 30 lb child in a carrier. Going down was easy, but there was just enough of an incline to make it a nice little workout coming back up. It was a gorgeous day and the river was low to where we could walk out on the rock bar to about halfway through the river. So cool!

Friday, May 12, 2017

My favorite spot in the park is at the end of this trail. The short trail is worth the hike for the river views.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lots of fun, and a good place to cool off.

Friday, June 10, 2016

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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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.

4 days ago

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Friday, June 09, 2017

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thursday, April 02, 2015