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Little River Lake

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  1. Boating
  2. Fishing
  3. Picnic Tables
  4. Restrooms

COVID-19 Lake Operations

City Lakes are open with limited operations and capacities in order to meet state and local social distancing requirements. A lottery system is in place to access permits at each lake. Please read all of the following information if you plan to visit our lakes.

The health and safety of our patrons and staff are our top priority. Please do your part and practice social distancing at the lakes by remaining at least 6 feet away from others. Additionally, a face-covering is required at all times, when social distancing is not possible.

Little River Limited Operations
  • Only open for bank fishing. 
  • Bank fishing will require a permit through a lottery system.
  • No rentals will be available.

Little River Lottery
You MUST use the lottery system in order to be entered for the chance to obtain a permit.

Lotteries will run from 12 a.m.-6 p.m. the day before your desired launch or bank fishing day. For example, if you would like to enter for a chance to obtain a permit on Sunday, text the number on Saturday between 12 a.m.-6 p.m. Results will be sent via text once the lottery closes at 6 p.m.

Text "LR Bank Fish" to 31996 to be entered for a bank fishing permit at Little River Lake.

Permits are good only for the date and location at which they were issued.

Little River Lake Hours

The lake will be open Friday through Monday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March 13 - November 9, 2020.

The lake will also be open on the following holidays:
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
The boating and fishing facilities offer bank fishing as well as electric motor, rowboat, canoe, and kayak rentals. Fishing licenses are required.

The facility is located at the intersection of Orange Factory and Blalock Roads in northern Durham County. For more information about Little River Lake, please call:
  • 919-477-7889, Friday-Monday and mid-March to mid-November
  • 919-560-4405, Tuesday-Thursday and mid-November to mid-March
Please note that personal boats, motors, and batteries are not allowed on Little River Lake.

Check out the Underground Weather Station for Little River before heading out to the lake!

No smoking, alcohol or weapons are permitted.

Little River Lake Rental Fees

City Resident with Play More Card
City Resident without Play more Card
Non-City Resident with Play More Card
Non-City Resident without Play More Card
Bank Fishing (per day) Youth / Teen (0-18)
$0 $0 $4.50 $5
Bank Fishing (per day) Adults (19-54)
$2.70 $3 $7.20 $8
Bank Fishing (per day) Seniors (55+)
$1.80 $2 $6.30 $7
Bank Fishing (seasonal) Youth / Teen (0-18)
$0 $0 $15 $15
Bank Fishing (seasonal) Adults (19-54)
$48 $48 $63 $63
Bank Fishing (seasonal) Seniors (55+)
$32 $32 $47 $47
6-Hour Boat / Canoe / Kayak Rental
$5.40 $6 $9.90 $11
Electric Motor + Battery Rental (per 6 hours)
$11 $11 $11 $11

Special Notice

Little River is a primary water supply for the City of Durham. For this reason, we must limit and control recreational activities at the lake. Please adhere to guidelines and instructions to protect our water source. Dogs are not permitted in or on the water.

Additional Rental Information

  • We do not give refunds or free rentals.
  • To receive the Play More Card discount, you must show your Play More Card to the attendant. Visit our Play More Card page for more information on the benefits program.
  • To rent or launch a boat, you must show a government issued photo ID. Lakes may only be accessed during operating hours, Friday through Monday mid-March to mid-November and with a permit purchased at the boathouse.
  • Adding additional and/or changing boaters after being issued lake permit will result in a minimum 30 day suspension of lake privileges.
  • No boats will be rented or launched after 4:30 p.m.

Per City Ordinance:

  • There is no swimming in Little River Lake.
  • Dogs are not allowed on or in the lake.
  • Persons renting canoes, kayaks or Jon boats must wear a PFD (life jacket) at all times.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD) / Life Jacket Rules:

Renting City Boats
All persons must wear Coast Guard approved PFD at all times.

Failure to abide by City rules or State Law for PFDs will result in suspension of privileges or fines issued by the NC Wildlife Commission.


Little River Lake was completed in 1987. When full, it is 549 acres and the average depth is approximately 25 feet.