Geographic Location: south of
Length: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: September 2016
Overview: A short loop along the
and atop Griffin’s Bluff.
Park Information: http://www.ncparks.gov/lumber-river-state-park
Google Map: http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=560472
Directions to the trailhead: These driving directions start at the community of
which is located on SR 130 6.7 miles east of Orrum, NC Fairmont
or 2.4 miles west of US 74. Take
Creek Road south out of Orrum for 3.6 miles to Princess
Turn left on Princess Ann Road. Drive Princess Ann Rd. 2.1 miles to the state
park entrance on the left. Turn left to
enter the park, pass the park office, and park in the blacktop picnic area parking
lot on the left immediately past the park office.
The hike: Established only in 1989,
consists of 14 access points and recreation areas along its namesake
river. The river, park, and nearby City
of Lumberton all get their names from extensive swamp logging operations that
took place here in the late 1700’s. The
park is a major destination for paddlers, as 115 miles of the Lumber
River State Park Lumber
River have been designated as a natural and scenic river.
For hikers, two of the river access points have official trail systems: the Chalk Banks Access northwest of
Lumberton and the
Princess Ann Access south of Lumberton. This hike features the Princess Ann Access,
which also contains the park’s main office and a 9-site primitive
campground. Though short, the 0.7 mile Griffin’s
Bluff Trail described here passes scenic river views and tops a steep bluff
overlooking the river.
|Start of Griffin's Bluff Trail|
From the rear of the parking lot, pick up the asphalt trail that goes through a gap in a wooden fence. Where the trail splits, stay right to walk to the right of the picnic area’s restroom building. Past the restroom building, head downhill and look for the signed trailhead for the
Bluff Trail, which leaves the picnic area and enters the forest.
The trail surface turns to gravel with wooden side rails as the trail heads north with the bluff rising to your left and the
downhill to your right. At 0.25 miles,
you reach the wooden Lumber River overlook platform,
which extends out into the river. This
overlook is located at a sharp bend in the river, so the black, still water
extends both straight ahead and to the right.
The area to the left is an odd area called Griffin’s
Whirl, a whirlpool that forms where the river reaches the base of Griffin’s
Bluff. Provided the mosquitoes are not
too bad, this overlook makes a scenic spot to stop and observe the river.
Past the overlook, the trail continues north and soon crosses a dirt canoe launch access road. The trail now assumes more of an undeveloped nature trail feel as it curves left away from the river. At 0.4 miles, you reach another scenic spot with some benches that overlook a blackwater tributary of the
|Tributary of Lumber River|
The trail next curves left again to begin its brief moderate ascent up
Bluff, gaining 30 feet of elevation in the process. Moss and roots form the trail surface
here. After re-crossing the canoe launch
road, you top the bluff and reach the overflow group camping area. Angle left and then right at a brown metal
sign that says “trail” to continue the Griffin’s
Bluff Trail. A short hike through brushy
blufftop forest returns you to the parking lot to complete the hike.