Monday, August 7, 2017

August Programs and Events

Tiny Trekkers: Hummingbirds
Monday, August 7, 10am-11am. Meet at the Large Shelter. Ages 3-5 years. Free.
Trekkers try to keep up with the hummingbirds zipping around the park. Participants will learn how they get their food and fly so fast.

Discovery Club: Papermaking
Sunday, August 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm. Meet at the Park Office. Ages 6 & older. Free. Drop by and learn how paper is made from trees. Kids will use different types of recycled paper, leaves, flowers, and seeds to produce their own paper. Find out about how trees become paper and forest conservation.
Coming in September:
9/11 - Tiny Trekkers: Butterflies
9/16 - (Not So) Still Life Photo Shoot (register by Sept. 9/fee)
9/22 - Star Gazing with Morehead
9/23 - Discovery Club: Fossils  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Using the Orange County Parks & Recreation WebTrac Online Registration System

WebTrac is the online registration system for the Orange County Parks & Recreation Department. Some park programs require pre-registration and/or a fee to be collected. The online system makes it easy and convienent to sign-up and pay. Registration and payments can also be made in person at the Central Recreation Center on Tryon Street in Hillsborough, NC.

Login or Create an Account

WebTrac Main Screen
Use the Login link to sign in or create an account:

Search by Activity, Facility or Keyword

Begin Activity Search
After you have logged in, click Search from the menu bar, and then Activities Search from the drop down menu.
Search by Keyword or Activity Number
Search for the program you wish to register for by entering the activity number or keywords such as “photography shoot”. You can select Little River Park if you wish to filter the responses by location.

Select your programs.

Scroll down to view your search results. Click the “plus” sign next to the program you wish to register for to add the selection to your list.

Add to cart.

Click “Add to Cart” to continue with registration or “Clear Selection” to cancel.

Checkout and Payment

Sign the Waiver.

The next screen will indicate the program and person registered and present the program activity waiver for your review. If you have questions, you may enter them in the text box above the waiver. Click the check box next to “I agree with the above*” and the “Continue” button to add the program to your shopping cart. Click Cancel to exit from the registration process.

Proceed to Checkout.

Your shopping cart will show any programs or activities that you have added to your selection list. From this screen you may check out, continue shopping or exit the system. We have selected “Proceed to Checkout”.

Fill in Required Fields.

You will see a summary of charges and fields to enter your payment method and billing information. Review and enter any required information, then click “Continue” to initiate the payment authorization process and generate a confirmation receipt.

Review your information.

Submit Payment.

On the Payment Authorization page, enter your credit card and billing information. Click “Submit Payment” to complete the transaction. A copy of the receipt as well as additional program information will be emailed to the address listed in your account profile.
If you need assistance completing the registration process, please call 919-245-2660.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Not So Still Life Photo Shoot Information

Little River Regional Park and the wildlife educators from CLAWS, Inc. host a unique photographic opportunity:

(Not So) Still Life Photo Shoot

Saturday, September 16, 2017 (Rain date: Oct. 21)

10:00 am - 3:30 pm (lunch not provided)
Little River Regional Park & Natural Area  (Directions)
301 Little River Park Way
Rougemont, NC 27572

General Photo Shoot:  $35.00 per person
Pro Tips Shoot:  $50.00 per person
Register Online:

“Some Models Have Runways, Ours Have Perches”
Photographers of every level will enjoy the unique and up close experience of a private raptor photo shoot. Wildlife educators CLAWS, Inc. will bring their amazing birds for you to photograph in the park’s natural setting. Register for either the general photo session or the professional photographer-led session. Bring your cameras; we'll bring the experts and the wildlife!
Animals can be extremely difficult to film in the wild and this is especially true of birds. During this photo shoot you will be able to take images of captive models but in a natural setting. Using Little River Regional Park as the backdrop, you can create dynamic and compelling images for personal or professional use.
· Small groups - ensure a quality experience for beginner and advanced photographers
· Unique photographic opportunities - from portraits to birds in habitat
· Local professional photographer - share their knowledge so you can sharpen your digital photography skills


Photographers meet at the park’s Small Shelter and separate into groups for a brief introduction. Groups will then be led by a CLAWS volunteer around the paved trail to four different bird stations. Each station will feature a different family of bird. Groups will have 30-40 minutes at each station. Animal handlers will position the birds for a variety of shots. After photographing all four stations, we will break for lunch (not provided). During the break, new birds will be brought to the stations and when lunch is finished, groups repeat the circuit.
Pro Tips:  For those who want a little help with their digital photography skills, one group will have a local professional photographer available to answer questions for an additional fee.
Please bring a lunch. Coolers will be available for storage.  A water cooler and cups will be located at the Small shelter.

A limited number of carts will be on-hand for wheeling heavy equipment around the trail.
Please follow the instructions of the animal handlers. Each bird may react differently to having people and cameras so close. We want you and the birds to enjoy this experience and be as safe as possible.
Your Subjects: CLAWS is one of only 17 licensed raptor educators in the state of North Carolina. They incorporate information about each species including native habitat, environmental adaptations, behavioral traits, dietary habits and their status in the wild.
You will be photographing a variety of bird species including*: American Crow, Barred Owl, Eastern Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, American Kestrel, Coopers Hawk, Black Vulture, Merlin Falcon, African Raven, Barn Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk.
*All species of birds may not be available the day of the photo shoot. CLAWS staff will make a final determination the day of the photo shoot based on the health and well-being of the animals.
Your Time Frame: There will be an orientation meeting at 10am in the Small Shelter where we’ll review the subjects of our photo shoot, sort into groups and go over the day’s activities.
Each group will then proceed to one of the bird stations located along around a wide, paved walking trail that meanders through the woods. There are four stations, each with a different family of bird: corvid, hawk, owl and falcon. There will be at least two birds at each station. CLAWS volunteers will position the birds so that photographers can take a variety of shots with different backgrounds. Groups will spend 30-40 minutes photographing the birds at that station and then proceed to the next station. After completing all four stations, groups will take an hour break for lunch. A new set of birds will be brought to the stations and photographing will resume after the break. If time allows, groups may have an opportunity at the end of the day to revisit certain birds.
Your Professional Photographer:  S. P. Murray literally cannot remember a time when she didn’t have a camera in her hands, and her amazing relationship with light has led her on some fantastic journeys working for everyone from North Carolina’s Our State Magazine to The Boston Globe to National Geographic Traveler Seminars.
She is the grand prizewinner of the prestigious 2016 National Press Photographers Women in Visual Journalism competition and she never forgets what a privilege it is to try to give a voice to someone else's story in one brief moment of captured time.
Benefits of this photo shoot:  If you are a professional photographer this photo shoot will provide you with quality, saleable shots. For those photographing as a hobby or for amateur photo competitions, this photo shoot can provide you a wide range of subject matter.
Those who sign up for the Pro Tips Photo Shoot have the added benefit of professional guidance on things like composition, lens choice and exposure.
Food:  Please pack a lunch or snacks as there is no vending or concession sales on site. Restaurant options are a 20-30 minute drive from the park. There are several gas stations within a three-mile radius of the park that carry your typical convenience store fare. There is a refrigerator on-site that will be available to store lunch items. Please clearly label what you bring. We will provide water and cups at the Small Shelter.
Directions: Little River Regional Park is located off Guess Road a mile past the Durham/Orange County line. The address is 301 Little River Park Way, Rougemont, NC 27572.
From Durham, take the Guess Rd exit north from I-85. The park entrance is approximately 7 miles on the right.
From Hillsborough, take Hwy. 57 north approximately 7 miles to Guess Rd. Turn right on Guess Rd and travel approximately 3 miles, the park entrance will be on your left.
Portfolio Sharing: If you use your photos for professional purposes, please consider attributing CLAWS in your photos. The exposure you give to them helps the educational and rehabilitation work they do.
Rain date: If the weather on the 16th forces us to cancel the photo shoot, we will retry on October 21st.  Same rules apply.
Downtime in the event of rain: Should showers hamper our photography, we will convene under the Small Shelter until we can continue our tour. Depending on the forecast, we may bring the birds to the shelter and set up lighting for some intimate raptor shots and some question and answer time with our professional photographer and CLAWS volunteers.


Online registration is available through the Orange County Parks Department:
Program #: 914101-A - General Photo Shoot:  $35.00
Program #: 914101-B - Pro Tips Shoot:  $50.00
Photo Shoot Minimum/Maximum: 15 min/40 max
Register early to ensure the program meets the minimum number.
Registration Deadline: September 9, 2017

A tutorial on using the WebTrac online registration system can be found here:  Using WebTrac
If you have questions about the photo shoot or registration, please call the Little River Park Office: 919-732-5505.
If you have questions about the animals being brought to the photo shoot, please contact CLAWS, Inc. at 919-619-0776.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

July Park Programs

Here's what's happening at the park this month:

Park hours:  8am - 8pm (open regular hours for the July 4th holiday)

Tiny Trekkers: Bugs 
Monday, July 10, 10am-11am Ages 3-5 years; free

Lots of legs, enormous eyes, hidden wings, they skitter, scurry and flutter. Trekkers learn some of the cool ways bugs move, listen to a story and search for critters around the park. Please call to register: 919-732-5505.

Discovery Club: Moth Ball 
Friday, July 28, 8:30pm - 10:00pm Ages 6 years & older; free

Drop by the park after dark as we celebrate National Moth Week! We’ll whip up a batch of our special moth bait and lure all types of night critters with lights set up around the play meadow. Beetles, moths and maybe a few toads will make an appearance. Meet at the Large Shelter.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

By the Numbers: May 2017

We thought April had a lot of rain but May is the winner so far this year!

These are the statistics for May:

Total number of visitors: 4732.5

Total rainfall amount: 10.088 inches

Average daily high: ? degrees F

Average daily low: ? degrees F

Mountain bike trails open: 65% of the month

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Park Programs and Special Events for February 2016

Here's the schedule of programs and events at the park in February. Please call the park to register: 919-732-5505.
Nature’s Noisemakers Monday, February 1, 10-11am. Ages 2-5 yrs. Free.
Peep, squeak, growl and howl! We’ll practice our nature noises and search the park for sounds. Meet at the Park office. Pre-registration is required.
The Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15. All ages. Free.
Participate in this National event here at the park or in your own backyard. Pick up instructions, field guides and data sheets from the Park office. Spend as little as 15 minutes counting birds, leave checklists for us to tally or submit the information from home.
Valentine’s Day Nature Walk Sunday, February 14, 9-11:30am. Free.
Spend the morning with your sweetie on the trails of Little River Park. This informal group walk will be at a pace which allows for picture taking and enjoyment of the natural surroundings. We’ll have a few guide books and binoculars to loan. Meet at the Large Shelter.
Building bird boxes.
Bird Box Building Saturday, February 20, 2 –3:30pm. Ages 6 yrs. & older. Fee: $5 per box.
Build a nest box to help attract bluebirds, chickadees, and wrens to your backyard. Meet at the Large Shelter. Pre-registration is required.
Mountain Bike Skills Course Workday Saturday, February 27, 9am-12pm. Ages 6 yrs. & older. Free.
Lend a hand with building the final few elements for the skills course. Bring your bike and we'll take a ride when our work is done. Meet at the park office.
Free programs made possible by donations from the Little River Trail Runs and the TrailHeads Running Club.

Warm but Sloppy Conditions for 2016 Little River Trail Runs

7k starting pack.
The 11th Little River Trail Runs were held on Saturday, January 16, 2016. It was much warmer than previous years with a balmy 37 degrees F greeting runners for the start of the 10-mile and 7-k races. In keeping with Little River races past, precipitation also played a part in this year's run. Over .25" of rain fell late Friday creating some sloppy trail treads in low lying areas, especially along the river.

The trail run is put on by a dedicated group of runners from Chapel Hill known as the Trailheads. Proceeds from the run are donated to Little River Park and also used to purchase carbon offsets. Last year's run was "carbon negative" with the purchase of enough offsets to negate the carbon emissions caused by the travel of all participants. The park has used the donated funds to pay for trail improvements, equipment and to underwrite the cost of park programs like star gazing with Morehead Planetarium and visits from wildlife educators, CLAWS. This year the park was able to offer its Tiny Trekkers and Discovery Club kids programs for free as well. The trail runs have generated over $60,000 in donations to the park over the past 10 years.

A beautiful day along the 7k course.
The Trailheads began the Little River Trail Runs as a way to get runners off the streets and into nature to enjoy their favorite pastime along the quiet forest trails. The low-key event is welcoming to runners of all abilities. With over 500 runners, it has become one of the largest trail races in the area. The event draws runners from as far away as Alaska and Rhode Island. The unpredictable conditions in mid-January add to the ambiance of the race. Past year's conditions have included temperatures in the teens, ice, snow and mud.

Related Reading:

Little River runners traverse slippery slopes: