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5 Under-The-Radar Kayaking Spots in North Carolina

March 17, 2017

5 Under-The-Radar Kayaking Spots in North Carolina

Time to start thinking about Summer travel.  Cool summer air and plenty of beach and coastline makes North Carolina a year round destination for vacationers. Mid-summer ocean water temperatures are around 80 degrees along the entire coast. Protected inland waters are calm, quiet and sheltered so perfect for water activities. And fishing opportunities abound with deep sea, sound side and inland lake and stream opportunities. 

If mountains are your thing, the state also has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell, the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River. 

5 Under-The-Radar Kayaking Spots in North Carolina

by Jason Frye on ourstate.com

The first time I got in a kayak it was at a Boy Scout Summer Camp in West Virginia, and all we did was paddle around the same small pond where we held our canoeing merit badge class. To say the least, I didn’t feel the thrill of kayaking — until I moved to North Carolina. My first paddle here was on Bald Head Island and it set the hook. Since then I’ve paddled blackwater creeks; the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds; and lakes, rivers, and reservoirs all over the state. I don’t know if I have a favorite place to paddle — too many places come to mind — but I know five places where you should put your boat in the water the next chance you get.


Roanoke River: Paddling to the Devil’s Gut

Jamesville

During North Carolina’s colonial days, and well into our statehood, the Roanoke River was a key route for trade and transportation. Today it’s a river rich with recreational opportunities, from superb bass fishing to excellent paddling opportunities. One of those paddling opportunities is the trip to Devil’s Gut near Jamesville. Most stories on the name of the place come back to the still, black water that can be a little spooky, especially at night. This paddle is easy and quite lovely; the forest is close to the river in some places and the wildlife is abundant. You can plan an afternoon paddling trip, or you can make it an overnighter and stay at one of the river camping platforms here.

Rocky River Blueway: Pharr Family Preserve to Riverbend Farm

Midland

You might think it would be hard to find a place to kayak anywhere near Charlotte that’s not packed with paddlers – until you learn about the Rocky River Blueway. Plans call for the Blueway to stretch 59 miles from Cabarrus County to the confluence of the Rocky and Pee Dee Rivers in Stanley County. But we’re paddling the first 5 miles or so, from the Pharr Family Preserve to Riverbend Farm, which are the only two put-ins at this end of the Blueway. The scenery is excellent: Farms and fields, rocky bluffs, and some rapids (the fun kind, not the intimidating kind) You can see plenty of wildlife from the river, as well: Egrets, kingfishers, woodpeckers, turkey, and even deer. The Rocky River doesn’t experience significant seasonal fluctuations, so you’ll find good water here year-round.

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