Paddled the Deep River on Saturday from Plank Road near Gulf, NC to US 15/501 between Pittsboro and Sanford (~12 miles). Gauge at Moncure was at 2500 cfps. At this level the rapids are washed out and the current is a very manageable 3-5 miles per hour. Steep banks are lined with grass this time of year. Bank rise to 100 feet in some areas with rock outcrops.
Very pretty paddling - there was little trash in the river. One notable exception was a dead, bloated pig. At ~ mile 9 the ruins of a civil war era iron-works furnace (Endor Furnace) can be seen on the right. With some difficulty the banks were climbed and the ruins were explored. It is a stone tower about 25 feet high that is crumbling. It was here that an enormous wolf spider was found on my friend's neck (all the excitement you need for one day!!!).
The take out is on rocks under the 15/501 bridge on the right. I was very impressed with the river, it is clean and beautiful.
Put in has steps to the river and a useful winch and rail system for lowering canoes to the water level.
The take out is steep but not too bad.
Parking is available at both locations.
Plank Rd. is off US 421 about 7 miles northwest of Sanford NC. The US 15/501 take out is between Sanford and Pittsboro.
Paul Ferguson - "Paddling Eastern North Carolina"