Our original goal was to launch at Fair Bluff, NC in the Lumber River, and paddle to the Little Pee Dee, with a take-out point some 27 river miles downstream, just below the hwy 917 bridge near Mullins, SC. We'd done this trip before, and really looked forward to the pristine sandbars of the Lumber River.
However, the weather brought much needed precipitation to NC/SC the week before our trip, and the river gauge at Broadman, NC went from a perfect 5.42' to 7.23' in a matter of days. So my paddling group (total of 16) met at the take out point in Mullins, and decided to launch there, and paddle a few miles upstream to a spot where we knew there would be high ground. We knew that the high water level would all but wipe out any chances finding a campsite above that point.
So off we went, paddling quite easily against the 3+mph current, each kayak loaded with way too much stuph for a 3 day trip...as usual.
We reached our destination in only about an hour and a half, and quickly made camp.
We'd been here before, and knew that a short paddle upstream from our camp at this water level would allow us to paddle from the Pee Dee River, through the trees, and into Grassy Lake, which was just northeast of our campsite.
It's absolutely beautiful back there!
Most of our group had been paddling for several years, but we did have a few newbies with us. Kayaks ranged from a 12' Pungo to a Tsunami 175 and I was glad to have a rudder on my 175 to help knife my way through the trees!
Over the weekend, we made several trips back to Grassy lake. Each time we would venture further and further beyond the typical boundaries of the lake, through mere inches of water, for what seemed like miles, until we found the river again. The water was like a mirror! Several deer were spotted.
At base camp we were required to move several tents to higher ground on day 2, as the river was still rising. An old road bead leading to the site quickly became a part of the river.
Our group consisted of folks from NYC, NC, SC, Fla., and Virginia.
High water or not.... we had a blast!
Pungo 120, Pungo 140 (3ea), Perception Monarch 15, Tsunami 175, Tsunami 145, Tarpon 140 (3ea), Tarpon 160I, Current Designs 13.5, Tempest 170, Necky Looksha IV, Malibu SOT, one Creek Boat.
Hwy 917 east from Mullins, SC till you cross the river, next right, next right onto Church St Landing Rd. to end (landing)
GPS for back tracking when needed.
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)