Lumber River - 401 to Alma

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

On March 17, 2022 we paddled on the Lumber Rive the 10 miles from US401 to McGirt Bridge. The weather was warm - over 70o, the sun came out and it was beautiful. The water was a bit high with a level of 10.4 at the Maxton gauge. We had been told there were a few downed trees to go around but at that level, we were able to get through all potential obstacles. Even with all the rain, the water was clear.

There is a regular boat ramp at the 401 bridge. The takeout at McGirt Bridge was informal but not hard at all. There is lots of parking on the upstream right bank. It is trashy but off the road.

On March 18, 2022, we paddled from McGirt Bridge to the Alma Bridge (11.9 miles). This also went very smoothly, with no obstacles on the river. It is a noisier section, with the airport and a road nearby, but it also had very few houses. We saw a few people fishing at one point and someone putting a boat in when we finished but saw no one else on the river. While there is no whitewater, the river makes a lot of turns and is a bit narrow in places. Beginners might have trouble controlling their boats in the current.

The Alma bridge takeout was easy. It looked like the two others we passed - NC71 and Old Red Springs Bridge - also would be easy takeouts.

All in all, at this level, the water was great. We hope to return to do some of the downstream sections soon.
Note: we camped at Chalk Banks Campground in Lumber River State Park. We were the only campers in the park. The sites are huge and it was very peaceful. It is highly recommended.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 3/17/2022-3/18/2022
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location