On April 27, 2007, 45 paddlers left Neuseway Nature Center located in Kinston, NC, at 12:00 for a 3 hour (10 mile) paddle. The Neuse River Foundation and Kinston Tourism organized the event in conjunction with the Festival on the Neuse, held each year in Kinston.
Now for Kinston, 45 paddlers at one time is a big deal. Most of the paddlers had intermediate experience. There were a few first timers and a few experts. There was almost every type of kayak and canoe being used, some brought by individuals, but most provided by the Neuse River Foundation, Kinston Recreation Department, and a local business, Riverside Bicycles and Outdoor Sports. Everyone paddled away without any problems or delay. And what an incredible sight; 35 boats of many colors headed slowly down river.
Shortly after starting out, one of our more experienced paddlers had a chance to show the newcomers what not to do while kayaking. This paddler flipped his craft while holding his cell phone in hand and camcorder strapped around his neck. Both items unfortunately meet their untimely demise. The paddler came away unscathed, although a little embarrassed.
We had a brief respite to eat lunch provided by the organizers. After lunch, everyone clambered back into their watercraft and paddled away. As the river winds through Kinston, the hustle and bustle of city noise can be heard. But within 20 minutes all was quiet, except for the conversation between paddlers and the calls of nature.
Wildlife is abundant along the Neuse River. Otters can be seen swimming along the bank. Many types of birds are seen flying around the river as well as nesting in nearby trees. Fish native to Eastern North Carolina inhabit the river, mostly of the pan fish variety, but some larger fish too. Though my knowledge of historical information of this river is lacking, some of the paddlers brought to my attention areas of interest relative to the Civil War.
After 3 hours of paddling, we came to our destination. What an enjoyable trip. Those who had never paddled before were looking forward to another paddling experience. The others with paddling experience were already planning for their next voyage.
There are several motels/hotels located in Kinston.
There are also several restaurants to choose from.
"Riverside Bicycles and Outdoor Sports" is a local business that provides guided trips in the area.
No fees or permits required to paddle.
State Fishing License is required for fishing.
Kinston is located 75 miles east of Raleigh (the state capital), on Highway 70.
"Paddling Eastern North Carolina" by Paul Ferguson