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Roanoke River in North Carolina

Trip Overview

We began a two day trip at the wildlife access at the Highway 258 Bridge, northeast of Scotland Neck, NC. We launched out about 9:50 a.m. The weather was perfect-75 to 80 degrees and sunny. We could tell the river was up because there was a lot of debris floating down. There were entire trees floating down the river. This was evidently due to the recent rains that Hurricane Frances had dumped and the power plant upstream at Roanoke Rapids.

At the 1 hour and 45 minute mark we reached our first landmark, and old rotating train trestle bridge. We were quite surprised to see this so soon because this marked a distance of 8.3 miles, which is fast for a canoe loaded down with camping equipment. This was a perfect stop for our first break.

After a 25 minute lunch break we headed out again. We soon came to buzzard point, a wetlands wildlife area. We saw many hawks and a few buzzards along this area. At one point I counted 9 hawks in one area. We also saw many fish jumping. We identified at least two species, blackfish and rockfish (striper). We found a camping spot around 2:45 at buzzard point at the 17 mile mark. We saw deer tracks and many large old trees at this site.

The next day we awoke to a surprise. The river had risen 15 vertical inches overnight! This again was probably as a result of the power plant generating electricity. After a quick breakfast, we launched out at 7:30 a.m. Along this leg we saw herons, ducks and one eagle. As we neared the takeout we began to see some fishing boat traffic and small weekend shacks. We arrived at our takeout at 1:15, at the Main Street wildlife access in Hamilton. This trip was a total distance of 38.1 miles. This was a nice quiet trip with very limited human contact. This is a good trip for someone looking to get away from it all.


The standard fast food places in Scotland Neck and Hamilton. Limited hotels.




Highway 64E to 903N to 258N

  • Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip