If you like swamps and brown water with a ton of wildlife, there are plenty of opportunities on various portions of this rather short river. I have put in at several places along the river from Everton Point out at the mouth of the river to the dock area adjacent to the vistor's center in Columbia. Up river from Columbia, the river is very quiet and there are numerous opportunities to spot airborne and terrestrial wildlife representative of the area.
On one paddling trip near the mouth of the river I was treated to being escorted by a pod of dolphins. They are rarely seen that far up the Albemarle Sound, but were a treat.
The Spanish moss dangling from the Cypress trees, and the general lack of motor boats, makes paddling here even more enjoyable. The water can sometimes get rough as you get near the mouth of the river where it is about a mile, or 1.5 Km across.
Not necessarily a destination trip, but worth a couple of hours if you are in the area anyway.
In Columbia, NC the put-in can be from the grounds of the visitors center, ask at the desk for where. Nice clean bathrooms and across the street along Main street there are a couple of fun places to eat.
Mapquest to Columbia, NC
Mapquest, Google Earth