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What's Drifting

  • Fall on the Waccamaw
    Continuing my focus on excellent Fall paddle destinations we now take a virtual tour of one section ... read more
  • Onto the Black
    Continuing my Fall paddle series I would like to take you on a virtual tour of the Black River The B... read more
  • Feels Like Fall
    It s starting to feel like Fall October 1st arrived and it was as if a seasonal switch had been flip... read more

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A Marshy Hide Away

Spring is in full bloom here in Southeastern, NC, with the last vestiges of cool weather almost behind us. April and May are great months for paddling and exploring waterways you can access when the summer onslaught of tourists is upon us. The Brunswick Nature Park is located off Hwy. 133, about a half hour's drive from Wilmington. The park boasts good hiking, equestrian, and mountain bike trails. For paddlers, the draw is the kayak platform that enables access to both the marshes of the Brunswick River, as well as Town Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear River. Just like the platform at Dram Tree Park, it floats at the tide line and enables easy put in and take out.  When guiding on the Brunswick River, I usually program a 4 mile round trip paddle. Inevitably, you will roll with the tide one way, and work against it the other. However, the current within the marshes is never tremendously strong. Wildlife is abundant in this section, and the American Alligator is well represented. You can also spot a variety of bird life, including: osprey, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, and ibis, among others. At the half way point is the Gator Hole Country Store. This is a good opportunity to get out and stretch, as well as use the restroom or grab a cold beverage. Another draw is the lack of large motorized boat traffic. You might see one or two small fishing skiffs, but for the most part it's a paddler's domain. When summer hits, this is a good locale to escape the masses and enjoy the marshy solitude of the Brunswick River.

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Continuing my focus on excellent Fall paddle destinations, we now take a virtual tour of one section of the Waccamaw River. The Waccamaw, like its brethren, the Black and Lumber, is a meandering black...

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Scott Schmolesky has been kayaking for over 20 years and has been an instructor the last ten. Most recently he started the outfitter and guide service, The Expedition Organization which offers guided kayak programs in Southeastern, North Carolina. His paddling adventures have taken him through Australia, Europe, and throughout the U.S. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can read more of his articles here.

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