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  • Something in the Water
    The water quality of the Cape Fear River was a major concern in 2017 There is no doubt that it will ... read more
  • Winter Thaw
    What a difference 50 degrees can make Last Thursday there was a layer of snow on the ground four inc... read more
  • Working the Weather Window
    It s less than one week before Christmas but you wouldn t know it by stepping outside As I write thi... read more

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Lumbering On!

For the last installment in my series on spring and summer paddling escapes, I'll be focusing on the Lumber River.  The Lumber, like the Black, is dark in hue because of the tannins that leech into the water. It's also rain dependent for water levels and runs high or low depending on precipitation. The Lumber famously experienced record flooding during Hurricane Mathew, but water levels have since returned to normal. The Lumber River State Park is a good place to start your journey on the river. The park has ample parking, rest rooms, camping options and a good put in.  Starting at the state park, you can paddle the 12 miles down river to your take out in the town of Fair Bluff. This is a point to point paddle, so you'll need to leave a vehicle in Fair Bluff for the shuttle back to the park. This stretch of the river has very little development and very little boat traffic, outside of canoes, kayaks, and a john boat or two. Wildlife is abundant, with bear, deer, otter and beaver frequently sighted. Ibis, heron, and osprey can also be seen in flight or hunting for fish on the banks. When water levels are low, there are numerous sand bars that provide a good spot to pull off for lunch or a swim. Water temps hover around 80 degrees, which makes for a refreshing dip during the hot summer months. The Lumber has received national designation as a natural and scenic river.  Once you paddle it for yourself, it's easy to see why!


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The water quality of the Cape Fear River was a major concern in 2017. There is no doubt that it will be an issue in 2018 as well. Rivers have long served farm and town as depositories for animal waste...


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Experience first hand what it's like to kayak with the Expedition Organization.

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.

The Expedition Organization  102 Brookwood Avenue  Wilmington, NC 28403  (910) 200-1594  Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.