Kayaking the Roanoke River

On May 23rd the myself and the On the Outside crew set out on a 30 mile paddle down the Roanoke River. Our trip started in Weldon, down the Roanoke to the Tillery camping platforms where we spent the night before we continued onto Scotland Neck. Even though the river was much higher than normal from rain the week before, we couldn’t have asked for better weather for our trip. For the majority of the trip we had bald eagles flying over head from one side of the river to the other. The current was with us and made the paddle bearable for the four of us novice kayakers.

Kayaking the Roanoke River

Our route from Weldon to the Scotland Neck

The Launch

After we unloaded our gear, and packed our kayaks we were greeted by the mayor of Weldon, NC who asked about what we had planned for out trip. We joked that our trip was so ambitious the mayor came down to see us off. We launched from the sidewalk leading to the kayak launch since water was so high.

The Paddle

The first leg of the paddle was pretty smooth going, we took our time which put us to camp a bit later than expected, but in the long run it all worked out. Part of that wasted time was spent having a good laugh after I rolled my boat at the bank for a pitstop. I lost my phone, sunglasses, and a shoe. Good thing Alan brought a pair of flip flops. The scenery was awesome — we had blue skies and soaring eagles the whole way down river. I had pictures, but there somewhere on the bottom of the river now.

Tillery Camping Platform

Our camp for the night. Hard to spot from the water,  equally as hard to find from the road, and covered in poison ivy. The camping area has a raised platform, a screened in plat form as well as an outhouse, but we all chose to hammock on this trip. Sam took a little time to clear up the walk way before we left too, leaving things better than we found them.

Lunch Time on the River

On the second leg of the trip we had a chance to stop on the bank with out flipping a boat giving us time to eat. A pack of ramen noodles, some dehydrated burger and pasta sauce and you’ve got trail spaghetti.

The Finish Line

After another long paddle, and Curt assuring us that “the bridge should be around this next bend” after five bends in the river, we made it to Scotland Neck. It was an awesome trip with some great friends and I’m sure it won’t be the last one.

If you’re interested in paddling the Roanoke, you can check out the Roanoke River Partners website for more information.