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What's Drifting

  • Unscheduled
    It s Coastal Camp week with YMCA Camp Hanes For the last three years The Expedition Organization has... read more
  • Liquidity
    Recently I was guiding a small group down a section of the Black River Due to recent rain the water ... read more
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    Here we are at the end of June and we have been having a nice break from the typical heat and humidi... read more

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Cape Fear River Expeditions

The Three Sisters Black River Expedition

Take a trip back through time on the natural and scenic Black River! Our put in is at Beatty's Bridge where the river runs wide. Within the first four miles the river begins to tighten and twist and all signs of civilization begin to recede. Water levels drop signifagantly by mile six, and then we enter the primordial Three Sisters Channel and the Narrows. Befitting it's name, the Narrows wind you through a maze of Cypress knees and trees, some of which are estimated to be upwards of 1700 years old! At just under a mile we exit the Narrows and enter the wide expance of the Black. The next five miles remain wild and scenic, with Cone's Folly, a private wilderness preserve lining the banks of the Black. At 12.9 miles, our pull out is at Haw's Bluff.  Truly a unique experience, this down river paddle will give you new appreciation for this historic river and the ancient behemoths that have stood the test of time!

 

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ROUTE: Down river from Beatty's Bridge to Haw's Bluff Wildlife Access.

DISTANCE: 12.9 miles

RATING: Intermediate

APPROXIMATE TIME: 4 hours

PRICE: $80.00

The Barrier Islands Expedition

This expedition starts with a put in at River Road Park. Once on the water we run parallel to River Road and paddle through the barrier island chain that straddles the river and the shipping channel. These primitive islands serve as a prime habitat for ibis, heron, Bald Eagle, pelican and osprey as well as many other species of bird. As we approach the Port of Wilmington, the more rustic aspects of this route give way the more urban aspects of shipping. Seeing the port by way of kayak provides a perspective on the port that few people get a chance to witness!  Our pull out takes place at the state of the art kayak platform at Dram Tree Park. The restaurants, shops, and river walk of downtown are less than one mile from our take out

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ROUTE: Put in at River Road Park boat ramp.

Take out at Dram Tree Park kayak platform

DISTANCE: 8 miles

RATING: Intermediate

APPROXIMATE TIME: 4 hours

PRICE: $70.00

Brunswick River - Full Day

We begin at the Brunswick Nature Park with a unique put-in experience featuring a floating kayak and canoe platform at a confluence of the Brunswick and Cape Fear Rivers. The platform allows the paddler to roll gently into either body of water. The Brunswick River Expedition offers two options. The first is a 4 mile out-and-back paddle that highlights a scenic, primitive section of the Brunswick River. Osprey, owl, and wood duck are often spotted along this route. Option two is a point-to-point paddle that starts at the Brunswick Nature Park and features all elements of the out-and-back paddle, but continues down the Brunswick River until it meets the Cape Fear River. Along with a variety of bird life, there are opportunities to see alligator along the way. Leaving the Brunswick River and entering the Cape Fear also gives the paddler a unique perspective on the size of this mighty river. We paddle down river approximately 1 mile and then cross the Cape Fear to finish our paddle at the take out in River Road Park.

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ROUTE: Brunswick River

DISTANCE: 8 miles

RATING: Intermediate

APPROXIMATE TIME: 5 hours

PRICE: $80

Brunswick River Expedition - Half Day

We begin at the Brunswick Nature Park with a unique put-in experience featuring a floating kayak and canoe platform at a confluence of the Brunswick and Cape Fear Rivers. The platform allows the paddler to roll gently into either body of water. The Brunswick River Expedition offers two options. The first is a 4 mile out-and-back paddle that highlights a scenic, primitive section of the Brunswick River. Osprey, owl, and wood duck are often spotted along this route. Option two is a point-to-point paddle that starts at the Brunswick Nature Park and features all elements of the out-and-back paddle, but continues down the Brunswick River until it meets the Cape Fear River. Along with a variety of bird life, there are opportunities to see alligator along the way. Leaving the Brunswick River and entering the Cape Fear also gives the paddler a unique perspective on the size of this mighty river. We paddle down river approximately 1 mile and then cross the Cape Fear to finish our paddle at the take out in River Road Park.

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ROUTE: The Brunswick River

DISTANCE: 4 miles

RATING: Beginner

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 hours

PRICE: $60

Sharks Tooth Island and Keg Island Expedition

Just off River Road Park near the State Port and Downtown Wilmington is one of the more interesting island chains in the Cape Fear River. Sharks Tooth Island is an easy paddle from our put-in at River Road Park, and, befitting its name, hosts a variety of shark's teeth and other fossils resulting from the dredging that took place to create the Cape Fear shipping channel. A small bag is necessary for fossil hunting as some of the shark's teeth are smaller than the nail of your pinky finger. From Sharks Tooth Island we circumnavigate Keg Island with a two-mile paddle viewing one of the few primitive barrier islands in the Cape Fear. Keg Island is unique in that one end of the island is comprised of sand and marsh grass, while the other end features high ground and a small pine forest.

If you are looking for a comprehensive paddling experience, check out our full moon paddle and overnight camping on Keg Island, offered monthly through The Expedition Organization.

 

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ROUTE: Sharks Tooth Island and Keg Island Expedition

DISTANCE: 3 miles

RATING: Beginner

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 hours

PRICE: $50

The Black River Expedition

About 40 miles North of Wilmington, near the historic community of Ivanhoe, is the wildlife access put in for the Black River. From here we start our down-river paddle on one of the most beautiful rivers in Southeastern, NC. The Black River is aptly named, as the water shifts from toffee brown to tea-like amber as we meander along its curves and around its sandbars. The shifting hue of the water is a result of tannins leaching from the surrounding vegetation. Our paddle will take us along low, pristine beaches and high banks with stands of Oak, Pine and Cypress. Some of the oldest trees in North American are located on the Black River, with some Cypress estimated at upwards of 2,000 years old. A variety of bird life can be observed on the Black River, including White and Blue Heron, Ibis, Red Tail Hawk and Wood Duck. The ever-elusive River Otter can also be spotted diving and surfacing in the dark current. We will pull out at Beatty's Bridge, which provides easy access back to Hwy 421.

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ROUTE: Black River

DISTANCE: 8 miles

RATING: Intermediate

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 Hours

PRICE: $60.00

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.