Black River


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Black River: The Black River is one of our most popular paddling destinations. The river has sufficient water for paddling even in droughts and runs through land that is largely undisturbed forest. The Black River is also popular because of its numerous sandbars that line its banks and sandy bottoms. These sandbars are a wonderful location to pull over for a quick rest or even for a relaxing lunch on the beautiful river.

This river’s blackwater swamps contain some of the oldest known living trees in eastern North America. Water ash and cat-briar form a canopy of dense thickets along the banks of the river. Elsewhere along the river, variations in elevation allow for changes in the forest from black gum and tupelo gum in lower areas, to water hickory, American elm, and some oak species on the ridges. In a few places, dry upland bluffs along the river support longleaf pines and turkey oaks.

In 1994, the river was recognized as one of the cleanest, high-quality waterways in North Carolina when the state designated the river an Outstanding Resource Water. Many wildlife species inhabit the river’s floodplain, including turkey, deer, bobcat, river otter, black bear, and more. Although we can never guarantee that you will see lots wildlife on this river, the possibility is always there.

The Black River is perfect to kayak throughout the year. You will enjoy drifting down the slow-moving tea-colored river lined by its large variety of old growth trees. The river is also a great place to view the fall foliage change in eastern North Carolina. In the spring, you can see migratory songbirds nesting.

Two possible full day adventures including possible overnight adventure

  • Black River / Ivanhoe (Ivanhoe Road to Beattys Bridge Road) – Three Quarter Day / 7.6 mile float (most popular)
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  • Black River / Three Sisters Adventure (Beattys Bridge Road to Hunts Bluff) – Full Day /12.9 mile float (most difficult when water is low)
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Adventure Cost:

  • Single Person: $200 per person
  • Group of 2-5 Persons: $90 per person
  • Group of 6-10 Persons: $70 per person