Actually, depending upon which definition of the Lumber River you subscribe to this is a two-river trip. Some say the put-in for this trip is actually on Drowning Creek, that the Lumber doesn’t officially begin until Drowning Creek and Buffalo Creek merge about a mile downstream. Regardless, this is a nice stretch of water, especially in summer when cypress overhanging the river provide welcome shelter from the sun.
At about the 5.6-mile mark the river enters the Chalks Banks section of Lumber River State Park, offering an opportunity to pull over and explore before paddling the final 2.7 miles to the US 401 take-out.
More info and maps: The Lumber River Conservancy website, “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” by Paul Ferguson.
Getting there: From Raeford, head west on N.C. 211 and follow this map.
Length: 115 miles, Section 1 (described, “Paddling Eastern North Carolina”) is 8.3 miles
Time to complete: 3-5 hours
Location: Scotland County/Lumber River State Park
Put-in latitude: 34 58.416
Put-in longitude: -79 22.648