We like the Neuse River and its assorted tributaries upstream from New Bern in part because a day behind the paddle can be followed — apres paddle, if you will — with a trip to downtown for dinner and a beer. We also like the area because there are so many options, from tight, intimate passages beneath Spanish moss-draped cypress to the open-water thrill of the ever-widening Neuse. For our purposes today, we’ll go with Bachelor Creek, which offers a smorgasbord of regional paddling.

This trips starts intimate, with high banks on your left, wetlands with trees on your right. As you make your way with minimal help from a nearly barely perciptible current, you’ll encounter various cuts and numerous islands. At roughly 7 miles the Twin Rivers Paddlers Club recommends hanging a right at the Quarry Channel for a half-mile loop that promises to be “most rewarding.” As you near the Neuse, near the end of the paddle, Bachelor Creek widens as you paddle through marsh grass.

Oh, and among the hazards listed for this trip: snakes and alligators.

More info and maps

Getting there: From U.S. 70 west of New Bern, go here..

Access and shuttle

bachelor creek
Difficulty: Moderate to demanding (distance and some open water)
Length: 8.2 miles
Time to complete: 4-6 hours
Location: Craven County
City: New Bern
State: N.C.
Zip: 28562
Put-in latitude: 35 10.688
Put-in longitude: –77 07.883