The Deep’s name is deceptive: it refers not to the depth of the river but rather, it’s believed, to the steep banks found along much of the river. Thus, the river is not always runnable, as one might assume. But it often is, even when other regional rivers have dried up (for paddling purposes).

Stretches of the river are, however, rocky, which leads to the frisky drops found on this stretch of the river. Breached dams from the river’s industrial past also add to the fun. The Deep offers a nice mix of thrill interspersed with placid paddling, the ideal passage for a flatwater paddler looking to venture into the more challenging stuff.

For a complete description of this stretch, including hazards, consult “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” (see below).

More info, including maps and access: “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” Paul Ferguson (2007, Pocosin Press).

Getting to put-in from downtown Chapel Hill

Photo: Two paddlers putting in on the Deep River, at the Triangle Land Conservancy’s McIver Landing.


Rating: Class I-II
Length: 6.8 miles
Drive: 1 hour 10 minutes from downtown
Put-in: N. Howard Mill Road bridge
Latitude: 35.3003
Longitude: 79.3484
Take-out: NC 22 bridge
Latitude: 35.2869
Longitude: 79.3116
Time to complete: 2.5-3 hours
Gauge: USGS Deep River at Ramseur
Minimum flow: 200 cfs
City: Moore County
State: NC