Goose Creek is a destination short on distance, long on wildlife viewing opportunities.

From the put-in off Dinah’s Landing Road (SR 1365) there’s not much more than a mile of paddling up Goose Creek. But that’s distance a plenty to take in the vast array of nature here on the northern shore of the Pamlico River.

Red cedar, black gum, red maple, tupelo, loblolly pine and cypress are most obvious, towering above along the banks. The understory is rich with wax myrtle, gallberry and red bay. Spanish moss hangs tinsel-like from the trees. Not surprisingly, this is great habitat for birds. Marsh wrens, waterfowl, rails and species of herons and egrets abound, as do barred owls and red-shouldered hawks. Fall and spring migrants, including the tundra swan and Canada geese, love to stop over at Goose Creek.

Critterwise you have the usual swamp denizens. Frogs, turtles and snakes, including the banded and red-bellied water snakes and venomous cottonmouth are here, also keep an eye peeled for minks, muskrats, raccoons and river otters. More land-based mammals include bobcats, black bears, gray foxes and red wolves, though actual sightings of each are rare.

Goose Creek offers a taste of blackwater swamp paddling minus the arduous paddling to get there.

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Getting there from downtown Greenville
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 45 minutes from downtown Greenville
Time to complete: 1-2 hours
Address: 2190 Camp Leach Road
City: Washington
State: N.C.
Zip: 27889
Latitude: 35.4818
Longitude: 76.9014