Two sections of the Lumber River have been designated Wild and Scenic by the National Park Service: from Black Swamp downstream to the South Carolina state line and the first 22 miles, from SR 1412 downstream to the Scotland/Robeson County Line. It’s the first 8.3 miles of the later that we paddle here.

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.

Access and shuttle

lumber river
Difficulty: Easy
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
City: Hoffman
State: N.C.
Zip: 28347
Put-in latitude: 34 58.416
Put-in longitude: -79 22.648