According to Paul Ferguson (see More info, below), there’s 182 miles of paddling on the Tar River between Oxford in the Piedmont and Washington (N.C.) on the cusp of the coast. Section 3 is perhaps the Tar’s friskiest stretch.

Much of the rapids action is in the first half or so of this section, the last, according to Ferguson, under 4 miles in where the river constricts to about 25 feet in width.

The scenery, however, continues. Lush hills rise up to 150 feet above the river and you’ll see limited development on this stretch of the Tar. Take a moment during those flat water lulls to appreciate the scenery.

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 there from downtown Raleigh

Photo: Tar River Land Conservancy

Rating: Class I-II+
Length: 6.3 miles
Drive: 35 minutes from downtown
Put-in: NC 96 bridge
Latitude: 36.1174
Longitude: 78.3505
Take-out: Green Hill Road bridge
Latitude: 36.1048
Longitude: 78.2968
Time to complete: 2-2.5 hours
Gauge: USGS Tar River near Tar River
Minimum flow: 130 cfs
City: Oxford
State: NC