Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lumber River , SC 08/23/08

The Lumber River State Park contains 8,438 acres of land
and 115 miles of state natural and scenic waters,
81 miles of which are also designated national wild and scenic waters.
What a wonderful place to paddle and camp!

The Lumber River is the only blackwater river in North Carolina.
The river flows freely along its entire course, making it one of the longest unobstructed rivers in North Carolina.

Location & Canoeable Mileage

-- For an epic journey of about 140 miles that includes the Lumber, Little Pee Dee, and even some of the tidewater on the Great Pee Dee and its distributaries, start out in Lumberton, NC. It will take you about 10 days to work your way down the Lumber, Little Pee Dee, a few miles on the Great Pee Dee, then down Bull Creek, and finally ending up on the Waccamaw River (Intracoastal Waterway). Your final take out should be Wachesaw Landing, near Murrells Inlet, SC. This trip will allow you to experience the evolution of the river from a small winding stream to the tidal waters of the ICW. You will float about 60 miles on the Lumber River, another 60 miles or so on the Little Pee Dee, 6 miles on the Great Pee Dee, 10 miles on Bull Creek (really the main channel of the Great Pee Dee), and 4 miles on the Waccamaw River. If you want a shorter trip and enjoy the smaller river experience, take out at one of the many landings on the Little Pee Dee. If you prefer the larger rivers but only have 6-7 days, start at Fair Bluff and go all the way down!
A lot more of the upper Lumber River is canoeable seasonally (over 60 miles, putting in as far upstream as the a public landing at route 401 or about seven miles farther upstream at Turnpike Road where Lumber River State Park officially begins). This upper section can be wonderful paddling, but it is dependent on good flow, and it is subject to blockage by fallen trees. Even farther upstream, canoeists enjoy floats on Drowning Creek, the headwaters stream of the Lumber River, when conditions allow.

Interesting Features

-- This river system represents an outstanding example of an Atlantic coastal black water stream. It flows through dense forest and swamp lands. Common species of trees include abundant baldcypress, water tupelo, black gum, and water oak. Due to the remote nature of most of this run, the river has a near-wilderness quality. Where high ground is encountered (rarely in some sections), you will see signs of development such as riverside settlements. There are few long sections between bridges, so you are never too far from civilization.

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