Originally founded in 2005 to provide a comprehensive, guided kayak experience on the black water rivers of Southeastern, North Carolina, the Expedition Organization (EO) expanded operations to the Cape Fear River Basin in 2009 with program offerings on the Cape Fear River as well as Masonboro and Eagle Island. There is a wide array of outdoor beauty and opportunities for kayak adventure within this southeastern region offering anything from scenic locations with panoramatic views to diverse wildlife spotting.
One of the many expeditions EO offers that stands out, is Masonboro Island. This 8 miles large, primitive barrier island, accessible only by boat, has been preserved in its natural state. EO's half day paddle offers anything from seashells hunt, picturesque views of the Atantic Ocean to Seat turtle and dolphin spotting.
Other location worth to mention is Lumber River. Considered as one of the NC wonders, this 133-mile-long coastal stream located in the Lumberton is known for its slow moving black water suitable also for beginners. The river remains wide at the start of EO's Lumbar Expedition, but over the first miles it starts to twist and turn around sand bars and Cypress trees where the more primordial features of the Lumber River reveal themselves.
Those not afraid of cold will for sure enjoy one of the best cool weather paddles, the Black river. The Black River is a slow moving, black water river that eventually flows into the much larger Cape Fear River (check Cape Fear tours at EO's website, including beautiful Zeke's Island Reserve or the Sharks Tooth Island, where you can find real shark's teeth!). What the Black is best known for is the ancient bald cypress trees that populate its banks. The river hosts some of the oldest trees east of the Rockies, with several believed to be upwards of 1500 years old. Many of these cypress have trunks that are beveled and hollow at the base. This makes them appear to be dead.
Black River's dead trees
Both the Black and the Lumber River are great for kayak camping for several reasons. One that might play a vital role in deciding on where to stay the night, is that most of the sand bars and beaches that line these rivers are fair game for camping and you are welcome to pull off the water and camp with no reservations or fees. Plus, these areas provide river side camping that is both scenic and easy to access.
If that wouldn't be enough, Sunset/Full Moon Paddle on lake Waccamaw is another treat from EO. The Waccamaw is a black water river with exceptional biodiversity and a rich cultural, historical, and ecological history.Available through Summer, you will not only get to see one of North Carolina's most unique bodies of water but experience a mind-blowing sunset and rising of summer's first full moon.
paddling down the Waccamaw River
Check out the Expedition Organization's website for more.
Photos: © EO