Roanoke River

Weldon, North Carolina 27890

Roanoke River

Roanoke River Professional Review and Guide

"The Roanoke River begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern Virginia. It is known as the Staunton River for the last 85 miles in Virginia. Near the Virginia and North Carolina border, it is impounded in three back-to-back lakes: Kerr Reservoir, Lake Gaston, and Roanoke Rapids Lake. Flow in the river below Roanoke Rapids Lake is regulated by a hydroelectric project. Flow is usually 2,000–14,000 cfs but can go as high as 20,000 cfs depending on power needs.

Upstream of Roanoke Rapids, the Roanoke River drains almost 8,400 square miles. It provides whitewater before flowing over the Fall Line and entering the Coastal Plain below Weldon. Downstream, there is little development and only four bridges as it flows past Halifax, Hamilton, Williamston, Jamesville, and Plymouth before reaching Albemarle Sound. A paddling trip from Roanoke Rapids to Plymouth covers 124 miles. Because there are large distances between access points, some of the river sections are usually paddled as campers. Between Hamilton and Williamston, camping is allowed on the state-owned Roanoke River Wetlands."

Roanoke River Reviews

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Section 2 Update: A new camping platform, Tillery, is at mile 15.1, It is unique among the other platforms because it has a roof, screened in area, privy, and offers access from road or river. Using the Tillery access area allows Section 2 to be divided into 2 sections of 15.1 and 13.2 miles. Sections 5–6 Update: A rail trail now connects the US 13/17 boating access to downtown Williamston. The Skewarkee Trail, a mile-long former CSX Railroad right of way, extends from the heart of Williamston to the Wildlife Resources boat ramp. Paddlers can easily walk along the scenic trail to nearby shopping and sightseeing. The trail eventually will connect by a raised river walk to Moratoc Park, a public recreation area on the right bank, 0.3 miles upstream from the boating access. The river walk also will include a camping platform that will become part of the Roanoke River Paddle Trail. Section 6 Update: A report was received from a group of paddlers planning to enter Devil's Gut (mi 2.9). They were expecting to first see Sweetwater Creek (mi 2.0) but missed it. When they came to Devil's Gut entrance, they thought it was Sweetwater Creek. The mouth of Sweetwater Creek is about 30 feet wide and enters as the Roanoke River flows southeast. Devil's Gut entrance is about 50 feet wide and is where the Roanoke River is flowing east and swinging to the northeast. There are no signs marking either stream.

Roanoke River Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Class III
Gauge information and route specifics are provided for each section in the eTrail.
Local Contacts
USGS Roanoke Rapids, Weldon, Halifax, Boones Crossroads, Scotland Neck, Norfleet, Plamyra, Woodville, Hamilton, Quitsna, Williamston, Windsor South, Jamesville, Plymouth West, Woodard
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018