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Thinking about doing a trip on the Neuse from Falls Lake Dam to New Bern. Anyone ever done this? How many portages are there and how major are they? How long would it take and are there places to camp?

Thanks.
Dan
 

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one note !!!!! DO NOT FORGET Milburnie Dam- several miles downstream from Fall's Lake Dam and maybe 3-4 miles downstream from Buffalo road. You'll definitely NOT want to paddle over that and if you do- you will not live to tell about it. I have no idea how many miles it is nor how long it may take but if you pick a time- I'd add at least a couple days to it for unknown's and let people you know where your at as often as posible in case you run into any emergencies- etc.
 

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I've done it from Poole Rd. to Buxton. River beyond flood stage in the early 80's. It's slower going when the water is high. You would think it would be the opposite but it's not. Pool Rd. to Smithfield in the first day. Second day push through the mashes to Quaker Neck. That's a long day.

I would allow 5 days to New Bern on the bottom end and that's not lolly gagging along.
 

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Nice long haul. As it gets warmer there will be a lot of sandbars to camp out on. Once you leave Milburnie there shouldn't be any more dams in the way, all open water.
 

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Its on my bucket list my research told me my speed of travel and fishing the whole way it would takeme 7/8 days to get to new been . I definitely agree that lower water would be better not just for paddling but it offers more sand bars for camping . I imagine that in this day and age you would have service for most the trip and if you posted here you might find someone to join you if that's what you would like
 

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You may want to take a look at what is going on at Falls lake as far as when and how much water they release. That would have an effect on water levels and available sandbars.
Neuseway park at Kinston is a very good campground if that would work out with your paddling schedule. It has nice showers. I think there is a website for it, but you may have to look up Kinston/Lenoir County. If you care to eat out, there are restaurants within walking distance.
 

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I was at maple cypress boat ramp Friday afternoon/evening and group of kayakers pulled in doing this very thing. They were setting up camp on the grass area beside the boat ramp. They had been on the river 7 days I believe and said they were going to new bern. Then they were going to drive to where they could paddle to cape lookout and camp. It was probably 12 or 14 people.
 

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You may want to take a look at what is going on at Falls lake as far as when and how much water they release. That would have an effect on water levels and available sandbars.
Neuseway park at Kinston is a very good campground if that would work out with your paddling schedule. It has nice showers. I think there is a website for it, but you may have to look up Kinston/Lenoir County. If you care to eat out, there are restaurants within walking distance.
To give you an idea of how high the river was when I went through. Couldn't wait to get to the Cliffs of the Neuse state park so we could get a shower. It was closed due to high water. I think I paddled through the woods to get around log jams as much as I paddled in the river channel. The river was way out of it's banks.
 

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Drumrunner will most likely agree, but the "mashes" is one stretch where you are out in the "no where". Several years ago we did that stretch and it is isolated. Wild feral hogs and all.
Small ones are tasty. ;)
I fish the stretch from Poole to 42 Clayton a bit(13 miles) and have paddled it at its lowest and have paddled it as it was Friday afternoon.
High water will have you makin some real time if you are traveling.
On an extreme high water time one of those 2 bridges you come to before covered bridge was completely log jammed end to end and you had to paddle hard for a low spot in the jam and ride up on the jam. Pulled the yaks over and went on.
Get side to, on a jam like that and yer gonna get sucked down and under fast.
 

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We call it the MASHES. Had a preacher tell me he saw a lion in the mashes. Now most folks would think that was one of them drinking and dancing preachers that would say such.
I didn't doubt him. I wouldn't doubt there was a lion or even a gorilla in the mashes. I wouldn't doubt there was union calvary in quicksand pits having been lead off by the locals into a trap either. There are stories of such.

Folks that lives in the mashes are called mash rabbits by some folks. They have their own language and dialect. At least the old folks do. A lot of thees and thous, dit, and dat. Four oaks paper used to run a whole page article called life in dis mashes at Christmas every year. If you aint from here it will take you a while to read and comprehend that article because it is written in rabbit-eze. If you are from here...well it will probably take just as long.


Anybody wants to see where the mashes is look at a map. Starting where the Neuse passes under the I-95 bridge to down abouts Quaker Neck. Look at what that river does in there. Holy cow that is a mess. Notice how few roads and bridges there are in that stretch of river. You can canoe through that place and never hear a dog bark. You get snake bit in there you are toast.

There is land in the mashes that has never been deeded. All you would have to do is get to it with your 4 stakes and lay claim to it. Problem is, that land is probably going to be under water 4 months of the year and there aint no road or easement to it. All you got is the river buddy high or low.
 

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We call it the MASHES. Had a preacher tell me he saw a lion in the mashes. Now most folks would think that was one of them drinking and dancing preachers that would say such.
I didn't doubt him. I wouldn't doubt there was a lion or even a gorilla in the mashes. I wouldn't doubt there was union calvary in quicksand pits having been lead off by the locals into a trap either. There are stories of such.

Folks that lives in the mashes are called mash rabbits by some folks. They have their own language and dialect. At least the old folks do. A lot of thees and thous, dit, and dat. Four oaks paper used to run a whole page article called life in dis mashes at Christmas every year. If you aint from here it will take you a while to read and comprehend that article because it is written in rabbit-eze. If you are from here...well it will probably take just as long.


Anybody wants to see where the mashes is look at a map. Sartting where the Neuse passes under the I-95 bridge to down abouts Quaker Neck. Look at what that river does in there. Holy cow that is a mess. Notice how few roads and bridges there are in that stretch of river. You can canoe through that place and never hear a dog bark. You get snake bit in there you are toast.

There is land in the mashes that has never been deeded. All you would have to do is get to it with your 4 stakes and lay claim to it. Problem is, that land is probably going to be under water 4 months of the year and there aint no road or easement to it. All you got is the river buddy.


It is an Isolated place. I worked in Smithfield for 9 or so years and made some good friends down there. One actually lets me use his private ramp in that section. Several of them have seen plenty of bears in there and even a few gators in those oxbows off the river....look at that stretch from I-95 to Richardson bridge or so and look at all the oxbows off the river......probably more oxbows per mile than any other river in nc.....
I took nats dad down there last year and he really liked it. Mack
 
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