Neuse River Run: Poole Road -> Milburnie Dam

I live close by the Neuse and so I spend a disproportionate amount of time on it compared to other rivers. One of the things I really like about it is that, especially during the summer, it is often low and slow enough to go up it. So, you can often get by with only one car and just go upstream and turn around.

The pictures below are from starting at Poole Road and going up to Milburnie Dam.

About The Run

I’ve been up and down the Neuse from Wake Forrest -> Goldsborro and I never get tired of the Milburnie -> Poole Road run. I think that during normal conditions, the small set of rapids right before Poole road is probably the only set of rapids all the way to Goldsborro to speak of. I typically like to skirt to the side, so as not to get wet, but you can just go down them too.

It is always neat to check out the Dam too, sometimes you see people fishing with nets out there and wading around under the Dam.

Depending on the time of day and temperature, I can usually make it up to the dam and back in a few hours.

Keeping the Neuse Clean

This weekend, I was going upstream and ran into a pile of trash left over after someone had a fire by the river-bank and wished for the hundredth time that I had remembered to bring a trash bag with me. Well, about 30 minutes later while stopped under the bridge, I noticed some trash and a grocery store bag that was empty and just lying on the ground. I filled this bag and another one that I found with bottles, cans, plastic containers, fishing line, and other trash. Unfortunately, Its not a lot, a tear-drop in a bucket really, as there is still a ton of trash on the river.

As someone who frequents the Neuse River, and well any river that is near people really, it can be painful to see all the trash that ends up polluting these wonderful places. From people that fish the banks and then just leave their trash to things that end up in the river from the roads, it can be both disturbing and disgusting to see how some people treat nature.

So, I always try to clean up a little whenever I go out. Often this is cleaning the boat ramp at Poole Road, where people fish and then just leave their trash. It seems like every time I go out there, I clean up several bags of trash from weekend fishers.

2 thoughts on “Neuse River Run: Poole Road -> Milburnie Dam

  1. You seem to be a wealth of kayaking info so let me pose a couple questions.

    First what do you think of doing a Neuse River dam to ocean trip on a sit on top 10′ wilderness kayak?

    Also is there a section that goes between two granite/rock walls?

    I live in Raleigh and have done a couple trips from Dam to Buffaloe Rd.

    Is there a local kayaking web site to get in with some groups?

  2. Dan, I will reply with this via email too, because it has been awhile, but to answer your questions.

    >First what do you think of doing a Neuse River dam to ocean trip on a sit on top 10′ wilderness kayak?

    I do want to go all the way to the coast some time, although doing it on the Cape Fear and Roanoke Rivers will likely take precedence over the Neuse.

    I would go with something over 12’+, as when you start getting into doing distance, such as the 275 or so miles it would be to the coast, a 10′ boat isn’t going to track all that well and you are going to loose a lot of efficiency.

    Personally, I am not a big fan of sit-on-tops, so it would not be my preference, but assuming you did a good job of packing/securing your gear, I am sure it would be possible. Although, again, the efficiency you loose with most sit-on-tops would be a deal breaker for me.

    >Also is there a section that goes between two granite/rock walls?

    I have been all the way from Falls Lake to Goldsboro, which I think is in the 60-80 mile range(it has been awhile since I checked.)

    I can not recall any super dramatic sections like that, although there are some places with big rocks on one side, such as on the right a mile or two past Auburn Knightdale Road. Closer to the Clayton side, there are also a few places where the river sits quite low, so you have rather high hills on either side.

    If you get the chance, I really enjoy the sections past Auburn Knightdale/Covered Bridge Road, as it feels much cleaner. I have a few of these runs here:

    >Is there a local kayaking web site to get in with some groups?

    You might want to check out the Carolina Kayak Club. There are a number of members in the area and they do local paddles periodically(or you can try to organize your own.)

    There are a few chances to get some additional training and/or instruction throughout the year as well.

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