North Carolina Beautiful Paddles

A group I met in Wilmington, NC is paddling to a place called Bear Island in August. I won’t be here then but I hate to miss out on such a fun trip so I started to look into the place to go myself. I ended up finding a great website devoted to paddling guides for East North Carolina called Beautiful Paddles. Great job they do outlining the trip, providing maps, insider tips and pictures. I decided to do 2 trips from this site.

Thursday evening (7/14) I did the New Bern trail. A 3 hour paddle near by. It was a warm day but a beautiful paddle. Long day considering I also have to pack up so that I can get out of here Saturday evening.  It was a beautiful paddle, I found the hidden ‘lake’ and saw a beaver/otter swimming by multiple times. I didn’t do the full circuit as storms were coming but a nice paddle overall.

There were birds of prey in the trees.

Friday I woke up, went to early Yoga, put in a day’s work and then headed to do my next paddle. This was an overnight camping paddling to a place called Bear Island, a part of Hammocks Beach State Park. I booked a primitive camp site for Friday night on the beach side, campsite #6. Upon arriving at the park you have to leave something of yours to use the cart to get your kayak down to the dock where they have great canoe/kayak launches. When I arrived winds were around 12-14 mph with white caps. I was in for a long paddle! Little did I know. I had done a poor job reading the details from beautiful paddles and only remembered in my head to follow the orange markers. I thought that meant the orange buoys. It did not! 2.5 hours later, after paddling against strong head winds with gusts,  I finally arrived at the beach. There were times as I was paddling as hard as I could but moving only inches, it seemed, I started to think how tired I was and how hard. But I know that attitude matters and by reminding myself that I was out here because I enjoyed it, because I wanted to enjoy the scenery and paddling to a place I can’t get to by foot, I quickly turned my mind around. As soon as I quit my negative attitude and reminded myself why I was here, without even thinking about it the words ‘This is Awesome!’ came to me. A reminder to me and others that your attitude can make the difference between a good and a bad experience, that even when things aren’t going your way, how you think about it, will determine how you experience it.

Campsite # 6. Directly to the left of where you land your kayak. Awesome site! Note for paddlers, make sure you are there at high tide or you will not be able to get through the lagoon to paddle to the back side of the campsites.

I was able to get my tent set up with minutes to spare before a storm came. Thankfully it quickly cleared. The beach was awesome, I loved my campsite, I loved the beach, I loved the quiet. The biting bugs were a hassle once the sunset and before full sunrise (vicious creatures) but overall it was a nice stay.

I returned home Saturday morning, finished packing up and started my drive to my next location. I was supposed to leave on Sunday but it’s over 7 hours of driving and that’s a bit much in an RV. I decided to leave Saturday night and camped in a great rest stop on I-40.

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2 thoughts on “North Carolina Beautiful Paddles

  1. Awesome details. Felt like I was there with you. Loves the statement about attitude, and yes you are 100% correct on that. I am so glad that you are enjoying these wonderful adventures. I love you and can't wait to see you again.

  2. Awesome details. Felt like I was there with you. Loves the statement about attitude, and yes you are 100% correct on that. I am so glad that you are enjoying these wonderful adventures. I love you and can't wait to see you again.

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