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Paddling Trails

Edenton and Chowan County, North Carolina have many paddling trails. Take your kayak or canoe on one of them, which range from beginner to advanced.


Catherine/Warwick Creek

This trail begins in the narrows of the creek and takes the canoeist downstream through scenic hardwood swamps to the edge of the Chowan River. As the stream approaches the river it becomes wider and is dotted with islands of buttressed stemmed cypress tress hanging full of Spanish moss. These beautiful sentinels appear to guard the mouth of the creek and one can only wonder what early explorers thought as they investigated this tributary of the Chowan River. Troutman Creek is a tributary of Catherine/Warwick Creek and offers an additional 4 miles of trail into neighboring Gates County. Warwick Creek forms the county line between Gates and Chowan Counties. It meanders through beautiful hardwood forests on its way to the Chowan River. On calm days, Holladay's Island offers additional paddling opportunities and access to 5 camping platforms. Reservations on the platforms are required and available through the Edenton-Chowan Recreation Department.

Difficulty:Moderate, due to length and open water at mouth of creek
Skill Level:Beginner/intermediate
Distance:5 miles
Time:3-5 hours
Accesses:SR 1232 - Cannons Ferry Rd
Camping:5 platforms on Holladay's Island


Dillard Creek

Beginning at the old milldam this short scenic trail can be completed in a morning or afternoon. This trail has many mature trees bordering its banks which give the effect of canoeing through twin columns of tall ancient sentries. The mouth of the creek becomes quite wide as it dumps its murky tannic acid waters into the Chowan River. Typical to the area, the mouth of the creek is dotted with solitary cypress trees. Located at the milldam is the old mill, which has been converted to electricity. If you are lucky enough to catch the miller in, you can purchase cornmeal ground by the old stones of the mill. Remnants of the millpond are still visible and the canoeist can explore the stream that once fed the millpond and provided power to the mill.

Skill Level:Beginner
Distance:4 miles
Time:2-3 hours
Accesses:SR 1226 - Dillard's Mill Rd


Pembroke Creek

Skill Level:Beginner/intermediate
Distance:4 miles
Time:3 - 4 hours
Accesses:SR 1208 - Wildcat Rd AND SR 1200 - Macedonia Rd / Mexico Rd
Camping:5 platforms adjacent on John's Island


Queen Anne Creek

Skill Level:Beginner
Distance:4 miles
Time:2 - 3 hours
Accesses:1. Edenton Waterfront Park
2. Queen Anne Park
3. NC 32 Bridge
4. Cotton Mill Boardwalk


Rocky Hock Creek/Bennett's Millpond

Picnic area available

Skill Level:Beginner
Distance:Rocky Hock: 4 miles
Bennett;s Mill: 3 miles
Time:Rocky Hock: 3 hours
Bennett's Mill: half /whole day
Accesses:SR 1207 - Rocky Hock Creek Rd / Cowpen Neck Rd
Camping:Yes, Primitive


Cape Colony

Skill Level:Intermediate
Distance:4 miles
Time:2 - 4 hours
Accesses:SR 1120 - Montpelier Dr


For more about paddling trails and camping, see these pages on the website: