Canoeing NC Pamlico sound?

I’m going to Cape Hatteras this weekend and want to try out my canoe in the sound. Does anybody have any experience with this sort of thing? I would really like to explore the rivers and creeks nearby.



The Cape
I’ve paddled some in the Sound, but not much… Can’t say much about rivers and creeks, perhaps some others will speak up.

While you’re at the Cape be sure to paddle “The Pond” right at the Cape. It’s a closed body of water, not open to the Sound or Ocean (when I was there last year at any rate…). The locals rant and rave about it being filled with cotton mouths and avoid it like the plague. I didn’t see any snakes (would have liked to), but I did see numerous waterfowl (mostly herons and egrets) and some rithing ells. Very nice place to paddle a canoe. You can park close by if you have 4 wheel drive, otherwise it’s a short 1/4 mile portage from the closest parking area. Enjoy!

Wind and Waves
Rivers and creeks are no problem. Pamlico Sound can be very ocean-like on a windy day. Watch the weather.

Conditions in the Sound and surrounds
I know that the weather is always a concern with near ocean paddling, but on a good day would the soundside of the outer banks even be possible with a canoe? I have begun to find little islands that seem like they could be close enough to help with rough waters in between, but I’ll never know until I get down there… I would just hate to haul my Penobscot 6 hours to the beach and find that I have nowhere to paddle her.



PC Paddling
If you’re thinking about paddling down around Oriental and Pamlico County, stop at the Visitors Center in Grantsboro or one of the two kayak shops in Oriental and grab free copies of all three Pamlico County paddling maps.

However, since you’re going to Cape Hatteras you’ll be in Core Sound or Back Sound so you might want to stop in at the Morehead City Visitors Center and pick up the three Carteret County paddling maps produced by the Crystal Coast Canoe & Kayak Club (

Stay safe on the water,

Pamlico Sound
The sound CAN be smooth as glass. Typically the mornings are fairly calm and the wind picks up later in the day. Pay close attention to the predicted wind speed and direction if you venture out.

I actually have just gotten my Carteret Co. Maps today. They are a lot nicer than what I was expecting. I guess if the area around Hatteras is canoe-able, I’ll bring it.

Thanks for the help guys!


Canoeing Pamlico Sound
A couple years ago we took the OT Discovery 169 down there and spent a couple days paddling the sound off of Ocracoke Island. The wind can be an issue but it wasn’t any worse than the Boundary Waters on a bad day (we didn’t venture more than 1/4 mile offshore though).

That was a great trip though. We rented a clam rake and gathered clams, crabs and fis for a banquet to make a king happy.