Cape Fear River
Cape Fear River
The Cape Fear River is formed by the confluence of the Haw and Deep Rivers, near Moncure and Haywood, 10 miles northeast of Sanford. It flows through Lillington, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown, Wilmington, and Southport. The river is named for the dangerous Cape Fear shoals off Bald Head Island, near the river’s mouth. The upper Cape Fear was known as “Sapona” by Indians. Italian explorer Verrazzano, backed by the French government to discover a westward passage to Asia, came to the lower Cape Fear in 1524. The Cape Fear is the only large river in North Carolina flowing directly into the Atlantic Ocean instead of into a sound. There are four dams on the river, and the lower three have locks to make the river navigable by large boats all the way to Fayetteville. The locks were built in the early 1900s for commercial traffic, but there has been none in many years. The paddling sections described from Jordan Dam to Wilmington cover 172 miles. This eTrail contains 13 sections of the Cape Fear River from Jordan Dam Road (Chatam Co. 1970) access on the Haw River to Dram Tree Park access in Wilmington.
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Directions to: Cape Fear Riverprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Activity||Flatwater Paddling & Canoeing|
|Skill Level||Flatwater to Class II|
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