The headwaters of Contentnea Creek's headwaters begin near Moccasin
Creek, northeast of Raleigh and north of Zebulon. The waters flow into
Buckhorn Reservoir, west of Wilson. From there, Contentnea Creek is born
and continues into Wiggins Mill Reservoir, a few miles southeast of
Wilson. After king a southeasterly turn through Snow Hill and Grifton,
the creek flows into the Neuse River. Contentnea Creek winds mostly
through farmland and undeveloped land, offering nearly 100 miles of
paddling opportunities. On the web site below, you'll find eleven trails
from NC 581 near Buckhorn Reservoir to Maple Cypress Road (Craven Co.
1470) bridge on Neuse River.
Read more at Trails.com: Contentnea Creek | Grifton North Carolina Water
Trails | Trails.com
This trail offers beauty, solitude and history. The following text is
taken from Pitt County Canoe/Kayak Paddle Trails map, Regional Paddle
Trail System, 2nd Edition 2008. Get your
own copy of this (or, possibly, an updated) map by contacting
Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, (252) 946-7211.
The Contentnea Creek Trails
Little Contentnea and Contentnea Creeks together provide nearly 20 miles
of beautiful swamp forest paddling. They drain much of Pitt County south
of Greenville and empty into the Neuse River. The name Contentnea is
most likely an anglicized corruption of the Tuscarora word â€œcatechna.â€
Catechna was an Indian town near present day Grifton and the probable
site of the 1711 trial and execution of explorer John Lawson.
Little Contentnea Creek Trail, MN/RT-GR/PL-9, 13.0 miles
Little Contentnea Creek constitutes the border between Greene and Pitt
Counties. It follows a fairly narrow wooded floodplain through
agricultural lands. This stream segment is not used as much by
recreational boaters as is â€˜Bigâ€™ Contentnea Creek. Access is at Willow
Green, LC0. At the bridge crossing on SR 1125 (Pocosin Road). Another
access is available at Scuffleton, LC9.35, at the NC Hwy 903 bridge
crossing. Little Contentnea Creek joins Contentnea Creek at LC13 where
limited access may be gained at the Pitt Environmental Education Center
(under construction at the time of this mapâ€™s printing). Three counties
meet at this junction: Pitt (east), Greene (west) and Lenoir (south).
Contentnea Creek Trail, MN/RT-GR/LE/PL-8, 19.6 miles
Contentnea Creek is shown on colonial maps and the area was described by
John Lawson, suring his 1701 visit, as â€œvery thick of Indian Towns and
Plantations.â€ One access to the Contentnea Creek trail is near CC81
where SR1004 crosses the creek just north of Fountain Hill in Greene
County (N35 24.8W77 29.9). The trail follows a narrow forested
floodplain similar to that of Little Contentnea Creek. Contentnea Creek
joins Little Contentnea Creek at CC83.4. The channel soon broadens and
then narrows again at Grifton. The trail passes under the NC Hwy 11
bridge near CC89, but access is easier one and one half miles downstream
at the Grifton NCWRC boat ramp. About two miles downstream of Grifton
the trail enters the broad floodplain of the Neuse River. The stream
makes a sharp turn to the east near CC92 at the community of Tick Bite.
Below Tick Bite, the swamp forest provides solitude and contains many
old and large bald cypress and water tupelo trees draped in Spanish
moss. Proceed another three miles downstream to the confluence with the
Neuse River. Here again you are at a juncture of three counties: Pitt
(east), Lenoir (west) and Craven (south). This site is probably very
near where Baron de Graffenried (founder of New Bern) and John Lawson
were captured (arrested for trespassing) by the Tuscarora Indians in
1711. Three and one-half miles further down the Neuse River, near Biddle
Landing at CC99, are the remains of an earthen fortification (Ft.
Barnwell) built during the Tuscarora War in 1713. During high water the
oxbows Grinnel Slough and Grinnel Creek offer a swampland alternative to
the main channel of the Neuse River as they run parallel to it.
Downstream acess is proviced at Maple-Cypress Landing near CC100 near
the SR 15470 bridge crossing Maple-Cypress Road (SR 1470).
Web editor's note:
Trip summaries found on paddlers' web
sites advise paddlers that some areas of this trail may require much
longer paddles than expected, partly due to downed trees. Paddlers are
advised to allow enough daylight and to take food and other supplies
that may be needed on longer-than-expected trips.
Try these links for other Paddlers' experiences on Contentnea Creek's
Contentnea Creek Paddle Club
Roanoke Paddle Club-Contentnea Creek
Paddle Trip Logs
2009 Trip Log
2010 Trip Log
Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Trip Summary
The Historical Musem and Civic Center of
Grifton nor anyone associated with it or with this web site is
responsible for the accuracy or safety of information listed here or any
links and resources referenced.