The sun rises over the crashing Atlantic waves, 3 bottlenose dolphins hunt just beyond the surf zone. You watch the dolphins, content with your toes dug into the wet sand. The warm breeze flaps your tent’s rain fly.
The daddy wood duck flops around, injured. But over your right shoulder you notice movement. Momma wood duck quietly leads her brood into the reeds’ protection. Daddy keeps flopping, wanting you to follow him. You slow down a bit to watch his family before following him, curious how long he’ll act injured.
The dolphin and the wood duck stories are real, and are just two of many stunning animals you’ll easily see. But you only have so much time to paddle. With over 1,000 miles of rivers, creeks, and coastline in eastern North Carolina, you don’t want to waste your time paddling somewhere disappointing.
You won’t be disappointed by the paddle routes here. Bring your camera on every Beautiful Paddle. When you post your photos, you’ll get “amazing,” “beautiful,” “wow!” from your friends.
Hi, I’m Brad, founder of BeautifulPaddles.com and I help paddlers find new and amazing places.
Having paddled eastern North Carolina for work and play for over 7+ years, I know the best places to paddle; you won’t waste your time paddling somewhere disappointing.
By the time you’re ready to get on the water, you’ll know the paddle trail like a local. And like a local, you’ll know the best spots to find serenity and connection with nature.
- calm and peaceful waters, away from motorized traffic, with nothing to worry about
- yourself in places you normally can’t by foot or by motorboat, like being 10 feet from a barred owl
- the best campsites and the perfect launch spots
- yourself mesmerized sitting in your kayak 15 feet from a pod of dolphins on the hunt, with Cape Lookout Lighthouse in the background
- an “oh my god, I can actually use this map” experience. You’ll know where you are, and where to go.
Every trail here I’ve paddled, and guarantee you’ll enjoy every single one.
Each guide takes 15-17 hours of work before it is ready to see the light. You’ll have accurate Google maps showing launch points, photos, the paddle trail route, and the exact location of places to check out.
Plus you’ll have everything else you want to know: when to go, where to turn, useful things like permit requirements, how much water to take, where to stay before or after the trip, shuttle, and what maps to use.
As a very inexperienced kayaker, your article made me feel like I could go out there on my own and could navigate to the island just fine.” – Suzanne McDonald
Unlike a traditional guidebook, Beautiful Paddles guides stay current. When new access points or platforms are built, you’ll know. New shuttle service or closed business? It’ll be updated here.
High quality photos show you the best scenery, and the small important things, like the size of an unpaved shoulder next to the bridge access, tents on the camping platform for a sense of size, or exactly how many pelicans are on Monkey island (the actual number is hard to believe).
Discover quiet, solitude, and animals on the most beautiful paddle trails.