Paddle Trail
Put in or take out for a paddle at Grifton's NC Wildlife Resources boat ramp, just across the street from Grifton NC's Historical Museum and just next to the Catechna Indian Village replica.

The Contentnea Creek offers many paddle trip options...from a short, afternoon paddle and picnic to a full day's adventure. Learn more from the links and descriptions below.
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 Contentnea Creek | Grifton North Carolina Water Trails |

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 “catechna.” 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 ‘Big’ 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 map’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 “very thick of Indian Towns and Plantations.” 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 trails.

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.

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