Southport, like Wilmington, gives a great impression from the water. Historic Southport is fronted by a municipal pier and endless docks, marinas, and seafood restaurants. You can paddle up to the Provision Company and get some food and drinks when you’re done with your trip.From Southport, paddling West down the Intracoastal will soon take you to Dutchman’s Creek on the right, and various creeks leading to the Elizabeth River on the left. In the Elizabeth River, which is not a true river but a back-barrier marsh, you will see the Oak Insalnd Lighthouse and the Southport water tower throughout the trip. They make great landmarks to keep your bearings.
DIRECTIONS: In Southport, there are a variety of options. The first is to put in just north of the Southport Fishing Pier. Some care is needed to get down past the rocks lining the bank, but at low tide there is a nice beach for launching.
The second option is to go to the Southport Marina. There is a fee, but unless it’s a real busy weekend, you’ll find a parking spot.
Option Three takes you to the Wildlife Access near the Oak Island Bridge, (Fish Factory Road) about 4.5 miles from Southport itself.
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate, depending on traffic and distance traveled.|
|Hazards||Traffic while in the Intracoastal, Tidal currents and wind may be a factor.|
|Time/Distance||From the Southport Marina around the Elizabeth River march is 4 miles. An out-and-back trip up Dutchman’s Creek is also about 4 miles if leaving from the marina.|
|Serenity||Boat traffic in the Intracoastal, very few people in the marsh. You will see houses in Dutchman’s Creek.|
|Map||Southport Fishing Pier|
Fish Factory Road Boat Launch