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Newport River Information In NC. Kayak, Canoe, Fishing, Boating Interest

The Newport River in NC is a 12 mile long body of water that runs from Bogue Sound between Morehead City and Radio Island and terminates in to 2 branches within the Croatan National Forest in Carteret County. In this article we are going to explore many recreational options such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating, bird watching, and photography that this river offers.

Readers are encouraged to share this article on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that others can learn more, and to use the discussion form below to engage us and others in conversation around this area in Carteret County NC.

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canoe in Newport

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In looking at the image above showing the general path of the Newport River, and looking specifically at the mouth near the N.C. Port to where the river dramatically narrows north of Swinson Park, you will find that this area is a popular area for fishing and boating. Additionally, it is a popular area for people to put boats in to the water in their travels to Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout. Also, this body of water offers boaters a direct route to the Neuse River via the Intracoastal Waterway (Adams Creek).

Intracoastal waterway Adams Creek

Within the wide area of this waterway just before it dramatically narrows, you will find many small islands and popular shellfish harvesting areas.

Once in to the narrow part of the waterway entering Newport NC from Morehead City, the river begins to wind it’s way towards the Croatan National Forest. Once in this area, the waters become more calm making it the perfect route for canoeing and kayaking through the saltwater marshes and forest areas of western Carteret County.

Along this route, you will also be able to see many moss draped trees, shorebirds, ducks, and other wildlife and nature displays indigenous to the coastal plains of Eastern NC.

If you are visiting the local area, if you travel to Newport from Morehead City on Highway 70, then take the right hand exit on to old Highway 70 about 3 miles down this road is a ramp area that is the perfect spot to launch a canoe or kayak for a day trip in to the Croatan Forest.

If you are in to photography, there is a wealth of scenery for you to capture along this waterway, but our favorite is the area of the river just before Newport where the river winds up like a snake and is a great photography area for it’s endless saltwater marsh scenery.

black water forest

As the Newport River winds it’s way in to the Croatan west of old Highway 70 (Chatham St), the waterway starts to become very narrow eventually splitting in to the northwest prong and southwest prong deep in the forest.

In this area of the river, the water will take on a black color as it mixes with the forest ecosystem and this is your best bet for photography centered around deep forest scenes and capturing wood ducks and deer along the banks while traveling in your kayak or canoe.


What are your favorite areas on this waterway for recreation, and what are some opportunities that we missed in this article?

What types of fish are generally caught in the wide areas of the river versus the narrow areas more inland?

What types of waterfowl and shorebirds are most prevalent along this waterway?

In the wide area near Bogue Sound and Mill Creek, is this a good place to harvest oysters and to catch shrimp?

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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