2007-11-28 White Oak River Quarry Lakes to Haywood Landing

The fog has lifted at Haywood Landing. Our meeting point at 8:30 and take out. You can always paddle the lovely White Oak River from here to the Atlantic Ocean because it is tidal (about a one foot tide here) and the river is wide enough so one fallen tree cannot obstruct the whole river. At this time this is true all the way upstream, about 5 miles, to Dixon Field access where our Croatan National Forest folks have constructed a road to the White Oak River from Route 58 Loop Road. This is clearly marked on Route 58 at the power station and at the north end of the loop. Dixon Field Road is clearly designated on the loop road. It is for Canoes and Kayaks only. No trailers are permitted. Toilet facilities are provided too. This is about 5 miles of clear paddling upstream of Haywood Landing. Camping is permitted anywhere in Croatan National Forest except where specifically prohibited. A wilderness right here in Eastern North Carolina!

One does not have to go west to find a wilderness!

We got off at 9:24 on lake #1 at the ramp. Here we are leaving Lake #1 and entering #2. These are very beautiful lakes. The White Oak River flows through 9 of them
Rapids, courtesy of the pumps at the quarry pumping out the new quarry, so they can get to the marl to mine it. See Doug’s video of these rapids with sound on our previous posting.That is Jackie Swain of New Bern in front of the rapids. where they enter Lake #8.

Check out this link on our other posting of this paddle trip. http://www.oakstreetsoftware.com/~doug/nov28/
Doug Toltzman’s video clip of the rushing water and more of the White Oak Stewards in action!

This is Joanne Somerday of New Bern. She is always in action! She picks up trash wherever she paddles.

Here are seven of our paddling group today along the shore of lake #9. The discoloration of the water is caused by the inflow of the pumping of the active quarry. This color disappeared as we paddled on downstream.

Doug balanced on a blow down obstructing our way to assist paddlers over a log. We encountered many blockages like this all the way to Dixon Field Road Access and one beyond that.

The group watches as Doug challenges the White Oak obstructions to clear paddling.

One by one we all get through
Lance Goodrum of New Bern coming through the opening Doug made in the combination of a beaver dam and downed trees.

Jim Morris of Morehead City shooting the rapids!

Finally, Doug charges over

Another obstruction! Tom Fineco of New Bern is helping us all hump over it. This time it is Lance Goodrum.
Another of the many obstacles we had on the very low, drought plagued White Oak River. We have never seen it this low before.

Here Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle got out and stood on a sand bar and dragged the others over. That is Elmer awaiting his turn.

Doug Toltzman of Hubert did his balancing act again!

Here is Joanne and her kayak is on the other side of the river?????

We thought our side of the river was easier. Go for it, Doug!
He made it.

Finally, the last of the blowdowns and nothing but leaves on our paddle.

Some of the last of the fall color.

Our grou
p and our haul of trash. Ed gets back just in time to beat the timer. L/R, Jackie and Phil Swain of New Bern. They said this was a real adventure. They are from Indiana and this is their first trip with us and they loved it. Jackie wanted to go on to Stella!. Jim Morris from Morehead City, Tom Fineco from New Bern, Lance Goodrum from New Bern, Elmer Eddy from Swansboro, Doug Toltzman of Hubert,Julia Miner of Araphoe, Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle, and Joanne Somerday of New Bern.

All these paddlers belong to canoe and kayak clubs as well as being Stewards of The White Oak River Basin. These clubs are Carolina Canoe Club, with head quarter in Raleigh, Crystal Coast Canoe & Kayak Club in Morehead City, Coastal Carolina Kayakers down east, and Twin Rivers Paddle Club of New Bern.

Please, everybody, stop littering. Thank you, Elmer
Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”


2007-11-28 White Oak River, Maysville to Haywood Landing


Here are Doug Toltzman’s pictures and comments on yesterday’s trip on the White Oak River from the ramp on the 1st quarry lake to Haywood Landing in Croatan Forest. The trip was a little short of 9 miles. We left the ramp at 9:24 an arrived at Haywood Landing at 3:10.

John Taylor who runs the fishing and boating concession on the Quarry lakes (11 eleven of them) has never seen the White Oak River so low. Joanne Somerday checked it out while waiting for the shuttle cars to return said it was only a trickle above the lakes.

Doug’s video at the end will show you the huge volume of water being pumped into the river from the digging operations of the new huge quarry adjacent on the east at lake #8. Without this water we probably would have been walking and dragging our boats.

In spite of the blockages everyone enjoyed the paddle. New Stewards, Jackie and Phil Swain, of New Bern thought is was a great adventure!

We also picked up eight (not full) trash bags and a broken down aluminum and canvas cot.

We all thank you Doug for these beautiful pictures and video.

More later. Elmer



2007-11-28 this Wednesday, White Oak River, Quarry Lakes to Haywood Landing

This Wednesday we will meet at 8:30 at Haywood Landing off Rte 58 in Croatan Forest and set up shuttle vehicles there. We will then drive to The Quarry Lakes at Maysville our put-in there at 9:00. John Taylor does not charge us as we pick up all trash. You could stop at the concession building and tell John you are with us. The trash should be very light and not delay us at all if we play leap frog from one piece of litter to the next.

We can declare the White Oak River from Maysville to Cedar Point/Swansboro to be free of all trash at the end of this paddle!

This is a ten mile trip. Turn east off Route 17 at the gap in the guard rails north of the bridge over the White Oak River south of Maysville. Go to the second ramp at the end of the road. This is shown as Section 1, on map “Paddle Trails Carteret County, The Western Carteret White River Area” 2nd Printing 2004 by Crystal Coast Canoe & Kayak Club.

We anticipate to be off the river by 3:00 PM.

It is also listed in Paul Ferguson’s “Expanded 2nd Edition Paddling Eastern North Carolina” on page 491.

This is easy paddling. Local forecast is sunny all day and 65 degrees. Please join us if you can. All are welcome. Elmer


2007-11-20 White Oak River Haywood Landing to Stella, NC.

This posting on our web site is by Ed Gruca. Most of the pictures are by Doug Toltzman with few by Elmer. See other post for Doug’s comments on his pictures. It was Doug’s first trip with us. He enjoyed the paddle and the group very much and we do appreciate his beautiful pictures.

This is a cypress tree At Bondocks at Stella. Cypress are among the first to turn.
This picture by Elmer
Embarking from Haywood Landing in Croatan National Forest.
Ken Court left and Elmer Right.
Elmer looking at Doug as requested.
It is a lovely river all the way.
This is a side stream which goes up to the Weetock Trail but it is blocked by downed tree which should be removed.
This tree is hanging over the river. The growth of ferns, moss and lichens is fascinating. Pic by Elmer
More of the same by Elmer.
Still more by Elmer.
Julia, Joanne and Ken.

This is Doug’s pride and joy of the day!

More foliage by Doug.
Me right side up this time.
The girls again.
Scott Brown recently from California. He came because he was intrigued by this area and wanted to live here.
He is enjoying it.

Our lunch stop at Long Point in Croatan National Forest.

Ready to go again after a very pleasant lunch stop with picnic tables and facilities.
Joanne Somerday from New Bern, Jim Morris from Morehead City, Julia Miner from Araphoe,
Lance Goodrum from New Bern, Jim Neidermeyer from Hubert, Ken Court from Jacksonville,
Elmer Eddy from Swansboro, Scott Brown from Morehead City. Doug Toltzman from Hubert took the picture.

We are very pleased to be able to report the trash and litter was very light. We had about1/2 a bag in the whole 8 miles.

So we are able to report that the White Oak River is clear of all trash and litter from Swansboro to Haywood Landing.

Next week we hope to be able to say the same from Maysville on down.

So we are very thankful this Thanksgiving Day to all who are not littering and despoiling the beauty of this lovely river. In earlier years our boats were loaded with trash!

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

2007-11-20, White Oak River, Haywood Landing to Stella

I apologize for the confusion. This paddle is tomorrow, Tuesday the 20th. We meet at 9:00 AM at Stella next to the Post Office. We should be off the river by 3:00 PM. We will leave shuttle vehicles at Stella and caravan to Haywood Landing.

To see some fabulous pictures of this area of the White Oak River (before the new bridge) please click on the following:


Thanks, Elmer


2007-11-14 Brandt Island and the Fort Macon State Park Marshes

Sorry, these pictures are not in sequence with the trip. We put in at 11th Street in Morehead City.

This view is of the Coast Guard Station as seen from Tombstone Point. Anyone know how this point got this name? It was an excellent lunch stop for us. Those are sea gulls who were diving as they flew constantly to catch fish which is quite a feat.

These are our participants on this great trip. That is Morehead City in the background.
L/R Jim Niedermeyer of Hubert, Will Stanley of Hubert, Jim Morris of Morehead City, Bill Murray of Pine Knoll Shores, Paula Urvan of New Bern, Tom Fineco of New Bern, Dale Weston of Jacksonville and Scott Brown of Morehead City.

This is looking straight across Morehead Channel toward Beaufort.
A fishing boat entering Fishing Creek which forms the northern border of Fort Macon State Park.
This can be done at high tide only. It is a good short cut to Bogue Sound at Tar Landing Bay.
Our crew and our boats just inside the mouth of Fishing Creek at Tombstone Point.

That is Brandt Island on the left. This lovely beach extends all the way along Morehead Channel and around the point of Brandt Island facing Morehead City. Unfortunately it was loaded with trash. Obviously this trash comes from boaters using Morehead Channel. Boaters, please secure your trash! Some of it probably is left behind by picnickers but, they are boaters too. They have to be to get here!

We loaded up quickly and had to quit as we had no more room as you can see. Will Stanley paddled out to two Coast Guard boats who were conducting a learning drill. They thought they might be able relieve us of our trash when the drill was completed. We took our trash to 11th Street and left it there next to a trash bin.

There two trash barrels on this stretch of beach. One was full to the brim. We hope the Coast Guard got them.

We climbed to the top of Brandt Island. Most of what you see has been dredged from Morehead City Channel. The land locked lake is formed by pumping the sand over to the beaches for re-nourishment. That dark spot to the right is Dale Weston who hiked down to the shoreline to investigate further. This is an awesome and fascinating place to visit and is well worth the climb.

This is another view of the top of the island and the man-made lake. Again the dark spot is Dale.

Sand, sand, sand everywhere waiting to go to the beaches when needed.

Three pictures are missing . Perhaps, Mr. Paint, our Ed Gruca, can get them in here. They are of shore birds lined up on Sugarloaf Island and two of the marshes of Fort Macon State Park. These marshes were
the focal point of this trip. The last time we paddled through them we got stuck, grounded, in the middle of Fishing Creek. We had to wait about two hours for the tide to turn and come back.

This trip was specifically planned to hit them at high tide. It is a virtual maze and we explored many a dead end. At the very end we were very close to the Coast Guard Station and also Rte 24. Right there was a paddle boat. It looked like it was abandoned and washed in here by winds and high tides.

We were also looking for possible access points. From the water at Tar Landing Bay just past the last house on Route 24, the dead end street [?] looks like a good possibility. It sure would be great to have a canoe and kayak only access here. Also at Tombstone Point itself, in the park, would make an excellent access if we could get to it. We are contacting the park management.

Back to the trash again. This is the Holiday Season. The best Christmas Present we all could give to one another is to stop littering. Mr. and Mrs. Littering Anonymous and their children are all doing it. Please stop it and secure your trash and give us a clean environment to enjoy! Thank you, The Trashman.

Elmer Eddy

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”


2007-11-08 Black River, Sampson & Bladen Counties, NC

This paddle trip is shown on Page 42 of Paul Ferguson’s “Paddling Eastern North Carolina”.

Here we are unloading Snow White at the Ivanhoe access. Five of us and four boats of Stewards of The White Oak River Basin made the trip. Elmer Eddy of Swansboro and Scott Brown of Morehead City left Swansboro at 8:00 AM. We picked up Jim Niedermeyer in Hubert and met Julia Miner of Arapahoe and Joanne Somerday of New Bern in Jacksonville at the Marina Cafe at the bridge on Route 17 at 8:30.
All of us are members of the Crystal Coast Canoe & Kayak Club and/or The Twin Rivers Paddle Club.

Paul Ferguson of Raleigh unloading his canoe from The Silver Bullet.
Larry Ausley and Richard Fox both of Raleigh unloading their boats. I was about as two hours drive for them. Larry is President of the Carolina Canoe Club. Paul and Richard area members of that club.
Some wild flowers along the way.
Some striking and unusual growth of moss etc on a precipitous wall of colored rock.
More of the same with some ferns.
Another shot of the perpendicular rock wall. The water was very clear and the flow excellent.
A good canopy of high trees covers most of the river. There were blow downs but none blocked the river.
A close up of this beautiful wild flower.
A pretty group of them

The whole group at the take out at Beattys Bridge Road with the trash we collected. About 50% of the trash came off the river banks or out of strainers in the river and the rest was at the take out on the shoulders of the road. Two tires were in the river and one at the take out.

This section of the Black River is now clean for all to enjoy. The movie, Rambling Rose, was filmed right here at the lovely home and grounds across the river. I am sorry I did not get a picture of it.

This was an excellent and most enjoyable paddle. Thank you Paul and Larry for arranging it.

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail: elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”