Editor’s note. 这是关于木材河及其作为生态旅游目的地的潜力的三部分系列文章的第三部分.
木材河从源头南松附近的溺水河流向南卡罗莱纳线，全长115英里, where it merges with the Little Pee Dee River near Nichols, S.C. Eighty-one miles of the river are designated as Wild and Scenic. Like many coastal rivers, little of it runs in a straight line; instead, the river is one switchback after another.
It’s a tannin-stained river with a rich, dark-brown tone; yet, 水的颜色掩盖了它的清洁程度，部分原因是它的底部大部分是沙子，而且沿着走廊的开发有限.
Almost 18,毗邻河流的1000英亩土地由北卡罗来纳州和木材河保护协会拥有或保护, 这是一个由已故伦伯顿商人卡尔·吉布森和已故律师迪克森·麦克莱恩三世创立的非营利组织. About 4,000 acres are attributed to the volunteer group’s efforts. Lumber River Conservancy成立于1991年，是北卡罗来纳州历史最悠久的组织之一.
The Lumber River State Park adjoins the river in several sections. 在苏格兰郡瓦格拉姆附近的乔克班克斯有一个露营地、一个游艇码头和一个野餐区. 然后，这条河流经彭布罗克附近兰比部落的古老部落场地, under I-95 at Lumberton, on to Boardman at U.S. 74，然后形成哥伦布县和罗布森县之间的边界，直到它到达州界. 木材河州立公园的总部位于罗布森县奥勒姆附近的安娜公主园, not far from U.S. 74.
An easy float down river
Princess Ann Landing is where I met Dickson McLean IV, a Wilmington attorney who plays a leading role in the Lumber River Conservancy; Joseph White, the conservancy’s director and a professor of biology at UNC Pembroke; Lumber River State Park Superintendent Lane Garner, and Park Ranger Zachary Lunn.
On this day, March 27, 来自罗利-达勒姆地区的第1533支Trail Life部队的4位爸爸和他们的儿子在安公主登陆营地度过了一夜，准备好了一天的划桨.
It reminds McLean of his time as a boy when he and his father, his brother Robert and friend Neil Lee, who later become park superintendent, would take five-day canoe trips as Sea Scouts from Lumberton to Georgetown, S.C.这里是林河、瓦卡莫河、小皮迪河和皮迪河在温亚湾的终点站.
At dusk, they would look for sandbars on which to pitch tents and camp.
McLean remembers waking up one night to the sound of lapping water, and later feeling a sensation of wetness creeping into his sleeping bag. 这群人不知道他们离海洋这么近，还能经历潮汐. To make matters worse, two of the three canoes had floated away. Dickson and Robert grabbed flashlights, and by some miracle, found one canoe downstream, then the other one.
The river had a steady flow from heavy rains earlier in the spring and winter. A week ago, the river would have been dangerous to paddle, Garner says.
“It still flows like it did a thousand years ago,” he adds.
Paddlers should always call ahead for river conditions, Garner cautions.
The park staff has the occasional call for lost paddlers and drownings. The river is mostly free of downed trees, 这要归功于北卡罗来纳州在飓风马修和佛罗伦萨过后清理河流的项目.
Still, 桨手必须意识到水下的危险，并小心不要偏离轨道或迷失在牛轭上, which are old river beds bypassed by the main channel over time.
“拥有国家和州指定的自然野生和风景是非常棒的,” Garner says. “It’s the only blackwater river in North Carolina that has that designation. 这条河吸引了一小部分划船的人他们只是想把这条河从他们的清单上划掉. It also has a rich history and plenty of recreation opportunities. It’s peaceful and beautiful.”
Lumber River history
据信，美国印第安人在大约2万年前定居在这条河上. 罗布森县已经发现了429处考古遗址, according to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System website. Early artifacts include a dug-out canoe estimated to be 1,025 years old.
这条河之所以得名，是因为大量的伐木作业为定居者创造了大规模的经济. In the early days of the nascent timber industry, logs would be floated to Georgetown, a distance of roughly 75 miles. 据说，如果水流太大，无法划桨，照管木筏的人就会步行或骑马回到该地区.
Boardman, located on the river where U.S. 74 crosses at the Columbus-Robeson line, was home to the Butters Lumber Company, creating one of the region’s most thriving communities. Logging trams ran throughout the region leading to the lumber mills. The 20-some mile railbed to Fair Bluff is still visible in many sections.
Today’s 11-mile paddle is easy; there’s enough flow to keep the boats moving on their own. The morning coolness gives way to a warmer day with a bit of wind. 树木刚刚开始变绿，一些红芽和山茱萸也露出了一些颜色.
It’s a quiet paddle except for our talking. We scare the same group of wood ducks off the water a half dozen times. 这里几乎没有文明的迹象，只有一个地方有一些棚屋和一辆废弃的校车，很久以前就生锈了. 在哥伦布县马其顿教堂路的安公主上游几英里处有一个房车和拖车露营地.
Nature calls and we stretch our legs and backs. Lunn asks Garner to demonstrate his ability to call warblers, small birds that are common along the river.
Within a matter of seconds, 三只好奇的林莺在他上方的一棵小树上栖息.
The only motorized craft of the day, a jon boat, comes by with three people. They politely slow to minimize the wake, then take off toward Fair Bluff.
We can begin to hear traffic headed to Myrtle Beach on N.C. 904 .当一个小的黑云靠近时，云层底部脱落了大约10分钟. McLean and I don raincoats but the other guys paddle through it. The sun is back out quickly.
当我们看到费尔布拉夫河步道时，我们知道我们已经接近三小时划桨的终点了. 我们在北卡罗来纳野生动物委员会的船停靠在费尔布拉夫, dump the water from the canoes, 然后把它们装上运输船，明天再把它们带回去给安公主.
Travel times and lengths of Lumber River paddling segments. For more information call 910-628-4564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.