Wednesday, July 18, 2007
GETTING THERE: Most people start the trail at or around Jamesville, N.C., about 4 1/2 hours from Washington via Interstate 95 south to U.S. Highway 64 east. Jamesville is 80 miles west of the Outer Banks.
THE PADDLE TRAIL: For information on the Roanoke River Paddle Trail, call 252-798-3920 or visit http://www.roanokeriverpartners.org. To make camping reservations, call 252-792-3790; if you want to pick up permits in person, go to Roberson's Marina (see below). Permit fee is $20 for up to two people for one night, and $10 for each additional person. Info also is available through the North Carolina Paddle Trails Association Web site ( http://www.ncpaddletrails.org).
PADDLE TRIPS: Roberson's Marina (U.S. Highway 64, Gardner's Creek Bridge, three miles west of Jamesville, 252-792-3583) rents canoes for $25 a day.
Other outfitters that provide guided trips on the trail and rent canoes and/or kayaks include Frog Hollow Outdoors (Durham, 919-949-4315, http://www.froghollowoutdoors.com), Kitty Hawk Kayaks (6150 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk, 866-702-5061, http://www.khkss.com), Natural Adventures With Don Gray (Fayetteville, 910-624-0347) and the Roanoke-Cashie River Center (112 W. Water St., Windsor, 252-794-2001, http://www.partnershipforthesounds.org). Overnight tours generally supply everything but the sleeping bags.
STAYING THERE: If you don't want to sleep in a tent on a platform, consider the Inn at Grays Landing (401 S. King St., Windsor, 877-794-3501, http://www.grayslanding.com; rooms from $69 double), with five spacious rooms in a circa-1790 Colonial home. The Big Mill Bed and Breakfast (1607 Big Mill Rd., Williamston, 252-792-8787, http://www.bigmill.com; from $69) features four rooms in a 1920s farmhouse.