Paddle Trails

Kayaking in Onslow County

The coastal environment of Onslow County offers many opportunities to get out on the water. One of the best ways to experience the great outdoors is to hop in a a kayak and take a journey through our paddle trails. Moving along inches from the surface of the water and surrounded by the quiet sounds of nature is an experience that will take you away from the stresses of daily life.

Onslow County Offers two different paddle trails totalling 34 miles of pristine waterways in the White Oak River and the New River. If you plan to tackle one of these trails be sure to take sunscreen, insect repellent, and a buddy. It is always recommended to wear a life jacket while kayaking.

Cow Horn New River Paddle Trail

Cow Horn/New River Paddle Trail

New River Paddle Trail Map Opens in new window

The Cow Horn/New River Paddle Trail is nearly 17 miles long and takes you from Richlands to Jacksonville. Along the way paddlers will enjoy wildlife sightings of all kinds including many different specials of birds, beavers, and maybe even alligators. There are several trail landings along the way. Check out this map to start planning your trip on the Cow Horn/New River Paddle Trail.

This paddle trail ends between the bridges at Jacksonville Landing. The New River continues for many more miles where it ultimately empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Over the last two decades the river has been transformed into an ecological paradise through various conservation efforts which have significantly improved water quality.

Oakhurst Kayak Launch

White Oak River Paddle Trail

The White Oak River Paddle Trails begins in Maysville and stretches for over 17 miles until it ends in Stella. Along the way there are five different trail heads as shown in this map. The trail straddles the border of Onslow, Jones, and Carteret Counties and offers opportunities to see wildlife or kayak underneath a tree canopy. Paddlers may see alligators, beavers, birds, and otters. 

While the paddle trail ends in Stella the White Oak River continues past Swansboro and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Bogue Inlet. Some of the oldest cypress trees in eastern North Carolina can be found along the banks of the White Oak river. Along the trail paddlers will experience different habitats including swamp, salt marsh, and hardwood forest. 

White Oak River Paddling


White Oak River Paddle Trail