Kayaking in Wilmington, NC

Kayaking in Wilmington NC

Kayaking in the Intracoastal Waterway

Kayaking is one of the most exciting and adventurous water sports, and Wilmington, NC is a hot spot for tours, gear, and beautiful locations that thrill experts and novices alike. If you’re new to kayaking, there are dozens of local companies offering tours and lessons for individuals or groups.

Cape Fear River Adventures
Rent kayaks, canoes, and river tubes for trips on the Cape Fear River—located right on the river with a boat launch right there on the river near Lillington, NC. Unguided River Excursions vary from short, flat-water family outings to entire days of adventure you’ll never forget! The range of navigable river primarily covers 25 miles of the Upper Cape Fear River (west of Fayetteville). 910-891-9348 (see more)

Carolina Coastal Adventures & Kayak Carolina
Offering expert kayaking instructions, rentals, and guided tours of the region’s scenic coastal marshlands. There are a variety of tour options, which include fun activities like swimming, crabbing, and learning about local wildlife. Visit them online at www.kayakcarolina.com to learn more.

Cape Fear Outfitters
Experience several diverse and exhilarating tours for up to 25 people to places like the lush wildlife sanctuary at Masonboro Island, the barrier islands near Fort Fisher State Historic Park, the wildlife-rich waterways of the Black River, and many others. Tours normally last four to five hours and are conducted by experienced guides with first aid and CPR certification. You can learn more or book a tour by calling (888) 794-4867.

Where to Kayak in Wilmington

masonboro island

Masonboro Island

If you’re more independent and prefer to kayak outside of a tour group, Wilmington has no shortage of options. The Basin near Zeke’s Island is an ideal location for beginner and intermediate skill level kayaking. Separated by the Cape Fear River by a rock wall (called The Rocks), the basin is in a protected bay surrounded by small islands, marsh, and beautiful trees, and it is conveniently located near several kayaking outfitters. However, this is just one example of the dozens of outstanding kayaking locations Wilmington offers, such as Brunswick River, Sharks Tooth Island, Eagle Island, and many more.

Kayaking Gear

Aside from its unique paradise of rivers and islands, Wilmington is also loaded with places to rent or buy kayaks and related gear.

Cape Fear River Adventures
Rent kayaks, canoes, and river tubes for trips on the Cape Fear River—located right on the river with a boat launch right there on the river near Lillington, NC. Unguided River Excursions vary from short, flat-water family outings to entire days of adventure you’ll never forget! The range of navigable river primarily covers 25 miles of the Upper Cape Fear River (west of Fayetteville). 910-891-9348 (see more)

Hook, Line, and Paddle 
One of the biggest and most popular places for all things kayaking this shop specializes in fishing kayaks, recreational sea kayaks, and kayak fishing equipment, as well as a huge selection of paddles, life jackets, safety gear, and accessories. In addition to their products, they also offer a wide range of tours and rental options, making it easy to stock up and head to the water in one simple trip.
435 Eastwood Rd, Wilmington – 910-792-6945

Great Outdoor Provision Co.
This local favorite is located in the Hanover Shopping Center (3501 Oleander Dr.) There you can find a good selection of recreational, touring, sit-on-top, and whitewater kayaks, as well as paddles, accessories, and other essential water sports gear.

Whether you’re a pro looking for a new challenge or a family looking for an adventure at sea, Wilmington’s kayaking scene doesn’t disappoint.

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