Paddle Trip #10 - Lawson Creek Park Circle



  • Paddle distance:  8.5 Miles.
  • Put-in:  Lawson Creek Park Ramp (On Creek N35 06.056 W77 03.051).
  • Optional Put-in:  Lawson Creek Park Ramp (On River N35 05.956 W077 02.900).
  • Trip Highlights:  River and back waters. Some areas populated, yet others remote.  Some wildlife and bird sightings likely.
  • Trip Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate due to open water and distance.
  • Hazards:  Boat traffic, wind, waves and slight current.


PUT-IN:  Lawson Creek Park Ramps

ALTERNATE:  From US 70 in New Bern, turn north on Country Club Road/1st Street (NC1200). About one block, turn right into Lawson Creek Park and follow the road to either ramp. Ramp is on the creek to the left as you drive in and the ramp on the river is straight ahead.


The Lawson Creek paddle offers a loop paddle trip that does not venture much over 1 1/2 miles from the put-in.  As a matter of fact, there are two paved boat ramps located in Lawson Creek Park and a variety of other locations to launch within this 140 acre park and a new city launch site at the end of 1st Street. This trip takes you to the extreme end of Lawson Creek, then past the Tryon Palace, upstream in the Trent River to the Old Town Lakes. The return trip allows you to explore the Trent marshes and backwaters of the "F Ditch" before returning to the put-in.


  • Put-in:  From the launch, paddle to your left to explore the backwaters of Lawson Creek. At the very end of this stream you will find, The Neuse River Foundation Office.
  • Mile 1.0:  As you paddle back toward the Trent River, follow the left shoreline and loop in front of the Tryon Palace
  • Mile 1.2:  Cross the river parallel to the trestle.
  • Mile 1.5: Once to opposite shoreline, turn and head upstream (to the right).
  • Mile 1.7:  Paddle under the US Hwy 17/70 high-rise bridge and along shoreline.
  • Mile 3.0:  You will notice a large condo complex on the opposite shore. Cross the river watching for boat traffic as you head for right side of the complex. There you will find the cut that takes the paddlers into the Old Town Lakes.
  • Mile 5.2:  After exploration of the bays of Old Town Lake, depart the same way that you paddled in.  Upon reaching the river, turn to the left and follow the shoreline into the bay.
  • Mile 5.6:  As the bay narrows and forms a stream, note a "tee intersection" left will take you to a dead end. Look up at the huge Osprey nest. The right cut will take you into the "F Ditch.
  • Mile 5.8:  Turn left to explore "F" Ditch, retrace route straight back toward river, do not retrace route through narrow opening, continue straight ahead to the river.
  • Mile 7.0:  Once at the river, turn left and follow shoreline back toward bridge.
  • Mile 7.6:  Passing under Hwy. 17/70 Bridge
  • Mile 8.0:  As you pass the Lawson Creek Park, Trent River Boat Ramp, an island extending into the Trent River, that's Jack's Island.
  • Mile 8.5:  Paddle around Jack's Island to take-out on left side shoreline.



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