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rental whitewater kayak on cape fear river in lillington, nc

10 Mile Challenge

10 Mile Challenge

Video Trailer

  • Slow, Low and Rocky!

    The river level greatly fluctuates! However, in summer time the typical water level is very low creating very slow currents! In general, the river is very shallow and the bottom is very rocky. There is a great chance your boat will get stuck on rocks. Rapids are also shallow and rocky at summer normal level. You have to paddle vast majority of this 10 mile section with very little help from the river's current. As river comes up, these conditions will change.

10 Mile Challenge - more challenge, more thrill!

If a day of action on the river is what you crave, this is the trip for you! Expect to encounter numerous Class I, and several Class II rapids mixed in with lazy stretches of peaceful water. There are plenty of places along the way to stop for lunch or to just sit back and take in the scenery. This is a ten mile voyage down the river from our office in Lillington to the NC 217 bridge in Erwin, NC. Small groups of 1 to 3 canoes/kayaks should expect about 4 to 4.5 hours on the river. Larger groups should allow for longer times on the water. Our shuttle will bring your group, boats and equipment back to Lillington.

Cape Fear River is a very slow moving river, especially in summer time. You will have to do vast majority of paddling yourself, with very little to none help from the river's current. Rapids are very rocky, there is a chance of getting stuck or capsized, it is an uncontrolled environment afterall!

Trip Cost Prices are per boat and include paddles, life jackets, and return shuttle

Online Reservations

We are closed during winter months. We will open in March 2020! See you soon!

Trip Preparation

What to wear

Dress for the weather and try to layer your clothing. Keep in mind that cotton takes longer to dry out than synthetic fiber clothing (i.e.: polyester, nylon, polypropylene). This is more important if you’re paddling in cold water and weather. During summer months, special moisture wicking clothing is not as important. Also, keep in mind the sun. Some folks choose to wear long sleeve clothing, while others opt for sunscreen. If you have paddling booties or water shoes, that’s wonderful! Or you can wear old gym shoes. Or strap-on outdoor activity sandals like Keen, Chaco, or Teva. Flip-flops are not recommended because they will not protect your feet in the event of a boat turn over and they could get lost.

What to bring

  • Bring plenty of water! Plan on taking one 12oz bottle of water per person per river hour. Absolutely no glass containers! Nalgene bottles or regular plastic bottled water is your best option.
  • Nutritious snacks or a full lunch, especially for longer trips. Paddling is a strenuous activity and it’s important to keep your body properly fueled and hydrated. If you’d like to bring along your cooler, mid to larger sized coolers fit very nicely in our 16’ Old Town canoes. Small, insulated fabric coolers may be strapped to the back of our kayaks.
  • We'll ask you to take at least one phone per group.
  • If you’d like to bring a change of dry clothes to leave in your car, please do! We have changing rooms you can use at the end of your trip.
  • Water toys, cameras, speakers, etc.

The Trip Day

Where to go

Arrive at our main office located at:

100 South Main St.
Lillington, NC 27546

If using GPS:
- Include South in the street name
- Make sure you are being directed to Lillington, not Buies Creek!

We are located next door to Mermaid Point, right by the river

When to arrive

Please arrive at the time you scheduled your trip. For example, if you schedule your trip at 10am, that's the time you need to arrive at our office. You can expect to be on the water within 30 minutes or less after we do all the necessary steps prior to your outing (see below).

Liability forms

Every participant must fill out a liability waiver form prior to their trip. Participants 18 years and older have to fill out an individual form , while minors (17 and under) must be included on parent or guardian form in the designated section. You will need your Booking ID before you can complete this form.


If you are making your reservation online, then you will prepay online and there is nothing else to do upon arrival in that regard. If you haven't made a reservation online (that we strongly suggest) then we will collect a payment upon arrival to our office either via credit or debit card or cash.

Trip Outfitting

Use this time to get your necessary items you are bringing along on the trip, including putting on sunscreen, getting your water and snacks, locking up cars, etc. Our office sells bottled water, sunscreen and other items for your convenience! During that time we will get your boats, paddles, life jackets and any other supplies ready for your trip.

Trip Briefing

Every person has to be briefed about their trip. We'll talk to you about general river rules, safety, and about your particular trip to ensure you know what to expect while on the river.

Out to the water

At this point you will walk down to the water which is about 150 yards away from our office. Typically, we will have boats ready for you by the water. We will help you load any of your accessories and help you launch. From here you are on your own to enjoy beautiful scenery, and have an amazing time!

Trip F.A.Q.

No. But for 10 Mile Challenge is more demanding trip. Being in a good physical shape and some outdoor experience will go a long way. We offer an optional paddling and rapids briefings, along with the required safety and trip briefings.
Not necessary. We offer optional rapids briefings that will help you to get started. Also, we operate at particular water levels that are safe for paddler of any skill level. If you happen to find yourself in trouble, the recovery is usually straightforward. Being in a good physical shape and using your best judgement in an uncontrolled environment is the key!
Maybe! The river is unpredictable and there is always a possibility of capsizing. You must be prepared for it, dress and gear up accordingly.
8 years old.
Dogs are not allowed on 10 Mile Challenge.
Although alcohol is allowed on our other trips, we strongly suggest against any consumption on 10 Mile Challenge. It is physically demanding trip with numerous rapids. Being at your best is highly encouraged. All North Carolina and Waterways laws apply and are closely monitored by local and Wildlife Law Enforcement.
Canoes have plenty of storage. You can bring cooler, backpack or other accessories along the way. Kayaks however, have limited storage. Smaller backpack would fit ok, but not much more than that. Keep in mind that more stuff you have lower the boat seat making it so much more less efficient paddling and going over rapids.
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