South River Anchorages (off North Carolina’s Neuse River, near St. M. 178.5) – Captains Mark and Diana Report
Eastman Creek anchorage. Hang a left at the duck blind!
Admit it, how many times have we all anchored off Oriental’s waterfront or at nearby Cedar Creek along Adams Creek?
Hardy Creek's end-of-the-road dinghy landing and shore access
If you’ve had enough ice cream at The Bean, what about trying something different next time you have a few days in the area?
Off the Neuse River is the lovely South River, at STM 178.1, a worthwhile 6- to 9-mile detour off the ICW’s Magenta Line. Reminiscent of Chesapeake Bay cruising, South River has many anchoring options, varied protection, and scenic wooded shorelines.
Here’s a quick overview of two anchorages “on the way” and then our favorite, Eastman Creek.
Hardy Creek Anchorage
This is the South River anchorage closest to the ICW, so it’s a good place to stop if you don’t have time to continue up South River until the next day. Pet owners will particularly like this stop, with easy shore access at a street-end bulkhead (look for three street signs), good for an evening walk through a quiet rural residential neighborhood.
Moving further upriver to explore South River, Big Creek is much more protected than Hardy Creek. It’s a quiet anchorage in a broad spacious river set in wooded marsh, with an easy entry off South River. But no shore access and, lately, a reputed 11-footer. Alligator that is!
If you like quiet, scenic, solitude, then continue up the South River (9 miles off the ICW) to Eastman Creek. It’s worth the detour’”presumably the quest for a bucolic anchorage is what motivated you to explore the South River in the first place!
Shrimpers working the South River
Other than a prominent house at the creek entrance, it’s a pristine setting of marsh and woods. There’s no shore access, but you can splash the kayaks, dinghy explore, or toss in some fish lines.
And Diana has an insider naturalist’s tip for you if you visit this anchorage in the early spring: Take your sundowner on deck at dusk and listen for a nasal “peent” call followed by an eery winnowing noise. Those are male American Woodcocks, aka timberdoodles, doing their “sky dance” aerial courtship displays. If you look closely you may actually spot a bird zig-zagging downward. The winnowing noise is created by the rushing air vibrating their tail feathers as the bird plummets from about 300 feet in the air. It’s one of the unique sounds and spectacles of spring’”which you can view from the box seats of your cockpit or flybridge.
Best and see you On the Water,
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Hardy Creek Anchorage
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Lukens Anchorage
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River – Eastern Shore Anchorage
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Eastman Creek Anchorage
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South River
I live on Big Creek and I can assure you that any commercial fish processing operation is long gone. Nothing here but a few homes and the 11 foot aligator.