Currituck County plans camping platforms for Northwest River

By on May 29, 2018

Camping platforms like this one on the Roanoke River in Bertie County are planned for the Northwest River in Currituck. (Roanoke River Partners, Facebook)

Currituck has long been defined by water, and in the near future, the county’s residents and visitors may have another way to enjoy it.

The county’s Parks and Recreation and Travel and Tourism departments have been working together to bring camping platforms to the Northwest River, a new ecotourism opportunity for a county already famous for its hunting, fishing and nature-related activities on the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound.

The plan calls for a cluster of three platforms in the shade of the cypress trees lining the river.

Once they are complete, paddlers may reach the platforms in canoes or kayaks launched from the boat ramp on Shingle Landing Creek near Moyock, said Jason Weeks, the director of Currituck’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The first step involves upgrades to the Shingle Landing site. Weeks is working on plans for a larger dock area, which will include a kayak and canoe launch, he said.

Once the paddlers get under way, they can travel north up Shingle Landing Creek to the Northwest River. Paddling north up the river, they will eventually reach Chesapeake’s Northwest River Park.

The new, elevated camping platforms will allow travelers in canoes and kayaks to take a break and spend the night along the way, without leaving the river.

The county isn’t ready to release the exact location, but the platforms will be about three-fourths of a mile up the Northwest River from Shingle Landing Creek, and may only be accessed by boat, Weeks said.

Several Currituck enterprises offer paddle tours of the Currituck Sound and tours to see the wild horses on the county’s northern beaches, and the camping platforms will be another ecotourism asset, said Tameron Kruger, executive director of Currituck’s Travel and Tourism Department.

“This is a good opportunity to enhance what we already have,” Kruger said. The platforms will allow visitors to camp in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, she added.

While researching the project, Kruger and Weeks visited camping platforms on the Roanoke River in Bertie County. Kruger said she was impressed by the rustic but well-made platforms, and said that although she prefers accommodations that include room service, the natural beauty of the places they visited (almost) made her want to try platform camping too.

“I loved them,” she said. “I thought they did a wonderful job.”

The platforms will be a collaboration between the county and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, along with planning assistance from the Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council.

“We’ve got all of the pieces in place,” Weeks said. The Wildlife Resources Commission must agree to the plan, as the platforms will be on state-owned property.

“We have to build it and maintain it, and they’re letting us use their property,” Weeks said.

He expects a contract to be signed in the near future, but wasn’t ready to give a timeline for construction to begin.

“I’m shooting for fall or winter,” he said. “That would be my goal.”


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Comments

  • Steven Niethamer

    Nice concept. H trust they will be high enough so snakes will not use them to sun bathe on. Just a concern to take into sonsideration.

    Tuesday, May 29 @ 1:06 pm
  • Greg Roberts

    Talk to yakers who already fear that creek due to big boats and ski boats flying up and down it! Not for families or rookies!

    Tuesday, May 29 @ 9:37 pm
  • Sean

    Steven there is aligator black bears and Bob cats too. Maybe they will put electric fences around the platforms to protect you.

    Wednesday, May 30 @ 5:07 am
  • Mr Lee

    Who in their right mind will want to camp in the middle of the swamp. It looks like to me the county is trying sell the concept that it is safe to sleep in the swamp. Will the county install porta potty’s or will the people just hang it over the side of the platform. What happens when someone gets bit by a large cotton mouth so far away from help. There is a good possibility they will die. Will this make the county responsible and cause another law suite.
    I would really like the county spend this extra money on infrastructure. We have city water along the main highway but not to the majority of the citizens. What about carova there are hundreds of 1/4 acre lots, how is that going to work with a septic system and a well. I really hope our new commissioners and the new ones to come will work for the good of the people of Currituck county not just the tourist.

    Wednesday, May 30 @ 11:38 am
  • Windy Bill

    Gators and Bears and Bob, Oh My!

    Wednesday, May 30 @ 1:07 pm
  • Ricky

    Lots of rivers already have these camping platforms. Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Cashie and Roanoke just to name a few around here that have several along each river. Lots of people must be out of their mind… or maybe they just like to get outside and enjoy the wildlife.

    Wednesday, May 30 @ 9:35 pm
  • DEECEE

    Another fine idea from the Commissioners to spend money thoughtlessly.
    Who really benefits from this? Are there that many who could would take advantage of this? What’s next? Swamp rescue watercraft? A permit/reservation system to collect more fees?
    Want a spending idea that won’t involve snakes and bears?
    How about a children’s park in Corolla. Swings, slides, etc.
    Hundreds of young children visit Corolla weekly. It would be used. Probably more than the portable dance floor at Whalehead, and likely at not much more costly.

    Thursday, May 31 @ 6:42 am
  • wowsers

    Why is everyone so butt hurt on here…….GEEEZE!

    Monday, Jun 4 @ 9:29 pm