The Lumber River In N.C

By: David Hull and Hunter Langley


The lumber river is located and the bottom of North Carolina and with run into South Carolina. The lumber river runs 133 miles long. European settlers first called the river Drowning Creek, which still is the name of its headwater. The waterway known as the Lumber River extends downstream from the Scotland County-Hoke County border to the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Soon after crossing into South Carolina, the Lumber River flows into the Little Pee Dee River, which flows into the Pee Dee River, or Great Pee Dee River. Finally, the combined waters flow into Winyah Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1989, the river was designated as a "Natural and Scenic River" by the North Carolina General Assembly. In addition, it is the only blackwater river in North Carolina to be designated as a National Wild and Scenic River by the Department of Interior. In 2010, the Lumber River was voted one of North Carolina’s Ten Natural Wonders. In the late 18th and the 19th centuries, the lumbering and naval stores industries were critical to the region's economy. The Lumber River became a vital route for transporting 100-foot logs downriver to Georgetown, South Carolina. Lumberton, North Carolina served as an important turpentine and timber town. Bridge abutments, tram bridges, and dock pilings are reminders of the critical importance of lumbering and naval stores industries to the area as a whole. In 2009, leaders of the state-recognized Lumbee tribe, based in Robeson County, North Carolina, passed a resolution asking the legislature to return the river to its ancestral name of Lumbee which was Siouan for "Dark Water". The river has always been known to local American Indians as the Lumbee. In 1952, the tribe officially adopted Lumbee as its tribal name.


The Lumber River is a natural and scenic black water river, which flows through the Pembroke area. The native environment of the Lumber River valley has scenic cypress-gum swamps, hardwood forests and upland pine forests. The Lumber River is one of the most highly prized recreation sites in North Carolina; recreation varies from active outdoor recreation, to festivals, to passive activities. Among the most popular activities are canoeing and boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, camping, nature study, swimming, biking, jogging, crafts and fossil and artifact hunting. One of the best way to experience the unique characteristics of the Lumber River is by canoe. The visitor experiences miles of natural settings that one would normally expect in highly isolated areas. The visitor can choose between a variety of canoeing challenges and trip lengths. Trips can vary from one hour along some river sections to several days navigating the entire river.Pembroke is a unique Southern college town with a rich American Indian heritage.

The community has many attractions and amenities that are pleasant surprises to visitors.

Pembroke is the home town of the Lumbee Tribe, , the ninth largest tribe in the United States.

Pembroke is the home of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNC-Pembroke).

The quality of life is distinctly southern, but very progressive; the people, hardworking, friendly, honest.

Pembroke is located in Robeson County in southeastern North Carolina and is approximately 7 miles from the intersection of U.S. Highway 74 and Interstate 95 at Lumberton. The Pembroke area is approximately 1.5 hours south of Raleigh and 1.5 hours north of the North and South Carolina beaches, and two hours east of Charlotte.


The Lumber River Rural Planning Organization (RPO) is a partnership between the participating local governments of Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland Counties and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The twenty RPOs across North Carolina are voluntary


As the 80-degree waters sizzle beginning in June, bass fishing becomes nothing less than explosive and extremely addictive for the avid fisherman. Although not widely known, the Lumber River fishery is prized by anglers throughout the region.

However, the terrain of the Lumber and other typical blackwater rivers come with a different playbook for landing trophy bass during the summer. Local knowledge and an understanding of blackwater river habitat both play important roles in success.

Each tree trunk or overhanging limb looks fishy to the casual fisherman seeing the Lumber for the first time; however, summertime bass frequently hold in specific places when water temperatures are more like a summer sauna.