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State Park introduces wildlife to students

By Samantha Langley
Asst. Around the Town Editor

April 30, 2012

Photo by Samantha Langley
The Lumber River State Park is an area filled with various plants and animals and is a resource for students and community members interested in the outdoors.

The Lumber River State Park, located about 45 minutes from UNCP in Orrum, N.C., is a popular attraction for many people in the Lumberton area.

With a mixture of outdoor and learning activities, it can be enjoyable for many.

Two of the most popular attractions in the park are boating and canoeing. Princess Anne Road and Chalks Banks are the two main access areas to the park.

Dr. Lisa Kelly, of UNCP's biology department, said that the Lumber River is a great place for all levels of boaters. She has escorted many student groups in canoeing trips on the river.<

"Much of the river is very calm and easy for new boaters, but sometimes after a heavy rain the water levels can go up, causing obstructions in the river and higher river currents," Dr. Kelly said.

Fishing from boats is allowed in the park, so long as the angler has the required licenses.

Neill Lee, superintendent of the park, said that the river attracts many people each year and is the most popular attraction in the park.

The park rangers rent out canoes for fees that differ with the type of canoe rented.

Swimming is also allowed in the river, but Dr. Kelly warned that swimmers should be careful.

The Lumber River is a black water river. This is due to decomposing molecules in the river that cause the river to have a dark tint. If someone is pulled in due to currents in the river, then they may not be able to see what is around them.

The park also offers camping for as low as $10 a night for primitive campsites. Primitive means that there are no sewer or electricity hook-ups and may require a hike to get there.

Different fees apply for different amenities, such as accessibility, electricity hook-ups and waterfront camp spaces.

Hiking trails can also be found in the park. All trails are labeled with the name of the trail, skill level and length of the trail.

Dr. Kelly teaches environmental science and imparts to her students the uniqueness of the park.

"Students can learn a lot from the native flora and fauna in the park. Beavers, raccoons, rabbits, fish and reptiles can all be found there," Dr. Kelly said.

One spot that Dr. Kelly suggested that visitors look for in the park is the gryar in the river.

A gryar is a natural occurrence where the water moves in a circular flow instead of a straight flow.

Lee suggested being quiet in the park to observe the wildlife.

"If you're very quiet going down the river, sometimes you can see muskrats playing in the grass or a beaver taking a piece of wood back to his shelter," Lee said.

Dr. Kelly also encouraged visitors to keep the park clean.

"This is your state park. Keep it clean for the next time you visit and for future generations," Dr. Kelly said.

To find out more about the Lumber River State Park, visit the NC state park website at and click on the Lumber River Link, or call (910)628-4564.

The state park can be accessed at 2819 Princess Ann Road, Orrum, N.C. 28369.

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Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012
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