Port Terminal kayak launch in progress!

Construction has started on a new boat ramp and kayak launch on the Tar River at Port Terminal in Greenville.

The kayak launch is the last of three Sound Rivers’ kayak launch installations intended to get people paddling the Tar-Pamlico Water Trail. The launches at Havens Garden and Mason’s Landing were completed in March and June of this year.

“The goal is increase access to the trail with these launches,” said Clay Barber, Sound Rivers’ environmental projects coordinator.

The Port Terminal launch has been in the works for nearly five years, when Sound Rivers received a $100,000 Recreational Trails Program grant from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources — the same grant used to construct the camping platforms along the Tar-Pamlico Water Trail — with other funding from the North Carolina Division of Water Resources, Wildlife Resources Commission and the City of Greenville.

The project includes an expanded boat ramp and parking lot, as well.

“Right now, there’s two concrete ramps for motor boats to put in, and they are adding a third one. They are putting in a dock to go alongside of it, and that is what we will attach our kayak launch to,” Clay said.

Currently, the majority of the new boat ramp’s concrete slab has been poured and the expanded parking lot is being cleared.

Clay said the new construction will provide a better kayaking experience and creates a separate space for launching, away from motorists launching their powerboats at the adjacent boat ramp.

“It just puts some distance between paddlers and motorists. Of all of our locations, this is probably the most heavily used spot. Aside from creating some safety space between users, it increases the number of users with various capabilities. It also saves some damage to your paddling equipment,” he said.

Project completion is estimated to be the end of January.