The town of Beaufort, nestled on the Outer Banks, is the origins of the Inland waterway. This maritime route extends into the Neuse River, where it joins the Pamlico Sound. Traveling north, mariners can follow the Pamlico into the Albemarle and Chesapeake Bays. To move between Beaufort and Norfolk, Virginia, a system of canals linking the rivers and sounds was created. In 1925, canal expansion was underway to link the Alligator River and Cape Fear River into this inland waterway, bypassing the Pamlico Sound and the capes of the Outer Banks, respectively.