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Since the economic downturn in the 1990s, community members in the Roanoke River region have developed a tourism economy to capitalize on the area's natural resources. Roanoke River Partners, Inc, was created in 1997, and since then, an antique trail, a Civil War trail, a recreational paddle trail, and a camping system have helped boost the region's economy.
The lower Roanoke River provides locals and visitors with all sorts of outdoor activities. The historical river has supported farmers, provided cover for slaves and moonshiners, and served as a means for transport of goods.