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The Black River was a commercial highway from the colonial period until the late 19th-century. Truck and rail transportation ended this activity, which may have saved the river from environmental degradation.
Near Ingold in Sampson County, the Coharie and Six Runs Creeks join to form the Black River, which flows 66 miles before emptying into the Cape Fear River 14 miles above Wilmington. The Black River was a commercial highway from the colonial period until the late 19-century. Peterson describes a journey down the river in which he discovers its history and explores its natural surroundings.