The Roanoke Navigation System began building the canal in 1819 and completed it in 1824. The trade of a vast Roanoke River that extended 370 miles into the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina was funneled into the fledgling community known as Weldon's Place.
The most magnificent canal structure is in the last five miles, the Chockoyotte Aqueduct. The aqueduct, "of excellent workmanship and beautiful finish," served as a bridge to carry the canal waters over Chockoyotte Creek. According to William Troute of the American Canal Society, "Chockoyotte Aqueduct alone could make North Carolina a significant old canal state." Later, due to the railroad, the canal was deepened and widened for a Power Plant located behind the Grist Mill and finally ceased operation after the Civil War in 1855. Although dry today, the Roanoke Canal will make a valuable contribution to the public.
Its scenic trail and various well preserved canal structures give it possibilities of becoming a historical park. Although a Roanoke Canal Museum opened in 2005 in Roanoke Rapids, it is important to discuss the canal history in Weldon because of the canal's influence on the evolution of the town. A 7.8 mile portion of The Roanoke/Weldon Canal runs between Weldon and Roanoke Rapids.
Roanoke Canal Trail Website: http://www.roanokecanal.com/
The Roanoke Canal Trail Map
The Roanoke Canal Trail Images