The Elwell Ferry began operation in 1905. Two brothers, John R. and Walter H. Russ, began the service which crosses the same point to this day. At the time, the Elwell Ferry was one of numerous river ferries in the state and the country operated by local residents to connect local farms and villages to each other. As time marched on, nearly all of the Elwell's sister ferries would be replaced by bridges or abandoned altogether. Many consider the Elwell Ferry a living relic of early transportation within North Carolina.
Today, the ferry is owned and operated by the NC Department of Transportation. The ferry holds a maximum of two passenger vehicles or about four tons in total weight capacity. It runs from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the Spring and Summer and from sunrise to sunset in the Winter and Fall. On average, anywhere from 60 to 80 vehicles per day utilize Elwell Ferry. There is no ferry service on Christmas Day.
- From Fayetteville or Elizabethtown: Follow NC 87 South approximately 14 miles past the end of the Elizabethtown Bypass. Turn left onto Elwell Ferry Road, the ferry is about one and a half miles straight ahead.
- From Wilmington: Follow US 74/76 to NC 87 North. Continue on NC 87 North about 16 miles. Turn Right onto Elwell Ferry Road, the ferry is about one and a half miles straight ahead.
North Carolina's Inland River Ferries Index:
Sources & Links