Parker's Ferry

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Parker's Ferry is a cable ferry located on the Meherrin River in Hertford County, North Carolina. The ferry is operated by a contractor for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Parker's Ferry on the Meherrin River near Winton, NC

The ferry is located in on Parkers Ferry Road at the north end of the Meherrin River & Parkers Fishery Road at the south end of the Meherrin River (Hertford SR 1306). It is one of three remaining cable ferries left in operation in North Carolina. The others are the Sans Souci Ferry and Elwell Ferry. The ferry is not considered part of the state ferry system which operates ferries along the immediate NC coast. The NC cable ferries are considered inland ferries and are operated by regional DOT divisional offices instead of the NC DOT Ferry Division.


The ferry differs from most ferries in that it is literally driven, or one could say guided, by a steel cable that is stretched across the river. The cable is secured on each end of the river by steel posts and as the ferry crosses the river, the force of the boat, with the help of rollers on the side of the boat, pulls the normally submerged cable out of the water. The cable is permanently secured to the ferry and allows for the boat to not stray off course in normal river currents. The ferry only carries two cars at its maximum and does not operate in high water conditions or storms for the threat of the cable snapping in treacherous conditions is too great. Persons wanting to ride the ferry that happen to be on the opposite side of the river than the ferry must blow their horn to summon the ferry. The ferry is free of charge. The ferry operates almost every day except for days of high water and bad weather. The Ferry is on land that was part of the Meherrin Indian Reservation. The Meherrin now live about 10 miles away in the Winton area.

Vessel description[edit]

The ferry consists of a steel barge like platform that cars drive onto. Off to one side of the boat is an "engine room" where the operator sits and controls the boat's engine, which actually sits outside beside the room. The ferry is powered by a diesel engine. The operator must know when to let off the throttle, since the ferry has no brakes or on board steering device. In the early days the ferry was made of wood.

Coordinates: 36°26′13″N 76°57′12″W / 36.43694°N 76.95333°W / 36.43694; -76.95333