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River Basin Riddler Cards
Cut out the fact cards below to make your own river basin trivia game! Assign points to each of the facts and hold a class competition.
  • Contains the “Bat Cave,” the largest granite fissure cave in North America, which provides
    a home for the endangered Indiana Bat.

  • Home of the popular tourist destinations Chimney Rock Park and Lake Lure.

  • Contains 97 rare plant and animal species.
  • This river basin contains no part of the river for which it was named.

  • Home of the 411-foot Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies.

  • Three fish, the turquoise darter, redeye bass, and rosyface chub, are found only in this basin’s Gorges State Park.
French Broad
  • Home of the 6,684-foot high Mount Mitchell.

  • Begins as a 50-foot waterfall in Transylvania County.

  • Only NC river basin that is home to the common mudpuppy, an aquatic salamander, and the rare Eastern spiny softshell turtle.
  • Contains Edenton, the first permanent European settlement in NC.

  • Along with the Roanoke River, it supplies fresh water to the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary, the second largest estuary system in the US.

  • Contains less than 1% of the state’s population.
Little Tennessee
  • Home of Bridal Veil Falls, a waterfall that you can drive a car under.

  • River otters were reintroduced into streams in the basin, which helps the basin keep a natural balance of native aquatic animal life.

  • Contains Nantahala Gorge, one side of which reaches more than 1,000 feet.
  • Got its name from the Cherokee word meaning savanna or meadow.

  • Home of the endangered knotty elimia, a freshwater mollusk that lives nowhere else in the world.

  • Contains Peachtree Mound, one of the most important Cherokee ancestral sites.
  • Grandfather Mountain, the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is located in this basin.

  • This is the second smallest river basin in NC with only 6 incorporated towns.

  • This basin’s rare animal residents include the peregrine falcon, the Carolina northern flying squirrel, the Virginia big-eared bat, and the spruce-fir moss spider.
White Oak
  • This basin is filled with coastal and freshwater wetlands, and is made up of four river systems.

  • The 160,000-acre Croatan National Forest is home to more insect-eating plants than any other national forest.

  • Insect-eating plants like the
    Venus flytrap, pitcher plants, bladderworts, butterworts, and sundews can be found in this basin.
  • This river is the longest contained in NC’s borders, and at its mouth it is the widest in North America at 6 miles across.

  • Contains an unusual feature for the coastal plain, a 100-foot canyon carved by the river, located near Goldsboro.

  • Home to the Neuse River waterdog (a rare aquatic salamander), the rare Carolina madtom fish, and the panhandle pebblesnail.
  • This river is actually thought to be one of the oldest in the world, estimated at 300 million years old.

  • More bog turtles live in this basin than any other basin in NC. This rare and threatened turtle weighs only about 4 ounces when it reaches adulthood.

  • This basin is the largest supplier of Christmas trees in NC.
  • This basin has more national wildlife refuges than any other and the fewest number of people.

  • Home of Lake Phelps, the second largest natural lake in NC. It has crystal blue water, and more than 30 ancient dugout canoes have been found on its bottom.

  • In 1987, red wolves were reintroduced into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge located in this basin.
  • This river carries more water than any other in NC, it also has the widest floodplain – up to 5 miles in some places.

  • Contains the densest population of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and black bear, and has at least 214 bird species.

  • This river was once called “the river of death” because its spring floods claimed so many lives.
  • Lake Waccamaw is the largest water-filled Carolina Bay in NC.

  • Contains a large portion of the Green Swamp, which has the highest density of small-scale plant diversity in North America.

  • American alligators, carnivorous pitcher plants and Venus flytraps, as well as the Waccamaw silverside and Waccamaw darter, are found in this basin.
  • This basin contains Lake Mattamuskeet, NC’s largest natural lake.

  • 90% of all commercial seafood caught in NC is born in the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary in this basin.

  • NC’s largest producer of tobacco (Pitt) and producer of corn, wheat, and sorghum (Beaufort) are located in the basin.
  • This basin was the location of the United States’ first documented gold discovery.

  • Location of the Uwharries, the oldest mountain range in North America.

  • This basin is called the cradle of civilization of the Carolinas. The area has artifacts of Native American culture that date back 12,000 years.
Cape Fear
  • The largest river basin located entirely in NC.

  • Home of the Cape Fear Shiner, an endangered minnow species that lives nowhere else in the world.

  • Contains ¼ of the state’s population.
  • Contains the most major dams of any NC basin.

  • Home of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in NC.

  • Home of the rare Edmund’s snaketail dragonfly.

Adapted from "River Basin Riddler" in 2003 Love-A-Tree Environmental Education Activity Book