best boating in the immediate Raleigh area is the Haw River
For stuff local to Raleigh, you really need a copy of "Carolina Whitewater" by Benner & Benner. It's not nearly as pretty as Leland's new guidebook, but it covers the Eastern portion of the state, which is omitted from Leland's guide.
In the immediate Raleigh area you have the Eno, Little, & Flat rivers, collectively known as the 'ELF' near Durham. The Haw, and the Rocky rivers near Pittsboro. Beyond that, you're a few hours from Wilson Creek & the Watauga River in western NC & about 4 hours from the New/Gauley in WV.
Check out the Carolina Canoe Club when you get to Raleigh. They have an email list which is pretty good for meeting locals. Lots of weekend warriors there, and you can almost always find someone going to WNC or WV.
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