Friday, July 10, 2009

Two Paddle Events offered August 1st

On August 1 members of the Dan River Basin Association and their guests will have a choice: enter or assist with the boat race sponsored by the Madison-Mayodan Recreation Department, or float with DRBA’s First Saturday Outing near Hanging Rock State Park.

Both the Madison and the Stokes County floats will be on flat or Class 1 river sections suitable for novice paddlers with some river experience.

Entrants in the 20th Annual Madison Boat Race will run a 2.5 mile course from Lindsey Bridge Access to NC 704 Access. The event will offer food, entertainment and awards in a variety of age, gender and boat categories.

Non-racers will join Will Truslow for a scenic 6.5-mile float on the Dan River in Stokes County from Big Creek to the Dan River Company. Participants will meet at the Dan River Company, 1110 Flinchum Road, Danbury, NC, where from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., David Hoskins will shuttle drivers to the put-in.

One of the most popular stretches of the Dan River, “There are incredible bluffs that come straight down to riverside. The scenery is magnificent.” Near the end of the trip, he adds, is “a quarter-mile-long bluff that is stunning.”

Most of the trip will be through lands recognized by the state of North Carolina as State Natural Heritage Areas, and about half a mile is in Hanging Rock State Park.
Within the first two miles after the put-in, three creeks enter the Dan on river right—North Double Creek, South Double Creek, and Cascade Creek. Cascade Creek comes in at Moore’s Spring Campground, site of a mineral spring discovered in 1866 and of a spa operated from about 1900 to the 1920’s.

Shortly afterward, paddlers may take a break at “Demon Rock,” (the name corrupted from “Denman’s Rock,” its name in 1800), a spectacular 60-foot cliff. Travelers have imagined they could see such images in the rock face as cowboy boots and a Native American face.

Boaters’ imaginations are further reflected in names given to small ledges in the riverbed, including Dogleg Rock Rapid, Three Sisters Rapid, Play Wave Rapid, and Learning Curve Rapid.
Besides natural ledges, paddlers will pass vee-shaped fish traps, used for centuries by Native Americans and European settlers to channel fish into nets or baskets during their annual spawning runs.

To reach the Dan River Company from Danbury, NC, travel north on NC 8/89 past Hanging Rock Park Road. Go one mile, turn left onto Flinchum Road, and go to the end of the road.

Participants in the outing are asked to provide boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in layers of quick-drying fabric and to sign a waiver.

Boat rentals are available at the Dan River Company, 336-593-2628 or

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For trip information, contact trip coordinator Will Truslow at 336-547-1903 or

For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit

Contributed by: T Butler

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