October 3, 2009 - 10:00 am
DRBA's October 3 outing, our annual NC Big Sweep cleanup, will celebrate the City of Eden's increased river access. The two-part float will use three public access points on the Smith and Dan rivers.
Meeting at 10:00 a.m. in the parking lot of Three Rivers Outfitters, we will launch our boats at Island Ford Landing, located at the Meadow Road trailhead of the Eden Smith River Greenway. We will first clean up two miles of the Smith, taking out at the Eden Wildlife Access, locally known as "the Boat Landing," on Bethlehem Church Road.
Loading up our boats for a short shuttle, we will lunch at Leaksville Landing Access and Park. After lunch, the cleanup will resume with a 1.5-mile paddle on the Dan back to the Boat Landing.
Although the rivers flow through the City of Eden, high forested banks hide many of the homes and businesses and provide a pleasant rural setting. Gravel bars may generate riffles, but the rivers tend to be shallow and easy to navigate.
The entire trip is rated Class 1 in difficulty.
At the new Island Ford Access, MillerCoors Brewery is partnering with DRBA on a reforestation project to capture runoff from the picnic shelter and parking lot.
Each river boasts its own rich history. Island Ford is named for the place where Colonial travelers on the road from Salem, North Carolina to Petersburg, Virginia crossed the Smith River.
Leaksville Landing is the only known existing port in the United States for batteaux that carried nineteenth-century commerce on our shallow inland rivers. Just downstream from Leaksville Landing is the 30-foot-tall stone piling from the 1852 Leaksville Covered Bridge, which fell into the river in 1943.
For more points of interest, see Map 1 of "An Insider's Guide to the Smith River in Virginia and North Carolina," and Maps 47 -- 48 of "An Insider's Guide to the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia." Both are available at http://www.danriver.org/ .
Meet at 10:00 a. m. at Three Rivers Outfitters, 413-B Church Street, Eden, NC. Please bring boat, life jacket, plenty of fluids, lunch, and work gloves. NC Big Sweep will provide trash bags for the cleanup. Although the trip is not technically demanding or hazardous, boaters will be asked to sign a waiver.
In addition, those who sign a separate waiver for NC Big Sweep and participate in recording the types and amounts of trash collected will be eligible for prize drawings provided by the Rockingham County Beautification Council.
Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215 or http://www.3-r-o.com/, will offer boat rentals and shuttle for the float.
Directions: To reach Three Rivers Outfitters, take NC 14 to Eden, North Carolina. Turn west on Meadow Road (NC 770/NC 700). Go through one traffic light at Stadium Drive. Cross the Smith River on Island Ford Bridge, enter the traffic circle, and immediately turn right into the parking lot.
Further Information: T Butler, 336-349-5727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.