Friday, September 4, 2009

October First Saturday Outing

DRBA Celebrates Eden’s
Land of Two Rivers



The City of Eden, North Carolina, is known as “The Land of Two Rivers,” and the Dan River Basin Association’s October 3 outing will celebrate the city’s latest success in making its two rivers more accessible to the public. The two-part float will use three public access points now available in Eden on the Smith and Dan rivers.

Meeting at 10:00 a.m. in the parking lot of Three Rivers Outfitters, participants will launch their boats at Island Ford Landing, located at the Meadow Road trailhead of the Eden Smith River Greenway. This new public access point was officially opened on August 24, 2009.
Floating two miles to the Smith River’s confluence with the Dan, boaters will take out at the Eden Wildlife Access, locally known as “the Boat Landing,” a popular Dan River access point beside Bethlehem Church Road.

Loading up their boats for a short shuttle, participants will lunch at Leaksville Landing Access and Park, which was dedicated on August 22, 2006. After lunch, the float will resume with a 1.5-mile paddle 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 the Association on a reforestation project to protect the river, including a rain garden to capture runoff from the picnic shelter and parking lot.

As part of North Carolina Big Sweep, the annual watershed cleanup in which the Association always takes part, participants will collect any litter they find along both rivers. Cornerstones of DRBA’s mission are education, recreation, and stewardship of our resources.
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, the long, narrow boats 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.

Other interesting facts about these sections of the rivers are found in the Association’s two new publications: 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 .

An added bonus of the outing will be the Association’s observance of Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month. The 1,000-mile trail, which includes Rockingham County’s rivers and some of its footpaths, crosses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks.
Participants are asked to 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. North Carolina 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, will offer boat rentals and shuttle for the float.
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.

All First Saturday Outings of the Dan River Basin Association are free and open to the public.For more information, contact T Butler, 336-349-5727 or

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