Monday, December 5, 2011

DRBA to Hike Fieldale Trail January 7

Start of DRBA’s Tenth Year Celebration

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) will begin its Tenth Year Celebration with a January 7 hike on the Fieldale Trail beside the Smith River in Fieldale, Virginia. Participants will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Fieldale Park (GPS 36.700615,-79.934185) near the site of the old Fieldale Iron Bridge for an out-and-back stroll coordinated by Friends of the Fieldale Trail volunteers.

Hikers may choose to walk a distance of from 1 ½ to 6 miles, since two sections comprise the trail—a 1.5-mile Upper Fieldale Trail from Fieldale Park to the original trailhead, and a 1.5-mile Lower Fieldale Trail downstream from the trailhead. Both segments are flat and easy to walk. Walking the entire distance out and back gives a total of six miles.

The Fieldale Trail offers "a golden opportunity to see Mother Nature up close and personal right in our own backyard," according to Adopt-a-Trail volunteers Charles and Pat Dameron. Tommy Wyatt, a leader of DRBA’s Friends of the Fieldale Trail, adds, “The trail is a great place to meet people from the community. Families, children, elderly people, bicyclists, and even people training for marathons use the trail as part of their daily activities.”

Hugging the bank of the Smith River, the graveled Upper Fieldale Trail winds through woods and open fields frequented by a variety of birds to the trailhead at the Fieldale Canoe Access, where a restroom is available. From there, the natural-surface Lower Fieldale Trail enters the riverside forest and skirts rhododendron bluffs alongside the river to its downstream terminus. Towering sycamore trees shelter the trail, and gravel bars and rock formations in the streambed give voice to the river.

Envisioned at a 2005 planning session of DRBA’s Martinsville-Henry County affiliate, the Fieldale Trial is part of the proposed 45-mile Smith River Trail System from Philpott Dam to the river’s confluence with the Dan River at Eden, NC, as well as the Beaches to Bluegrass Trail across Southern Virginia.

One mile of the Upper Fieldale Trail opened in July, 2007 and the Lower Fieldale Trail was dedicated in March, 2009. Built with both public and private support, the trail is operated by Henry County Parks & Recreation.

A special attraction is a section of the 1931 Fieldale Iron Bridge that carried traffic across the Smith River for nearly 70 years. When the bridge was replaced in 2009, present and former residents and friends of Fieldale from all over the United States contributed funds, time, and materials to save trusses of the landmark structure. The 54-foot portion of the historic bridge now proudly serves as nearby trail art.

Construction of the Textile Heritage Trail, an extension of the Upper Fieldale Trail, is currently underway. The loop trail will feature interpretive signs celebrating the textile heritage on which the town of Fieldale was based. Brian Williams, DRBA’s Program Manager, notes that “a hard-packed gravel surface and boardwalk will make this entire trail handicapped accessible.”

Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism, says, “The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to work in partnership with DRBA to construct the Textile Heritage Trail. Part of our Deep Roots Legacy, this project ties together the wonderful natural resources that our community has to offer, along with its rich heritage of textiles.”

Participants in the hike should meet at 10:00 a.m. at Fieldale Park, 188 Field Avenue, at the intersection of Field Avenue and South River Road. Bring lunch, water and a hiking stick; wear comfortable shoes or hiking boots; dress in layers of water-shedding artificial fabric or wool; and be prepared for rain or wind. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver form.

Directions: From US 220 take the VA 609 exit towards Fieldale. Turn right at Dillon’s Fork Road, continue on Virginia Avenue, continue on Patrick Avenue, turn right at Field Avenue. Turn right at South River Road, and immediately turn right into the parking lot of the Fieldale Park.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For more information, contact Trip Coordinator Paula Wyatt at 276-647-3274 or
For membership information, visit

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Step Back to 1728 with DRBA on December 3 Outing

Dr. Will Truslow, avid outdoorsman and past president of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA), will coordinate DRBA's First Saturday Outing December 3- a 2.5 mile hike beside the Mayo River. Truslow, who often runs the Mayo River in his kayak, will meet hikers at 10:00am under Anglin Mill Bridge (GPS 36.53454, -79.99010), about 0.3 mile upstream from Mayo Beach, not far om the famous "Boiling Hole."

From the meeting place, participants will walk north along the Mayo River to Fall Creek. They will turn upstream beside the creek, hikers will proceed downstream along Fall Creek back to the river's edge. They will continue north along the Mayo to a place where the North Mayo and South Mayo rivers meet near the state line.

Crossing from North Carolina into Virginia, the hikers will arrive at the literal "high point" of the outing: "Byrd's Rock" or "Byrd's Ledge." Here William Byrd, leader of the survey party that established the border between Virginia and Carolina in 1728, viewed his crossing and camping place on the west side of the North Mayo River. In keeping with the survey party's experience, DRBA participants will take their lunch break at Byrd's Ledge.

Hikers will then retrace their steps to the meeting place, again crossing Fall Creek on large rocks.

Truslow comments,"This is a flat hike that goes right beside the Mayo River and is just beautiful. Seeing the massive rock formation of the Falls is the highligt of the hike and is very impressive. It's hard to imagine an 18-foot waterfall in Rockingham County.

Thanks to efforts by DRBA, most of the path, as well as the Fall Creek waterfall are included in North Carolina's Mayo River State Park. In additional, the North Mayo and South Mayo rivers are recognized as Virginia Scenic Rivers for several miles upstream from thier confluence.

To reach the trailhead under Anglin Mill Bridge, exit US 220, turning west on Smith Road (SR 1360), winding four miles to a T-intersection wth Anglin Mill Road (SR 1358). Turn left on Anglin Mill Road and travel about a half-mile to within less than a mile of the bridge across the Mayo River. Turn left on unpaved Anglin Loop Road (SR 1385). This road will be not far past DeShazo Mill Road and the fire station. At the river, turn right on Mayo Beach Road (SR 1359), following the river upstream past the Boiling Hole to a parking area under the Anglin Mill Bridge.

Participants are asked to bring a walking stick, lunch and water, to wear stout boots and layered clothing, and to sign a waiver.

Meetings and outings of the Dan River Basin Association are free and open to the public. For more information about the outing, contact Will Truslow at (336) 547-1903 or For information about the Dan River Basin Association visit

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DRBA Plans Smith River Float - November 5

DRBA First Saturday Outing on Popular Section!

On November 5 the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) will celebrate autumn with a float on the most popular section of the Smith River-Marrowbone Creek Access to Mitchell Bridge Access in Henry County, Virginia.

Meeting at 10:00am at the Richard P. Gravely, Jr. Nature Preserve, 2525 Eggleston Falls Road in Ridgeway, VA (36.611067,-79.817712), the group will launch canoes and kayaks at the nearby access point. The 3.5-mile "blueway" Smith River Trail section, rated Class 1, is suitable for novice paddlers.

For boat rentals and shuttle, contact Smith River Adventure Outfitters,276-252-0701, or Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215, 276-340-3983,

Trip coordinator is Wayne Kirkpatrick, President of DRBA, aided by other DRBA members who frequent this section of the river.

For the first half mile of the trip, the river flows alongside the Gravely Nature Preserve's high bluffs where paddlers can glimpse the Rhododenron Trail. As the name implies, the path winds through a rhododenron thicket as it hugs the river's edge.

About a mile farther on, Leatherwood Creek enters from river left. Paddlers may choose to enter the wide mouth of the creek and take a leisurely side trip upstream to observe fall foliage and birdlife. Early American patriot Patrick Henry, for whom both Patrick and Henry counties are named, lived on a large plantation near the headwaters of Leatherwood Creek from 1779-1786.

Just below the mouth of the Leatherwood Creek is a broad rounded boulder in the middle of the river. Known locally as "Lunch Rock," It makes "a perfect spot to stop for a break," according to "An Insider's Guide to the Smith River," DRBA's detailed river guide available at

Henry County, in partnership with DRBA, has made the Smith River accessible to the public over the past four years by building public access points at eight new sites along the river, including the Marrowbone Creek Access, which opened in 2007. and Mitchell Bridge Access, built in 2009.

Participants are invited to linger after the outing to enjoy the Gravely Nature Preserve, part of the county's "greenway" Smith River Trail system, which was dedicated April 2008. Developed by DRBA and Henry County, with funding from The Harvest Foundation, the 75-acre preserve features two miles of interpretive trails. Historic features include early twentieth-century tobacco barns and the Burgess Family cemetary, reminders of former owners of the property.

Industrialist, civic leader, and archaeologist Richard P. Gravely, Jr. owned the property in the late twentieth century and left instructions for its preservation as a wildlife and nature conservancy. The preserve now hosts educational and recreational events for all ages, including day camps, fitness walks, historic presentations, workshops, after-school programs, and geo-caching.

Participants in the outing are asked to bring boat and paddles, life jackets, lunch and water, to dress in layers of artificial (quick-drying) fabric and to sign a waiver.

To reach the Gravely Nature Preserve from US 220 south of Martinsville, turn east at a traffic light onto Old Sand Road. Cross the US 58 overpass and immediately turn left onto Eggleston Falls Road. Travel about two miles to the preserve, which is on the left, across from the foot of Old Mill Road.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For information about the outing, contact Wayne Kirkpatrick, 276-694-4449 or

For membership information, visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DRBA to Clean Historic Section of Dan River

You're invited to DRBA's October 1 outing - a 5-mile cleanup float on the Dan River from Whetstone Creek to Eden. Meet at 10:00am at the NC Wildlife Access in Eden (36.4752, -79.7503), We'll paddle through several navigation sites, well-preserved ninetenth century river structures now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Corrdinated by T and Lindley Butler, the cleanup is part of NC Big Sweep, the statewide component of an international watershed cleanup. Participants record the types of trash they find,contributing to statistics that help design educational programs to prevent littering.

T Butler, who served for many years on the NC Big Sweep Board of Directors, says,"I am extremely proud of DRBA's roll in working to keep our rivers clean and safe. Our goal is litter-free waters throughout the Dan River Basin in North Carolina and Virginia.

"And", she adds, "DRBA participants always have a good time while we're collecting litter."

The navigation structure in the Dan, built in the 1820's and expanded as late as the 1880's, include sluices, landings, and wing dams that made the river usable by flatbottomed batteaux, the long, narrow workhorses of nineteenth century river commerce in the region.

According to Lindley Butler, a senior North Carolina historian,"The structures channel the water through rapids and ledges that would have blocked the batteaux, each of which carried several tons of goods. Present-day recreational users enjoy the effects of these structures, which have been self-maintaining for over 130 years.

"Because of the navigation system," he continues, "this section is rated as Class 1, suitable for novice paddlers. The improvements made in the 19th century enable us to float the Dan throughout Rockingham County even in times of extreme drought."

In this section, boaters will pass through several of these improvements, including Galloway's Lower Ford Sluice and Sneed Strong's Fish Dam Sluice. Two miles into the trip, on river left, was the Grief Wade Plantation where coal was mined during the Civil War and shipped by batteau to heat military prisons in Danville.

Just after passing the confluence of Buffalo Island Creek on river left, boaters will pass under the Harrington Highway Bridge, the site of former Hamlin's (Menzies) Island. Students of river hydrology explain that islands appear and disappear as a result of water action during heavy storms and floods.

Nearby on river left one may see a fine stand of the river cane common on the river when William Byrd surveyed the "Dividing Line" in 1728 but now gradually disappearing throughout much of the river's length.

During a lunch break at Leaksville Landing, boaters can view the crib structure in the river to which the nineteenth century batteaux were moored. Leaksville Landing is the only known batteau port in the United States.

After lunch participants will drift past Johnston's Landing and then the site of the former Leaksville Covered Bridge, where a massive stone pier from the 1852 span survives, along with a 150-foot-long sluice wall on river right.

One of the last points of interest on the trip will be the confluence of the Smith River, which enters the Dan from river left. More information may be found on Maps 47-50 of An Insider's Guide to the Dan River, available at

Participants in the outing are asked to bring boat, life jackets, gloves, lunch and water, to dress in layers of artificial (quick-drying) fabric and to sign a waiver. Trash bags will be provided.

Boats may be rented from Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215,

To reach Eden Wildlife Access from the north, travel south on NC 14 through the city of Eden. After crossing the Dan River, turn right at the traffic signal onto Harrington Highway. Take the first right, Bethlehem Church Road, turning right again at the Wildlife Access.

From the south, turn left off NC 14 onto Harrington Highway at the traffic signal just south of the Dan River. Turn right onto Bethlehem Church Road, then turn right to the Wildlife Access.

From the west, take NC 770 or NC 135 towards Eden. Turn right onto Harrington Highway and continue to Bethlehem Church Road. Turn left, and then right to the Wildlife Access.

From the northeast take US 58 to Danville's western city limit, turning left on Road 863 to Berryhill Community, where 863 becomes NC 770 West. Follow NC 770 West into Eden to NC 14. Turn left onto NC 14 and travel south through Eden, cross the Dan River and turn right at the traffic signal onto Harrington Highway. Take the first right, Bethlehem Church Road, turning right again at the Wildlife Access.

For more information, contact T Butler, 336-349-5727,

For membership information, visit

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September 3 Outing - Relocated

The September 3 First Saturday Outing had to be relocated since the Mayo River is too shallow, and the take-out access point is closed temporarily.
Instead, we will be running the Madison-Jacob's Creek section
NC 704 Access in Madison. Group leaders will be at the original put in site to pick up paddlers that did not get the info about the trip change.  From the Anglins Mill site they will go to the 704 Madison Access.  Most should be there by 10:30-10:45. We'll sign the waivers and set the shuttle from there, so there will be a few minutes' leeway.
Here are the directions to the Madison access point:
1.     Take US 220 South toward Greensboro.
2.     Cross Dan River, and take first ramp onto NC 704 toward Madison.
3.     At the first traffic light, turn right onto Market Street (small brown sign directs to Dan River Access).
4.     Go two blocks, and turn right onto Murphy Street.
5.     Cross the railroad tracks and turn right at the bottom of the hill onto Water Street.
6.     Continue under the bridge. The access site is on the left.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


You're invited! Spend part of your Labor Day holiday close to home, in a beautiful setting with friendly companions, as DRBA floats the Mayo River in Rockingham County, NC on September 3.

Meeting at 10:00 am at Old Anglin Mill Road (GPS 36.52976, -79.98952), downstream from Anglin Mill Bridge, this First Saturday Outing will cover nine and a half miles to US 220 Business Access, near the towns of Stoneville and Mayodan.

Trip coordinator is experienced paddler, musician, and solar power pioneer Kirby Wilkins, known for his musical talent and scientific acumen. Wilkins, a guitarist with his own band, also repairs guitars and gives guitar lessons. He often sets up his telescope away from city lights and sometimes teaches about stars at Rockingham Community College.

The Mayo River between Mayo Beach and the US 220 Business Access is a fairly easy section of Class 1 and Class 2 rapids suitable for a family outing. There is one tricky rapid just below the put-in which can be avoided by putting in downstream from it. Those with a yen for a little more excitement will have the option of running the famous "Boiling Hole" and the "S-turn" (alias "Blender") before proceeding with the rest of the trip.

Participants in the outing are asked to bring boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in artificial (quick-drying) fabric and to sign a waiver.

Direction: To reach the put-in, from 220 north of Stoneville, exit onto Smith Road (SR 1360) and turn west. Go four miles to a T-intersection with Anglin Mill Road (SR 1358). Turn left on Anglin Mill Road and travel about a half-mile to within less than a mile of the Anglin Mill Bridge over the Mayo. Turn left onto unpaved Old Anglin Mill Road (SR 1385). Go one-half mile to a T-intersection with Mayo Beach Road (SR 1359).

Information: Trip Coordinator Kirby Wilkins, 336-349-5948.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Smith River Cleanup

Volunteers once again gave back to the Smith River Saturday, August 6, 2011, as Gateway Streetscapes, Dan River Basin Association and Smith River Trout Unlimited combined forces for a clean sweep down a one mile section of the river, loading canoes, supplied for free by Smith River Adventures Outfitters, with everything from plastic bags to old tires.

“I think the river grows tires on the bottom down in this section,” said Lisa Hall, Trout Unlimited volunteer.
“There certainly were an abundance of tires littering the bottom of the Smith, we can’t get them all but we’ll get what we can in one day”, said Eric Capps of Gateway.
The section from Fieldale Bridge to the Fieldale Trail Canoe Ramp was selected as the target area. About 25 volunteers showed up to help out unfortunately, most were the same volunteers who show up whenever these events are done. “We haven’t figured out yet how to get all the “talkers” and other users of the resource off their butts to give back a little” said Al Kittredge. Seems like that attitude of “let the other guy do it” is what’s wrong with the country today.
A cookout was held after the clean-up to feed the group and plan for the next one! Our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers for coming out to lend a hand in making this a cleaner place to live and play.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Friends of Philpott Gear Swap

Saturday, August 13 · 9:00am - 4:00pm

Smith River Sports Complex - Smith River Fest
1000 Irisburg Road
Axton, Virginia

At the main festival grounds. Earn some extra cash! Bring your unwanted, gently used recreational gear and accessories so they can find a new home at the gear swap hosted by Friends of Philpott Lake.

A 10% commission fee from each sale will benefit the development of Bowens Creek Park, a fully handicap accessible recreation facility.

For those that are not able to attend. Friends of Philpott will make arrangements to pick-up/drop off items you want to sale at the Gear Swap and settle afterwards.
Contact: Linda Drage, Complete Handicap Wellness Park @ Bowens Creek: Chairperson or call 276-681-6805.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Explorer's Club

A group of eight local students had no idea what was in store for them as they scampered their way down rocks and through a hidden passage to a beautiful, majestic waterfall nestled right in the heart of Kibler Valley!
Thanks to an exciting new program, known as the Explorer’s Club, developed by the Dan River Basin Association, a select group of students became the first participants in this new adventure to experience and learn about everything from kayaking and canoeing to map and compass orientation and even wilderness survival skills.  The students ranged in age from 10 to 13 and all were from the Martinsville-Henry County area.  They were brought together through a selection process which involved filling out an extensive application providing summaries of their backgrounds and brief narrations of why they would like to be a part of the program.  They spent eight days together acquiring new skills and experiences in the outdoors. 
The young explorers met almost every day for two weeks and learned about topics such as how to survive in the outdoors, how to explore without leaving a trace, and how to identify certain plants like trees and wild flowers.  They were encouraged to push their comfort zones and explore beyond their usual boundaries while learning how to kayak and canoe and take wilderness hikes.  The group was lead by Smith River Adventure Outfitters, Eric Judday and botany enthusiast, Chad Lange.  Each day the group was also accompanied by a DRBA staff member or DRBA volunteer.

When the group first came together, the young explorers were anxious to get started but also a little shy about being around people they had never met before.  After a few days, the kids were no longer strangers; they had broken out of their shells and became a tight group that could depend on one another.   Each child showed how adventurous and courageous they really were when it came time to try something new.  On one hike, a northern water snake was discovered and each explorer got a chance to touch or hold the snake.  On another day, Wayne Kirkpatrick, DRBA President introduced the group to all kinds of aquatic life and all the explorers were brave enough to try their hand at holding a crayfish that was found hiding in the river.  Lisa Hall, DRBA volunteer also spent some time teaching the techniques of fly fishing to the explorers on the beautiful Smith River.
When it was time for all the fun to be over, it was no doubt that this group of young, courageous explorers would go back to their daily lives with a new kind of self assurance and courage.  Hopefully, one day when passing a local stream or river, a glimpse of something they learned or experienced will make them smile and they will share it with their friends and family so they too can want to be a part of enjoying the outdoors.  All of this was made possible through sponsorship of the Dan River Basin Association and funding from the Harvest Foundation.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Saturday Outing - July 2

The Dan River Basin Association's First Saturday Outing on July 2 will be a 5-mile round-trip paddle on Philpott Lake from Ryan's Branch to Emerson Falls.

Meet at Ryan's Branch on the Union Bridge Road (GPS 36.849853,-80.10227).
Dress in layers of synthetic fabric, wear sunscreen and hat, and bring boat, paddles, life jackets, lunch and water.

Free and open to the public.

For more information contact: Craig S. Rockwell, 276-629-4512 Ex 224,

Monday, June 27, 2011


Here is your chance to enter your picture and a chance to win some fantastic prizes including money (Based on the number of entries)???

ALL PROFIT FROM ENTRY FEES WILL GO TO THE BOWENS CREEK HANDICAP WELLNESS PARK.For the purposes of this Contest, no judges or anyone associated with judges, including family members, will be able to enter.

2. CONTEST ENTRY PERIOD: The Contest Entry Period begins at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“EST”) on April 18, 2011 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on June 30, 2011. Entries must be received and recorded by Photo Contest Manager’s computer during the Contest Entry Period. The Photo Contest Manager’s computer is the official time keeping device for the Contest.

3. TO PARTICIPATE: To participate in the Contest, contacted Linda Drage by email during the Contest Entry Period and follow the instructions to enter and upload a creative, well composed and well lit photo of the Philpott Dam/Lake in any direction

THE DAM NO LATER NEEDS TO BE IN THE PICTURE. Each photo must have a signed entry form. Signed forms maybe mail to Linda Drage; 330 Mack Rd., Martinsville, VA 24112. All photos must be sent by email. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Rules and the decisions of the judges, which are final and binding in all respects

By submitting an Entry, you hereby grant Sponsor consent, the right to copy, publish, display and otherwise use your Photo for purposes of the this Contest or for any advertising or publicity on behalf of the Sponsor and you agree that the Photo may be cropped, or otherwise altered for this purpose only. The Entrants will still remain the owner of the photo.

All Entrants must have a valid email address. In the event of a dispute regarding Entries received from multiple users having the same email account, the authorized subscriber of the email account at the time of submission will be deemed to be the Entrant and must comply with these Rules


  • Photo must be in JPEG format

  • Photo must be an attachment not imdded in the email

  • Photo may not be sexually explicit or suggestive, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, profane or pornographic, cantain nudity or any dangerous activity.

  • Photo may not promote alcohol, illegal dugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or any use of any of the foregoing), any actiities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message

  • Photo may not be obscene or offensive, endorse any form of hate or hate group

  • Photo may not defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or other people, products or companies.

  • Photo may not contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street address.

  • Photo may not contain copyrighted material owned by others (including potographs, sculpture, paintings and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media).

  • Photo may not communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate
    Photo may not depect, and cannot itself, be in violation of any law

5. WINNER SELECTION: All eligible Entries will be judged by independent judges, whose decisions regarding this Contest are final and binding in all respects, based on the following criteria: (a) 40% Adherence to Theme, (b) 30% Creativity, (c) 15% Composition and (d) 15% Focus/Lighting. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken based on the highest score in the “Creativity” Judging Criteria. If a tie continues, then a tie(s) will be broken by the Entry with highest cumulative score in the second criteria, continuing thereafter to the third criteria, as needed, to break the tie the three Entries with the highest scores will receive a prize as set forth below.

6. PRIZES: One (1) First Prize: The Entrant with the highest score will receive a check for half the amount from total entries. The Entrant with the second highest score will receive a prize to be stated later; as well as the Entrant with the third highest score. Each Entrant will receive a Dam Post Card from the Dam Collectables. Limit one (1) prize per person. If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize with another prize of equal or greater value. Prizes won by minors will be awarded along with minor's parent or legal guardian, who must sign and return form.

7. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified on June 30, 2011. Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email, mailing address and/or telephone number of Entrants.
8. GENERAL CONDITIONS: By participating, Entrants agree to these Rules, which are final and binding in all respects. If the Winner cannot be reached within ten (10) business days of notification or winner is found to be ineligible or not in compliance with these Rules, prize will be forfeited. By entering, each winner grants (and will confirm that grant in writing) permission to Sponsor the right to use the winner’s name, picture, likeness, voice, biographical information, and Entry (whether modified, edited, used alone, or used with other works) at any time, in any form, in any media, without compensation of any kind and without notice, review, or approval. Entrants further agree that submission of an Entry is gratuitous and made without restriction, and will not place Sponsor under any obligation.
You will need to certify that you are the photographer and sole copyright owner of the submitted Photo, and you have obtained consent of all identifiable persons shown in the Photo for use by Sponsor as set forth herein. By signing you are agreeing to the terms of the contest.You can get your form by emailing request to Linda Drage: or calling me at 276-681-6805. You can also pick -up at the Bassett Community Market any Thursday afternoon from noon to 3:00 PM.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Smith River Mini-Triathlon

Smith River Mini-Triathlon

: 1.2 miles along the beautiful Smith River   Paddle: 1.2 miles on the Smith River's class I rapids. Bike: 2.5 miles on paved and natural surface terrain. Experienced mountain bikers for bike leg. Awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place finishers. All pre-registered participants receive a T-shirt. Classes: Solo-Youth, Male, & Female. Team-All Male, All Female, Coed different age increments. Call 403-5140 for more inf. Registration brochures are online at  or call us for a registration brochure.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, May 21, Registration and check in 9am-9:45am. Race starts at 10am 
11:15am-Awards ceremony at Trailhead
LOCATION: Fieldale Trail Head, (Off River Rd., Fieldale, VA)
FEE: $15 per participant, $20 fee day of the event
Kayaks & Canoes available to rent - $15 - Smith River Outfitters, Must reserve kayaks by calling 252-0701  or canoes - 403-5140 & they will be onsite.
You’re invited!
Draper Landing to Berry Hill Float June 4

Join in DRBA’s seven-mile float on the Dan River from Eden’s Draper Landing Access to Berry Hill Bridge on June 4, coordinated by Will Truslow, DRBA’s past president.
Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the access’s graveled parking lot beside the NC 700 Bridge to set the shuttle (GPS 36.4987, -79.6814). Three Rivers Outfitters of Eden, 336-627-6215 or, will offer boat rentals and shuttle for the float, which will end on private property with the owner’s permission.
In this river trip of Class I water, participants will navigate at least seven ledges and shoals with long-standing historic names found on old maps. Six of these have been made easier to navigate by structures such as sluice walls built in the nineteenth century by the Roanoke Navigation Company (founded 1812), a joint effort of Virginia and North Carolina, and by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The sluice walls concentrate the river’s water at shallow ledges, creating a narrow channel deep enough to float long, narrow batteaux, the commercial “semi-trailers” of early river travel.
Nearly a century before the river was improved for navigation, in 1728 a survey team led by Virginia’s William Byrd determined the “dividing line” between North Carolina and Virginia. Byrd named the Dan River for the river in northern Israel and gave names that still survive to many of the river’s tributaries. One was Cascade Creek, which enters from river left about halfway through the trip, so called “by reason of the multitude of waterfalls that are in it” some distance before it reaches the Dan.
Devil’s Jump Shoal, just downstream from Cascade Creek, is named for impressive mid-river rocks. On river right less than a mile downstream from Devil’s Jump is the confluence of the Dan with Tanyard Creek, named for the tannery owned by John Morehead, father of North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead, who grew up nearby.
Between two old sluice walls of Tanyard Shoal, separated by nearly a half-mile of the Dan’s flow, is a place called on an 1823 survey “The Wreck,” according to William E. Trout III, author of the Dan River Atlas. “Why?” he asks, inviting future river mappers to solve the mystery.
Other examples of intriguing nineteenth-century labels are Beasley’s Gallows Shoal Sluice and the well-preserved Hairston’s Fish Trap Sluice, likely modified from an Amerindian fish weir of 1000 years ago.
The trip is part of the series of over 100 First Saturday Outings that have been offered by DRBA almost from its inception. Other interesting facts about the geology, history, and culture of this section of the river are found in Maps 42 – 45 of “An Insider’s Guide to the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia,” available at

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

Directions: To reach Draper Landing Access (GPS 36.4987, -79.6814) from the north or west, take NC 14 to NC 700 East. Travel on NC 700 about 4 miles through Eden to the bridge over the Dan River. After crossing the bridge, go 0.1 mile and turn left into the gravel driveway to the access.

From the south take US 29 North, turning left (west) on NC 700. Just past Quesinberry Road, turn right into the gravel driveway to the access beside the NC 700 Bridge over the Dan.

From the east take US 29 South, turning right (west) on NC 700, and proceed as described above.

More information:
For trip information, contact trip coordinator Will Truslow, 336-547-1903,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Axton Elementary say's "Bye Bye trout"

Its Monday morning on the Smith River at Bassett Virginia and vivacious group of young students pile out of the big yellow bus, excited to be out of school and ready for an adventure on the river.  These students from Hannah Sullivan's class at Axton Elementary have been raising brown trout (with a little help from their teacher) for the past 6 months in a tank in their classroom.  They are one of 31 tanks across 4 counties in one of the country's single largest Trout in the Classroom Programs, TIC in Southern Virginia !

 Each year, students and teachers get brown trout eggs from the state hatchery at Wytheville in December,  The tiny pinkish / orange eggs are only a few weeks old when the schools first receive them and these "eye-up" eggs are placed in breeder baskets made of netting and suspended off edge of the tank.
Its not long before the first trout start to "break out of their shell" and get their first look at a new environment. 

Often, the first thing the new trout see are many eyes on the outside of the tank, staring back at them !
By Christmas the fry have hatched are now called alevins,  Just a few weeks later and the "sac fry" have absorbed all their yolk sacs and are ready to start eating trout food.

Once the trout are big enough to be "swim-ups"  they are released from the breeder net in to the tank.  By May, the trout are now big, fat and healthy and are known as "fingerlings" and at this stage  they are ready to be released in the Smith River.

The students and teachers help take care of the trout and have to make sure the water is cleaned and the trout are fed.  They also have to make sure the water is the correct ph and the ammonia levels are low.
The students are learning that trout need good clean water to survive.  So now the big day has arrived and they are ready to take theses trout they have been raising and let them go into their new river home.
On this day, The Dan River Basins new Executive Director, Tiffany Haworth, donned rubber boots and joined the students as they introduced the trout to their new home.

After the last trout swam out to deeper water, it was time for the students to take a "stream walk" and learn more about the river and what the trout were going to eat now that they would not be fed each day by the students.

On the stream walk the students learned that bugs like stoneflys, mayflys, helgramites and crayfish (macro-invertebrates) live under the rocks and logs in the river.   A seine net was used to capture some of the macros for closer examination.

 It was another great day in the best classroom in the world...the river
Thanks to Hannah and Patrick Sullivan, all the students and teachers at Axton Elementary and a special thanks to Tiffany Haworth for helping the kids stay "mostly" dry during the stream walk experience !

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DRBA First Saturday Outing for May

DRBA Paddles the Dan in Stokes County
DRBA’s May 7 First Saturday Outing will be a 5-mile paddle trip on the Dan River in Stokes County from Snow Creek Access to Hemlock Golf Course Access coordinated by Will Truslow. 
 Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Snow Creek Access, about 200 yards west of Dodgetown Road Bridge on Pitzer Road (GPS 36.4026, -80.1404), to unload boats and gear and set the shuttle.

For boat rentals and shuttle, contact Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215 or 276-340-3983,, or Dan River Company, 336-593-2628,

History and legend abound on this section of the river, which is characterized by high bluffs forested with hardwoods and stands of stately hemlock trees. Just upstream of the put-in is the frame of the Pitzer Steel Truss Bridge, dating from 1918.

About half a mile below Snow Creek is Thompson’s Fish Dam, which has remnants of a rare wooden slat trap. According to “An Insider’s Guide to the Dan River,” a “heavy timber frame, about eight feet square, formed a grid of slats” to trap fish channeled into the trap by a vee-shaped low rock wall.

At least two branches of the Great Wagon Road forded the river at shoals on this section, and caves are said to have been used by Confederate draft dodgers.

Rock formations and uncommon Carolina hemlock stands have received recognition as the Dan River Cliffs natural heritage area.

According to Truslow, “This section of the Dan has the last of the really high bluffs before the river winds on into the Piedmont. Some are about 150 feet high.” 

The most spectacular is Davis Bluff, a dramatic rock face on river left where huge boulders lie in the water at the base of the cliff. Legend says that a member of the Davis family fell to his death from the road on top. To this day, the cliff is known as Mount Horrible.

The Dan River in this section is rated mostly as Class 1, but the remains of a former Duke Power dam, dynamited in 1975, create a sometimes challenging Class 2 rapid. Fortunately, it is located within sight of the take-out ramp at Hemlock Golf Course.

Meet at 10:00 at the Snow Creek Access on Pitzer Road. Arrange to supply boat, paddles, life jackets, water and lunch; wear water-shedding artificial fabric or wool (not cotton, and certainly not blue jeans); and provide a back-up change of clothing. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

Directions: At the intersection of NC 8 and NC 89 about 3 miles south of Danbury, NC, turn northeast onto Dodgetown Road. Drive about 4 miles and cross the Dan River. Immediately turn left onto Pitzer Road. Snow Creek Access is on the left in about 200 yards.

Driving south from Virginia on US 220, turn west on NC 770 to Sandy Ridge. Turn south on NC 704 to Prestonville. Turn south on NC 772 toDodgetown. Turn right onto Dodgetown Road and drive about 4 miles. Just before crossing the Dan River, turn right onto Pitzer Road. Snow Creek Access is on the left in about 200 yards.

More Information: Will Truslow, 336-547-1903,
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