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Favorite Paddling Spots: SylvanSport Staff Picks

At SylvanSport, when we aren’t building the world’s best kayak trailer, the GO EASY, or our award-winning GO camping trailer, you can find many of us paddling our favorite sections of creeks, rivers or lakes. We asked some of our resident paddlers what their go-to spots are and what makes it special for them.

North Fork of the French Broad River

My favorite ‘close to home’ place to paddle is the North Fork of the French Broad River. Located just 15 miles southwest of Brevard lies 7 miles of Class III-IV creeking sure to put a smile on your face. Boxcar Falls, the highlight of the run, involves a large slide into a bigger drop that seems much easier than it looks. Once finished, paddlers can hit up Headwaters Outfitters to refuel with some outstanding food truck fare and a cold one. Very rain dependent, it’s not the easiest run to catch, but very much worth the wait.

Keowee River, SC

Living in upstate South Carolina, I have become very fond of the Keowee River. It is technically the upper reaches of Lake Hartwell, just outside of Clemson, SC. While many flock to the adjoining lakes of Jocassee, Keowee and Hartwell, this is a lesser frequented stretch of flatwater that is good for year round enjoyment, particularly in non-motorized watercraft. The channel is surrounded by a Wildlife Management Area that makes for great bird watching, fishing, or pulling up into shallow, sandy spots to simply take it all in. Some of my best days have been spent here on a paddleboard, fly rod in hand, with my son sitting between my feet instructing me on where to cast. Do use caution as the current and water level can increase quickly when water is released from the dam.

French Broad River – Hap Simpson Park to Wilson Rd Bridge 

My favorite local place to stand up paddle board is like 5 minutes from our office.  This section of the French Broad River is super calm and perfect for an evening float with friends. After work in the summer, I’ll put it in Hap Simpson Park and take-out at the Wilson Rd bridge takeout. It’s about a 3 hour float, and I usually see river otters, beavers, and herons – it’s always super peaceful.  At the end, you come out near Oskar Blues Brewery, so you can head over for a beer and a burger at the food truck for a perfect evening.

Upper Green River

The upper Green River, outside Saluda, is an underappreciated gem of a mountain stream.  While the Narrows of the Green gets the attention and the lower Green gets the tubers, the upper is a perfect blend of relaxation (ignoring for the moment the hike out) and adrenaline for intermediate paddlers. Gazing around at the steep, lush green banks tapering down to the clear, cool ribbon of water, it’s easy to imagine yourself in Central or South America. Best of all, I’m only ten minutes from home.

Getting to the water.

Whether you prefer to stand up, sit down, or sit on top, the GO EASY kayak trailer is the easiest and most ergonomic way to bring your canoe, kayak, SUP, and gear to the put-in. Built to last with powder coated steel, rotomolded components, and torsion axle for a smooth ride. Visit us online or at our factory store in beautiful Brevard, NC.

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