Paddling

Find paddling gear, river guides, and stories from the water here. Kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and stand-up paddleboarding all have a home in the Blue Ridge, in both whitewater and flatwater settings. We’ve got your best river destinations and plans ready, from the Youghiogheny in Pennsylvania and West Virginia’s New River Gorge to the Green in North Carolina and the Chattooga of Georgia – plus everything in between.

Knoxville kayaker drowns in accident on Laurel River in Pisgah National Forest

By Kim Dinan + Shannon McGowan | 21 Dec 19
Posted in , ,

Paddler on the Laurel River Photo Courtesy of Kevin Colburn Stewardship Director for American Whitewater Knoxville kayaker drowns in accident on Laurel River A Knoxville woman has died after a kayaking accident on the Laurel River in Pisgah National Forest. April Morton, 31, was a member of the Chota Canoe Club in Knoxville and considered…

Read More >

Dispatch from the Great Alabama 650

By Gerry Seavo James | 19 Dec 19
Posted in , ,

The Alabama River near Clairborne Lock and Dam, one of the many obstacles competitors had to portage around during the event. Photo by Gerry Seavo James Paddlers Navigate Southern Waters During New Epic 10-Day Race Back in September a small group of some of the region’s toughest paddlers convened at Weiss Lake to start an epic…

Read More >

A Personal Victory: Conquering King of the James

By Shannon McGowan | 04 Dec 19
Posted in , , ,

Photo by: Jesse Peters The King of the James has become a yearly tradition for my friends and I. It’s an Adventure Triathlon that celebrates the unique access we have to the outdoors living in a city as big as Richmond, Va. Racers mountain bike around 9.5 miles of single-track trail, run 4 miles of…

Read More >

Outdoor Updates: Evy Leibfarth of Bryson City, NC earns the U.S. two spots in the 2020 Olympics

By Kim Dinan | 07 Oct 19
Posted in , ,

Leibfarth runs the Sava River during the World Cup in Tacen, Slovenia. / Photo by Jean Folger. Paddling sensation Evy Leibfarth of Bryson City, NC earns the U.S. two spots in the 2020 Olympics Evy Leibfarth, 15, of Bryson City, NC, has earned the United States a spot to compete for gold in both the…

Read More >

Southside Project

By Lindsey Brown | 13 Sep 19
Posted in , ,

National forests are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and are designed to be prosperous for all American citizens, under the protection rights to conserve and cultivate the designated areas of land, by operating under a democratic governing agency that manages it based on a Forest Plan, specifically engineered for their region.   In between the…

Read More >

Outdoor Updates: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Snowshoe + Gauley Season is Here

By BRO Admin | 12 Sep 19
Posted in , , ,

Photo by Kurtis Schachner at Snowshoe Mountain Resort UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals at Snowshoe Snowshoe Mountain’s bike park will reopen tomorrow, 9/13 after hosting the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals on Sept. 6-8, where athletes from around the world competed for the gold. This year marks the first time the event…

Read More >

All In a Day’s Work

By Ellen Kanzinger | 11 Sep 19
Posted in , , , , , ,

Nakiesha Bridgers leads a trip on the river. How did outdoor professionals get their start? As more people are headed outside, outdoor recreation is increasingly an economic factor for towns and states across our region. Virginia just became the fifteenth state to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. In its most recent report, the Bureau…

Read More >

Your Beatering is Not Cool

By Golder Goldstein | 22 Aug 19
Posted in , ,

The rise of beatering – frankly some of y’all are starting to sketch me out. Whitewater is enjoyed best by doing it well.

Read More >

Okefenokee Threatened by Mining (Again)

By Will Harlan | 26 Jul 19
Posted in ,

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wilderness area in the East, and it’s the largest blackwater swamp in North America. With thousands of alligators and hundreds of rare species, it’s one of the wildest and most biologically diverse landscapes in the Eastern United States. In July, an Alabama company announced plans to strip…

Read More >

Affordable Adventure

By Ellen Kanzinger | 18 Jul 19
Posted in ,

You don’t need a ton of money or expertise to explore the outdoors—especially in Chattanooga  Growing up, Bailey O’Sullivan’s family moved about every two years for her mom’s job. They ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a few years when she was in middle school.  “My dad’s goal every time we moved was to get…

Read More >

Lanier Lap: 100-Hour Paddle

By Will Harlan | 26 Jun 19
Posted in ,

Josh Forester is attempting a record-setting 400-mile, 100-hour paddle around Georgia’s largest lake Have there ever been similar lake circumnavigations? The only other person to have circumnavigated Lake Lanier was Dana Richardson, as part of her push for pancreatic cancer awareness. It took her 9 months to do it because she was doing it incrementally. …

Read More >

Happy Birthday West Virginia!

By BRO Admin | 20 Jun 19
Posted in , , , , , , , ,

Every year on June 20th, the Mountain State celebrates a very special day – its birthday! This year West Virginia is turning 156 years old. How much do you know about the east coast’s best-kept secret? West Virginia is home to… Nearly 50 state parks and forests. Outdoor adventure of all kinds can be found all…

Read More >

Bad Boys of Whitewater

By Jessica Wiegandt | 19 Jun 19
Posted in , ,

Meet the Long Creek Gangsters A thick mist hung over the Chattooga River as the sun rose, bringing the home known as Thugz Mansion to life. A familiar question soon rang out throughout the house: “Hey, can we go kayaking?” Nestled between the Chattooga and Tallulah Rivers in Long Creek, S.C., lives a young group…

Read More >

Outdoor Updates: Three men to cross Lake Erie on paddle boards

By Kim Dinan | 19 Jun 19
Posted in ,

Three men to cross Lake Erie on paddle boards Yesterday morning three men set out to paddleboard across Lake Erie to raise money for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, a non-profit that studies algae blooms and works to protect the ecosystem of the Great Lakes. The paddleboarders will travel 80 miles carrying all…

Read More >

Summer Camp for kids who are blind

By Melissa Stanz | 13 Jun 19
Posted in , ,

Zip, hike, raft, wade Summer vacation—it’s something almost every school-age kid eagerly anticipates. But that wasn’t the case for Sam Chandler at age 11. Sam’s been nearly blind since he was very young—he has no vision in the left eye and 20/1600 in the right eye. That means that what he can see at 20 feet, the…

Read More >