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.

White Water Healing: Paddling with Purpose

By Dennis Mashue | 12 Jun 19
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Whitewater Healing helps kids with autism brave new waters Put a bunch of kids with autism and their families in rubber rafts and shoot them through the Nantahala Gorge with guides who know nothing about autism. That’s the basic idea put forth by Canadian whitewater canoe legend and global swiftwater rescue guru Jim Coffey to…

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Hometown Heroes

By Ellen Kanzinger | 05 Jun 19
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Locals reveal their favorite spots for in-town adventure It’s five o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. You want to get outside after a long day of work or classes, but you don’t have the time to drive two hours to your favorite hike or crag. Athletes and adventurers from across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast show us…

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Urban Paddling

By Ellen Kanzinger | 04 Jun 19
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When you think about paddling in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, rivers like the Gauley, James, Nantahala, and Chattooga get a lot of the love. While these rivers offer paddlers of all types epic adventures and scenic views, they are not always the most accessible rivers.  “It doesn’t always have to be extreme,” said paddler Angel…

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June 2019: Urban Adventures

By BRO Admin | 31 May 19
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2019 Paddling Guide Features Urban Paddling You don’t have to travel far to squeeze in a day on the water. These nine rivers offer closer-to-home paddling adventure. Hometown Heroes Top athletes from across the region reveal their 25 favorite urban adventure hotspots.  You are Being Poisoned Virginia native Bucky Bailey is the central figure in…

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Outdoor Updates: Kayaker killed on Cheat River

By Kim Dinan | 22 May 19
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Kayakers killed and injured on West Virginia’s Cheat River A Maryland man was killed on West Virginia’s Cheat River after a tree fell on him during a kayaking trip. A group of three men were paddling the river from Parsons to Macomber over the weekend when severe weather rolled through. The men took shelter but…

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Trail Mix: Groundhog Gravy & The Gauley River

By Dave Stallard | 16 May 19
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Groundhog Gravy swings by the Trail Mix blog to chat up music and whitewater rafting.

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Festival Guide 2019: Do Your Fest

By Jedd Ferris | 30 Apr 19
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100+ Essential Blue Ridge Festivals Call your friends, grab tickets, and get ready to go. Within our yearly guide of more than 100 Blue Ridge festivals we’ve highlighted outdoor galas for all interests, bringing you the nitty gritty on the region’s best experiences in music, craft beer, art, and adventure. Virginia Creeper Fest  Abingdon, Va.…

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Outdoor Updates: World’s best paddlers battle for the Carolina Cup this weekend

By Kim Dinan | 25 Apr 19
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World’s best paddlers battle for the Carolina Cup this weekend Some of the best standup paddleboarders, prone, kayak, surfski and OC endurance racers from around the world will compete this weekend in Wrightsville Beach, NC for the Carolina Cup. Competitors include Olympians and world-record holders all the way down to first-time paddlers. The event will…

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Bambi Meets Godzilla, Bubba Meets Jesus

By Natalie Stickel | 23 Apr 19
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How did iconic rapids and climbing routes get their names? Visitors to the Blue Ridge often remark that the names of our mountains are imaginative, if not abstract: Reddish Knob. Old Rag. Little Stony Man. Used as landmarks, these peaks’ straightforward, descriptive monikers made sense. But as future generations began using the landscape less for…

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SUP the TUCK

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 16 Apr 19
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This surgeon has created a life of adventure he now shares with family and friends. A swimmer, paddle boarder, kayaker Chris Lechner’s enjoys all aspects of water and finds deep meaning in each adventure. He has shared a few of his adventures previously with Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine. Now, he has completed a SUP first…

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Back in Session: Video

By Jessica Wiegandt | 13 Apr 19
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“Back in Session” has been an ongoing project of mine at Brevard College. When I was a sophomore, a couple of faculty members asked if I’d want to make a BANFF film about the school. My degrees at Brevard College are Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) and Journalism, and I was able to combine…

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SUP the TUCK: Day 5

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 12 Apr 19
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Click here to read Day 4 June 27, 2018, day 5/7 John resumed where he left off and quickly caught up in his expedition kayak– around noon. I sent him a text message to portage the Low-Head Dam in Cullowhee to avoid the dangerous river-wide hydraulic at the base. This dam is almost a century…

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SUP the TUCK: Day 4

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 11 Apr 19
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Click here to read Day 3 Part 2: The Tailwaters A Cherokee Legend: Uktena was a serpent as large around as a tree trunk, with antlers on its head, a blazing crest on its forehead and scales glowing like fire living in the river. Whoever is seen by Uktena is so dazed by the bright light he…

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No Experience Necessary

By Ellen Kanzinger | 11 Apr 19
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Learn how to craft a fishing rod, build a bike, fashion a knife, weave baskets, and test your outdoor skills.  With a quick search online, you can find guides and classes for just about any outdoor activity. You can learn how to mountain bike, rock climb, roll a kayak, or fish for trout from masters…

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Richmond, Va, not Asheville, NC, will be future home of Whitewater Hall of Fame

By Kim Dinan | 11 Apr 19
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After a nationwide search, two cities were left standing as the potential future home of the International Whitewater Hall of Fame and World River Center: Asheville, NC and Richmond, Va. Yesterday, it was announced that Richmond, settled along the James River, won the bid. Asheville had hoped to interest the Whitewater Hall of Fame in…

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