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.

SUP the TUCK: Day 3

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 10 Apr 19
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Click here to read Day 2 June 25, 2018, day 3/7 The three of us rose early in the morning to finish paddling the 4 miles of Bear Lake. Jimbo helped shuttle us around the dam to begin Cedar Cliff Lake under cloudy skies. These man made lakes are beautiful and serene but there is…

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SUP THE TUCK: Day 2

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 09 Apr 19
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Click here to read Day 1 June 24, 2018: Day 2/7 The four of us were sore and exhausted from yesterday but renewed with anticipation to hike straight down the Bonas Defeat section of the Tuckasegee riverbed. Leaving our boats at camp we traded paddling gear for hiking gear. With  stout hiking sandals, backpacks, water…

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SUP THE TUCK: Day 1

By Chris Lechner and John Sherman | 08 Apr 19
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June 23, 2018: Day1/7   The day started full of sunshine and strutting.  Sitting in the soft green moss at the confluence of Panthertown and Greenland creeks we dangled our feet in the freezing water  and arranged our gear under a tight canopy of rhododendron. I used my Iphone to take a short video of…

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Kayak Building: To Build a Boat

By Phil Morgan | 26 Mar 19
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North Carolina Outdoor Guide and Carpenter inspired by Inuit Craftsmanship In 1950, the Canadian government forciblyremoved thousands of Inuit from their ancestral homeland. From this tragic epoch emerged the tale of one elder who refused to leave. Hoping to ensure their grandfather’s compliance, relatives confiscated the old man’s tools. Unfazed, he snuck out of the…

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All-Women Adventure Film Festival Heads to Brevard, NC in April

By Kim Dinan | 18 Mar 19
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No Man’s Land Film Festival, the premier all-women adventure film festival, is coming to Western North Carolina for the second year in a row. The festival features short films about inspirational women showcasing a wide array of women-identified athletes and adventurers. The April 3 screening in Brevard, NC will take place at Oskar Blues Brewery…

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What to Listen to: Outdoor Podcasts

By Hart Fowler | 13 Mar 19
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Athletes and Experts Reveal Their Favorite Podcasts In 1851, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal about the sounds of the telegraph that had just come to his home of Concord: “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important…

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How To: Date a Kayaker

By Ashley Woodring | 14 Feb 19
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Kayakers are a complex and interesting species, but there is hope. Here are the top 10 tips for dating a kayaker.

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Adventure Racing Is Not Dead

By Brent Russell | 07 Feb 19
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The AR Scene Is Thriving, Especially in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Adventure racing is basically a timed scavenger hunt in the woods. Racers must find checkpoints located deep in the forest and return to the start/finish. They plot checkpoint locations on topographical maps and then run, hike, paddle, climb, and mountain bike. All while using…

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First Descent Paddler: Chasing Waterfalls

By Phil Morgan | 06 Feb 19
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Michael John Ferraro bags a first descent of Bearwallow Falls and becomes the fifth paddler to plunge down Looking Glass Falls. If you dig WHITEWATER, you best remember the name Michael John Ferraro. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for this 22-year-old North Carolina boater. He’s making a name for himself as…

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Last Day to enter River Lotteries + coal-powered plants are leaking chemicals into the groundwater

By Kim Dinan | 31 Jan 19
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River lotteries for nine great white water rafting destinations close today Calling all river rats! It might be freezing cold outside today but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to start planning your summer adventures. In fact, today is the last day to enter lotteries for nine in-demand white water rafting rivers including the Middle…

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Unleashed: Josh and Zoey the Dog

By Shannon McGowan | 23 Jan 19
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When most people come home on a Friday after work, they’ll grab a remote or maybe a drink with some pals. Josh Elder grabs his paddle and a dog leash that will most likely not get used at all that weekend. Elder has the strongest GO GO GO and GET OUT THERE AND SEND IT…

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This is the Noli

By Dan DeWitt | 14 Jan 19
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Paddlers, filmmakers, and local citizens team up to nominate the Nolichucky as a Wild & Scenic River. That the Nolichucky River is both wild and scenic seemed obvious enough on a brilliantly clear day last fall when I walked into its namesake gorge east of Poplar, N.C. The water level, which fluctuates widely in this…

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Q&A with Rashid Clifton

By Adam Edwards | 28 Dec 18
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One of the South’s best whitewater paddlers discusses being a black boater in the Blue Ridge It all started with a summer job right out of high school. Rashid Edwards was born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., and his first job after graduation was at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. At the end of his…

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BIG DAY IN THE BLUE RIDGE: Two premier races on the same morning every fall

By BRO Admin | 06 Dec 18
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Two beloved races—the Green Race and Shut-In—attract the region’s best paddlers and trail runners. The first Saturday in November is always one of the most exciting: both the Green River Race and the Shut-In Ridge Trail Race are held on the same morning, and they are only about 30 miles from each other in Western…

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A Day at the Green Race

By Tom Flynn | 05 Nov 18
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“Give up?” the woman asked as I headed back to my truck after walking past her a few minutes earlier. I was parked aside Green River Cove Road in Saluda, North Carolina for the Green Race, the well-known kayak race on a section of whitewater called the Green River Narrows. The Narrows include the “Gorilla”,…

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