Join Friends of High Country State Parks at the Annual New River Canoe Race for June 4

Published Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 8:00 am

Come join us for a fabulous day of friendly competition or simply a leisurely float—and support High Country State Parks at the same time. The event boasts a variety of activities at New River State Park such as: live music, local food, picnicking, chair massages, environmental programs, an awards ceremony with multiple door prizes and raffle items (including a grand prize Kayak Package). Free tubing along the banks of campground and tent camping is also available at the park for those that would like to stay nearby the night before or after.

This Ashe County tradition is now sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks. Entry Fee is $10 per person. Those planning to race more than once can enter again for a $5 registration fee. The first 200 registrants will also receive a T-Shirt, as well as an opportunity to win a door prize, with an awards ceremony planned at the park for 3pm.

Contrary to what some may think, there is NO SHOTGUN START. Participants register and can begin paddling at a time of their choosing between 9am and 1:30pm (1pm for any boats with children). The approximate 5-mile race section of the New River is very gentle with no rapids and has just enough rocks and riffles to have fun with. An average time for new paddlers is 60 minutes. Many returning contestants with more advanced skills have completed the race in less than 45 minutes.

The race begins with registration at Zaloos Canoes in Jefferson. Gates open at 8:30am. Paddlers will end the course at New River State Park, Wagoner Access (336-982-2587). People can bring their own boat or rent one at a reduced rate from Zaloos Canoes in Jefferson, www.zaloos.com (336-246-3066) with free shuttle service available.

Categories for competition include Novice, Expert and Championship with a “Special” category for elders or those with disability. For 2016 High Country Senior Games has chosen this event for one of its optional activities.

The race also offers a “Family Float” for $25 which allows up to five family members in a boat. Kayak categories have expanded to separate recreational kayaks from racing or sea kayaks.

ZyZy Taco Truck will be onsite providing food. Affordable chair massages, by MYO Massage Clinic in Boone, will be available on site for weary paddlers, along with a free opportunity to “play” in the water on tubes provided by New River State Park. Local music will be provided by “In Harmony” (Scot Pope and Nan Zoppi) playing tunes from the 60s 70s and 80s, and storytelling will be performed by Revonda Crow. If you need solitude while you wait for race results, there are miles of pristine hiking trails throughout the park.

A tremendous thank you to all of our 2016 Race Sponsors which include: Farmers Rental, Footsloggers, Mast Store, Zaloos Canoes, Boondocks, Boone Ford, Stick Boy Bakery, Bare Essentials Natural Market, Skyline/Skybest, River House Inn, Go

Postal-West Jefferson, MYO Massage, RaysWeather.com, ToddsCalendar.com, Diane Littlefield, Bob White and Dr. Patricia Beaver.

Additional support also received from: LifeStore Bank, Originals Only Gallery, Artists Debra Speas and Chris Sink, and Hotel Tavern.

Updated information is available on Facebook: “New River Canoe Race Sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks” and at our website: friendsofhcsp.weebly.com. For additional information, feel free to contact Race Co-Chair, Nancy Shannon, 336-877-5550. We hope to see you on the river on Saturday, June 4th!

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