June 21, 2013. The Fourth Annual Tour de Yadkin during the month of June is off to an amazing start with over 304 people having already paddled 60 miles of the upper waters of the Yadkin River in support of fishable, swimmable and drinkable water.
On Saturday, June 22, Yadkin Riverkeeper will host its annual Paddle-a-Thon to raise money for fishable, swimmable and drinkable water on the Yadkin River.
Hundreds of paddlers of all ages and paddling skills have raised a minimum of $75 to paddle 10.8 miles from Huntsville to Tanglewood Park in Clemmons.
Paddlers meet at 9 a.m. at Tanglewood Park at the Yadkin River access before the bridge located at 4061 Clemmons Road in Clemmons. Paddlers will park in the field down by the Yadkin River and will be shuttled by the boat outfitters to Huntsville.
At 10 a.m. in Huntsville, paddlers will be given a brief tutorial on kayaking and canoeing and will kick off the paddle
Around 3 p.m. paddlers will start arriving at the Tanglewood River Access, where they will exit their boats and join the Post-Paddle Party located in the field next to the river access. There will be great food, beer donated by SweetWater Brewing Company and City Beverage.
Participants who have raised a minimum of $75 from their friends and family are eligible to win prizes. Categories include most money raised, most pledges solicited from the most people, traveled the farthest to paddle, and best decorated boat. Prizes include helicopter rides over the Yadkin Valley, a kayak, camping and paddling equipment from Great Outdoor Provision Company, Maui Jim sunglasses and more.
“Funding we receive goes a long way to help support clean water initiatives and allows us to continue to promote recreation and tourism throughout the Yadkin River basin,” said Dean Naujoks, the Yadkin Riverkeeper.
Pledge forms and details available at yadkinriverkeeper.org. For a Paddle-a-Thon form and information on equipment rental, paddling/camping restrictions and liability insurance, visit yadkinriverkeeper.org. All Paddle-a-Thon donations must be collected and turned in at the start of the paddle on June 22. Sponsors include REI Sports, WFDD Radio, Get:Outdoors, Great Outdoor Provision Company, Maui Jim, The Rush, Christine Rucker Photography and the Jaycees.
Tour de Yadkin continues after the Paddle-a-Thon through June 29. The Paddle-a-Thon is the flagship event during the month-long Tour de Yadkin, a 185-mile paddling adventure on North Carolina’s second largest river basin. For three weeks from June 9 through June 29, hundreds of paddlers in canoes and kayaks take to the water from the highlands of Wilkes County to the Uwharrie Mountains of south central North Carolina to experience the simple beauty of this natural treasure. Paddlers learn about the rich cultural and natural heritage the Yadkin River Valley has to offer while enjoying a summer day on one of the most beautiful rivers in North Carolina, centrally located in the piedmont. THe 2013 Tour de Yadkin is sponsored by REI Sports.
“The Yadkin is the lifeblood for this entire region, and to all the communities that rely on the Yadkin for fishable, swimmable and drinkable water. All future economic growth depends on this resource.”
To date, more than 304 people have taken to the waters of the Yadkin. The last week of the Tour de Yadkin begins on June 23 with a Membership Appreciation Paddle, where paddlers will head 9 miles downriver from below Idols Dam to the US 64 Access in Davidson County. All paddlers as well as members and volunteers of Yadkin Riverkeeper Inc can participate in a Membership Appreciation Barbecue Dinner on the river later that evening.
June 24 is a 12.4 mile REI Employee Paddle Day from US 64 to Boone’s Cave Park. Legend says that Daniel Boone was only 16 when his family settled on the banks of the Yadkin River in the spring of 1750. Paddlers can explore the “shoals of the Yadkin” where Daniel Boone fished as a teenage boy. Daniel Boone Park also includes a small cave thought to be Daniel Boone’s hideout. Camping is available at Boone’s cave park, but non-campers can take out at the 801 access at 9.3 miles.
Paddlers continue on June 25 from Boone’s Cave Park to York Hill on High Rock Lake for a 9.5 mile trip, and then on June 26 is a 12 mile paddle from York Hill across High Rock Lake to Tamarac Marina, with a camping option at the Marina.
After the June 27 12-mile paddle from Tuckertown Reservoir at Bringle Ferry Road Access to NC 49 access, crossing into Central North Carolina, paddlers can experience primitive camping on the Falls Reservoir in the Uwharrie National Forest.
June 28 the paddle tour continues south for eight miles on Badin Lake from Garr Creek to the Badin Lake Road Access in downtown Badin, plus another night of primitive camping at the Falls Reservoir.
The Tour de Yadkin ends on June 29 with a 5-mile paddle from the Falls Reservoir to Morrow Mountain State Park in the Uwharrie Mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, formed over five million years ago.