39th Annual New River Canoe Race Happening This Saturday in Jefferson

Published Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm

The 39th Annual New River Canoe Race and FAMILY FLOAT will be held Saturday, June 1, in Jefferson, NC on the banks of the New River.

This Ashe County tradition, originally a local 4H event, is now sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks with proceeds supporting the Friends of High Country State Parks.

Entry Fee is $15 per adult, children under 12, $5. A $5 fee will be attached to any additional race. The first 200 registrants will receive a FREE T-Shirt. In addition, registration includes an opportunity to enter one’s name for one of many fabulous door prizes that will be given at the 3 pm awards ceremony (you must be present to win a door prize).

Gates open at 8:30 am at Zaloo’s Canoes in Jefferson (336 246 3066) where you START. Boats enter the water from 9am-1: 30 pm except for boats with children which must be launched by 1pm.

There is NO shotgun start.

Paddlers will end the course at New River State Park, Wagoner Access. The awards ceremony will be held at 3 pm.

Stay and Play! Make time for a variety of activities that will be available at New River State Park. Pack a lunch or take advantage of The Cardinal’s Food Truck! Vendors and NC State Park staff will have displays and activities to enjoy. A variety of picnic areas are available to sit a spell and enjoy lunch by the banks of the New River while listening to live music.

Take advantage of the FREE opportunity to “play” in the water on tubes provided by the Park. Need solitude while waiting for race results? The park highlights miles of pristine hiking trails. Some families have made it a tradition to camp overnight on Race weekend. Make arrangements by calling 336 982 2587.

The average time for new paddlers on this five-mile stretch of River is 60 minutes. Many contestants with advanced skills have completed the Race in less than 45 minutes. This section of River is usually calm. River level can dictate race times. In the event that the River is running too high (only once in 38 years) the race may be canceled.

Categories for the competition include: NOVICE, EXPERT, and CHAMPIONSHIP, with a “SPECIAL” category for elders or those with disability. A new and popular category is “FAMILY FLOAT” that allows up to six family members per canoe for $25. Kayak categories have expanded to separate recreational kayaks from racing or sea kayaks.

Zaloo’s Canoes offers a DISCOUNT for boats rented for the competition that day as well as a FREE SHUTTLE.

Updated information on Facebook: New River Canoe Race Sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks. Website: friendsofhcsp.weebly.com

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