Enjoy an early fall paddle on the beautiful Mayo River with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA). The October First Saturday Outing will float 4.5 miles from the Mayo Beach at Anglin Mill to NC 770 near Stoneville, NC.
Meeting at 9 a. m. at Old Anglin Mill Road, downstream from Anglin Mill Bridge, the group will float past portions of the Mayo River State Park. Coordinator for the trip is Wayne Kirkpatrick, DRBA board member and experienced paddler.
“Beginning paddlers are invited to launch below Mayo Beach for a fairly easy float through mostly Class 1 waters,” said Kirkpatrick. “There’s one tricky rapid just below the put-in that can be avoided by putting in downstream from it.”
Expert paddlers with a yen for more thrills will have the option of running the famous “Boiling Hole” and the “S-turn” (alias “Blender”) before proceeding with the rest of the trip. Otherwise, the most excitement comes from navigating small rapids through several 1000-year-old fish weirs created in the river by Native Americans and used by local residents until about 1900.
“The vee-shaped stone fish weirs concentrated migrating fish at the point of the vee, where they were collected in nets or baskets,” to quote North Carolina historian Lindley Butler, who studied the history of the region.
Great spawning runs came from the Atlantic, up the Roanoke and Dan, into the Mayo River and its tributaries, where the fish laid their eggs and headed back downstream. For centuries, until dams stopped the fish migrations, people who lived near the river made huge catches that fed their communities or provided a living. Nowadays, the fish weirs provide routes through shallow water, enhancing the interest of the float.
Portions of the land along this section of the river are part of North Carolina’s Mayo River State Park. The park’s designation was secured through the work of DRBA and ranks as one of the significant accomplishments achieved over the organization’s 20-year history. The park boasts the unspoiled beauty of the river, with forested banks, wildlife, birds, and few signs of civilization that make it a
perfect get-away within easy reach of Piedmont North Carolina and Virginia. Songbirds migrating through will join waterfowl, such as ducks, herons, and kingfishers, along the route.
Participants in the outing are asked to bring boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in layers of wool or artificial (quick drying) fabric, to sign a waiver and be prepared to get wet.
To reach the put-in, from U.S. 220 north of Stoneville, exit onto Smith Road (SR 1360) and turn west. Go four miles to a T-intersection with Anglin Mill Road (SR 1358). Turn left on Anglin Mill Road and travel about a half-mile to within less than a mile of the Anglin Mill Bridge over the Mayo. Turn left onto unpaved Old Anglin Mill Road (SR 1385). Go one-half mile to a T-intersection with Mayo Beach Road (SR 1359).
Be sure to check DRBA’s safety tips for hiking and paddling before you head out for an outdoor adventure. For more information about the outing, contact Trip Coordinator Wayne Kirkpatrick, email@example.com or (540) 570-3511. Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.