Come paddle the natural wonders of Florida. Immerse yourself in the magic of this subtropical wonderland steeped in history and legend.
THE VERY BEST OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA KAYAKING
May 29 - June 4, 2022
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The area where Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee connect is a special place for those who love mountains, wilderness, and the special culture created by this ruggedness.
Day 1 — Our adventure together begins near Erwin Tennessee on the banks of the wild and scenic Nolichucky Rive. Guests can camp or stay in the Boone Log Cabin (bunkhouse).
After settling in paddling basics will be covered then a quick paddle down a few easy class 1 rapids on the lower Nolichucky.
Day 2 — We make our way deep into the Pisgah National Forest to the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad. Folks love this ancient river for it’s splashy rolling whitewater and it’s amazing scenic beauty. Lunch w ill be served riverside.
Day 3 — Today we spend the day paddling the Nolichucky River. This river gorge is one of the most adventurous and scenic rivers in the entire Southeast. The Upper Nolichucky has over 25 named class II, III, and IV rapids along nine miles of pristine wilderness. We will take our time and make certain to hit every rapid, hole, and wave train!
Day 4 — Our group of adventurers will make our way to Damascus, Virginia. This is “Trail Town” USA. The Appalachian trail, Virginia Creeper trail, and several others pass right through the center of town. This series of trails creates a hub of outdoor activities within in an hours drive of town. We will grab a bite to eat in town then make our way to our first campsite at Backbone Rock Recreation Area along the banks of the Beaver Dam Creek. After setting up camp we can climb, explore, swim, and paddle around the backbone rock. For those in need of a good stretch, we can hike the Backbone rock trail all the way to the Appalachian trail. From there it is an enjoyable rolling hike back into town with a few perfect vistas.
Day 5 — Make certain to eat a huge breakfast and pack some snack because today will be a long one. We begin our day with a shuttle to Whitetop Mountain and the famous Virginia Creeper Trail. This absolutely stunning 35mile mostly down hill bike trail will take us from Whitetop to Abingdon. Expect lots of vistas, waterfalls, and magical moments. The trail passes cafes, micro-breweries, and ice cream stands.
Our private van will pick us all up at the trails end and shuttle us up to the Channels for a 6.5 mile loop hike. The Channels is a maze-like system of sandstone crevices and boulders that occur near the summit of Middle Knob on Clinch Mountain. The Channels were likely formed while the high-elevation sandstone cap was under the influence of permafrost and ice wedging during the last ice age. These forces shattered and enlarged joints in the sandstone caprock.
A diversity of forest types from cove hardwoods to northern hardwoods are present as well as rare and imperiled plant species.
Day 6 — After an enjoyable breakfast and coffee served riverside we will make our way to the magical Grayson Highlands. This area way up in the mountains will remind you of a perfect mix of the big sky area of Montana perfectly mixed with a scene from the Scottish Highlands. Endless grassy balds with giant boulders strewn about with wild ponies making their way across the hills.
After setting up our final camp we will take two moderate hikes to visit the balds then to a delightful creek with cascading waterfalls.
Day 7 — Guests have two options today. For folks wanting more hiking there will be a hike to the summit of Buzzard Rocks and the Appalachian trail to Wilburs ridge. For the paddlers we will float a 15 mile section of the New River, the oldest river in the world!
Our lodging will be front country camping with a bunkhouse option on the first two nights. This means tents without electricity, flush toilets, and hot showers on most nights. Do not be surprised if there is no cell service or internet at all of our locations.
All meals will be prepared and served by your guides. Meals start with dinner on the first day and end with breakfast the last day. Guests with dietary restrictions should contact us in advance.
Airport pick up, all paddling gear, kayaks, rafts, and PFDs, all meals during the tour, ground transportation on the tour, guides, permits, and all camping and agency fees.
This tour is for all ages. All guests must be in good physical shape and have the ability to hike up mountain trails, bike down mountain trails, and paddle at a good pace all in any kind of weather with a positive attitude.
Our guides make every effort to plan and deliver a well organized, exciting and safe tour for you to enjoy however, things beyond everyone’s control happen especially in the backcountry. We expect our guests to have enough experience to know things happen, plans can change, and have the ability to roll with it and maintain a positive attitude.