FSO Paddle on Townes Lake

July 1, 2017
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

July 1 on Townes Lake with Dan River Basin Association

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 Mountain Lake in Upper Dan Valley



You’re invited to begin July 2017 with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) on a cool mountain lake in Patrick County, Virginia. For its July 1 First Saturday Outing DRBA will host a leisurely 2-mile paddle on scenic Townes Lake near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Meeting at 10:00 a.m. at Meadows of Dan Baptist Church, 77 Baptist Lane, Meadows of Dan, Virginia (GPS 36.7354, -80.4091), participants will carpool to the put-in near the Lower Dam. DRBA has obtained special permission to use the limited parking lot at the lake.

Coordinator for the paddle is Wayne Kirkpatrick, board member of DRBA and avid kayaker. Boat rentals and shuttle may be arranged through Three Rivers Outfitters of Eden, 336-627-6215, www.3-R-O.com.

Located in the wild Dan River Gorge south of Meadows of Dan, the reservoir is the secondary catchment and storage area for water that drives the City of Danville’s Pinnacles Power Plant at the head of Kibler Valley. Capturing water from the Dan River and Round Meadow Creek (with its major tributary, Mayberry Creek), the lake is just north of the iconic Pinnacles of the Dan, twin conical mountain peaks rising from the gorge below the lake. 

At over 2200 feet of elevation, Townes Reservoir offers some spectacular scenery. Lush summer foliage will hide the “bones” of the mountains and provide shelter for birds and other wildlife. Access is gated and restricted to hand-carry boats, assuring a clean, quiet, and undisturbed setting for paddlers.

Coordinator Kirkpatrick adds, “The scenery of this mountain lake is spectacular. Deep, clear water, a narrow channel that winds through the high walled gorge, the feeling of seclusion is immediate from the time you start paddling.” 

Water from Townes Reservoir is piped to the power plant through a six-foot-diameter aqueduct, dropping over 700 feet in elevation over its long course. Originally built of tongue-and-groove Douglas fir, the aqueduct, now a steel pipe, is maintained via a trail accessed by a long wooden stairway below the dam. For a half mile the trail alongside the pipe provides a nearly-level path overlooking the gorge.

Visitors to the area are required to have a permit, and for safety reasons, park regulations do not allow swimming, camping, hunting, firearms, pets, or alcohol. DRBA will be responsible for obtaining the group’s permit. Near the entrance to the reservoir is a section of the original wooden aqueduct, providing a close-up look at its ingenious construction.

Participants in the outing are asked to meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Meadows of Dan Baptist Church. They should supply boat, paddles, life jacket for every boater, water, and lunch. Dress in water-shedding artificial fabric or wool; and be prepared for wind or rain. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

Directions: Take US 58 (Jeb Stuart Highway) to Meadows of Dan. Continue on Jeb Stuart Highway, US 58 Business, toward the Blue Ridge Parkway for 0.8 mile. Meadows of Dan Baptist Church is on the right.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.

For more information about the trip, contact trip coordinator Wayne Kirkpatrick, 540.570.3511 or wynbtyk@embarqmail.com

For membership and other information about the Dan River Basin Association visit www.danriver.org.