August FSO Stokes County Float
August 3, 2019
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Float From Moratock Park to Snow Creek in Stokes County, NC
DRBA’s 200th First Saturday Outing!
Founded in 2002, the Dan River Basin Association has offered free First Saturday Outings year-round to the public for seventeen years. This outing will be the organization’s 200th such outing.
You’re invited to join the Dan River Basin Association’s August 3 First Saturday Outing, a 4.5-mile float on the Dan River from Moratock Park to Snow Creek Access in Stokes County, NC. Meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the park in Danbury (GPS 36.4081, -80.1983), participants will set the shuttle and launch at the public access point. DRBA board member and avid paddler Rebecca Gibson will coordinate the outing, which is free and open to the public.
Boat rentals and shuttle will be available at Three Rivers Outfitters of Eden, 336-627-6215, www.3-R-O.com. The river is rated Class I in difficulty, appropriate for inexperienced paddlers. Rebecca Gibson comments, “This is a great section of the river, and we are happy to have DRBA members and guests come and enjoy what Stokes has to offer!”
Wayne Kirkpatrick, DRBA vice president, comments, “DRBA's 200th FSO marks a milestone for the organization in helping our paddlers and hikers enjoy the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River Basin. Introducing those new to outdoor adventures in a safe and coordinated group setting provides a valuable service by ensuring a memorable experience. For DRBA's repeat FSO participants, our outings are like a family mini-vacation, safe, fun and friendly. DRBA looks forward to many more FSOs, with our 300th out there on the horizon.
History and legend abound on this part of the river. The outing begins near the historic 1843 Moratock Iron Furnace in Moratock Park. The furnace made iron for the Confederacy until the dam that fed water to it was destroyed in 1865 on the same day that Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
Built by Native Americans and later residents to capture fish on their spawning runs, vee-shaped fish weirs are found in the river bed. A mile and a half into the trip are the remains of Ryerson’s Fish Trap, a rare wooden slat trap from 1879 placed at the point of the vee to capture fish.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, branches of the Great Wagon Road forded the river on shallow shoals. A nice gravel bar at river’s edge will serve as a lunch stop on the trip. A later means of crossing the river is marked by the steel skeleton of the 1918 Pitzer Truss Bridge, just upstream of the take-out at Snow Creek Access.
Participants in the outing should supply boat, paddles, life jacket for each boater, lunch, and water, wear water-shedding artificial fabric or wool, and be prepared to get wet. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: To reach Moratock Park in Danbury traveling on NC 8/89, turn onto Sheppard Mill Road, crossing the bridge over the Dan. At the end of the bridge, turn right and drive to the parking lot to unload boats and gear for launching at the access steps.
Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
FURTHER INFORMATION: For trip information, contact trip coordinator Rebecca Gibson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-414-2079.