October FSO Paddle on the Mayo

October 2, 2021
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) plans a 3-mile float on the Mayo River on October 2, 2021, as its regular First Saturday Outing. Meeting at 9:00 a.m. at the NC 770 bridge over the Mayo River (T. Clarence Stone Highway) (GPS 36.471201, -79.950685), participants will set the shuttle to the public access at US 220 Business between Stoneville and Mayodan, NC.


Some boaters may prefer to conclude their float at the access point where their vehicles will be parked. Others will continue downstream about a mile on the slow-moving water backed up behind the Avalon Dam before returning to the access.


A note on personal and community health safety – This paddle will involve a shuttle from the put-in to the take-out. This will require multiple people being together in one or more vehicles. DRBA asks that all participants be respective of those near them and wear a mask. Thank you in advance for honoring this request.


Trip coordinator is experienced kayaker Wayne Kirkpatrick, chair of DRBA’s Outings Task Force. Boat rentals and shuttle are offered by Three Rivers Outfitters of Eden, 336-627-6215, www.3-r-o.com.

Kirkpatrick comments, “This section of the Mayo is mostly calm and peaceful with little development along the shores. It’s a great place to relax and connect with nature.” Fall foliage will be starting to show its varied colors along the banks where songbirds and waterfowl will enhance the experience.


Lindley Butler, who has studied the Mayo River, has documented several Native American fish weirs built about 1000 years ago and used by Indians and later by settlers 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,” says Butler.

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, increasing the interest of the float. “The Mayo River is one of the region’s great treasures,” adds Butler. “The unspoiled beauty of the river, with forested banks, wildlife, birds, and few signs of civilization make it a perfect get-away within easy reach of Piedmont North Carolina and Virginia.”


Participants in the outing are asked to bring boat, paddles, life jacket for each boater, lunch and water, to dress in synthetic (quick-drying) fabric and to sign a waiver.


To reach the put-in, from US 220 west of Stoneville, NC, turn west on NC 770 (T. Clarence Stone Highway). Drive 1.3 miles to the bridge over the Mayo River.


For more information about the outing, contact Trip Coordinator Wayne Kirkpatrick, wynbtyk@embarqmail.com.


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

For more information, see www.danriver.org.