April FSO - Paddle on the Banister!

April 6, 2024
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

April FSO - Paddle on the Banister!

Join us for a 6-mile paddle on the Banister River starting in Halifax, VA at 9:00am on Saturday, April 6, 2024. The paddle will start at the VA 360 King’s Bridge Access and take out at the US 360 Terry’s Bridge Access. This is a Class I section that is suitable for those with some prior paddling experience.


Much of the Banister River has been designated as a “Scenic River” by the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation. The section to be paddled is flanked on both sides by the Banister Wildlife Management Area making this section scenic and feels very remote. This will be an early spring paddle so there is a chance for seeing wildflowers.


This river section has numerous 19th century batteaux structures and sluices that can be visible in lower, clear water conditions. Batteaux were 40 feet x 8 feet flat bottomed boats that were used through most of the 19th century to carry commercial goods up and down the River. The batteaux were all purpose cargo boats that had a capacity of 3 tons of material and had a shallow draw. Batteaux were the main vehicles of commerce from the Halifax area to the Albemarle Sound before good roads were established. They were powered upstream by using poles. Many enslaved people were entrusted to guide the boats on the rivers and later free Blacks continued this batteaux commerce. Dr. William Trout states in his “Dan River Atlas” that this section of the Banister River has “some of the best-preserved bateau sluices in VA.”


Each participant needs to bring a kayak or canoe, paddle, life jacket, food and water. Each participant will be asked to sign a waiver. Dress in synthetic clothes (not cotton) and be prepared to get wet.


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Participants are asked to meet at 9:00 am at King’s Bridge Landing, 1041 Bethel Road, Halifax, VA. (GPS:  36.776946, -78.916697) 


Directions:  To reach the put-in from US 58 at South Boston, VA, turn north on US 501. Follow US 501 through South Boston onto Halifax in several miles. Go through Halifax on US 501/Main St. When US 501 turns left, continue straight on VA 360/Bethel Rd. for 0.2 miles, then turn left into the access before crossing the river.


All First Saturday Outings of the Dan River Basin Association are free and open to the public. Note:  If for any reason the event needs to be cancelled, visit www.danriver.org by Friday, the day before the outing to determine whether the outing will be held.           


The paddle will be led by volunteer Will Truslow, avid kayaker and former DRBA Board Member. He can be contacted by EMAIL or 336-314-5022 for questions