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YADKIN RIVER

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The Yadkin River State Trail begins at the tailrace of the Kerr Scott Reservoir in Wilkes County and travels 163 miles to its confluence with the Uwharrie River at Lake Tillery where it becomes the Pee Dee River. The upper Yadkin River State Trail includes fish weirs built by native people, riffles and small Class 1 & 2 rapids that make for a fun paddle. 

The river’s scenic beauty is enhanced by the surrounding rolling hills, lush forests, and occasional granite outcrops, creating a picturesque backdrop for exploration. Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of bird species, including bald eagles and herons, as well as the chance to spot deer, beavers, and other animals along the riverbanks. Although there are no advanced adventures on this river, there are plenty of sights worth seeing! To learn more check out the Yadkin Riverkeeper

YADKIN RIVER TRIP IDEAS

These paddles are great for the whole family. These segments are also great if you are new to paddling and looking to get a taste of the paddling world! These segments will be under 2 hours and will have few if any rapids, no dam portages, and are generally calmer areas to paddle in a canoe, or flat water kayak. When its possible, we pick accesses that have bathrooms and formal river accesses. Want to learn more about paddling with the family? REI has an amazing guide. 

These segments will have a great payoff for the hard work you put into paddling. These routes will range from beginner to intermediate depending on rapids and length. Always bring extra water, snacks, and safety supplies. Check out the homepage for a packing list and safety information. Don’t forget to tag @Piedmontlegacytrails or  #Piedmontlegacytrails in your pictures!

These are the sections for you! These segments will cover our Advanced level of paddling with class 2+ rapids. These sections will typically require gear like whitewater kayaks, sprayskirts, helmets, and skills like the ability to wet exit your boat. If you are paddling in advanced rapids, consider taking a swift water rescue course at the White Water Center or Landmark Learning or Cape Fear River Adventures.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

10) Old US 421 River Park to Huntsville

Old 421 River Park

Put in: Old US 421 River Park: 7699 Yadkinville Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023

Take out: Hunstville: 5600 Courtney-Huntsville Rd, Yadkinville, NC 27055

This river access is located in a park with volleyball nets, playground, port-a-potty, and picnic tables. The paddle includes long stretches of flat water and a few class 1 rapids. 

For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access

05) Crater Park to Burch Station

Paddle on the left side of the island to reach the take out
Burch Station Steps

Put in: 310 Standard St, Elkin, NC 28621

Take Out: 116 Greenwood Circle, Elkin, NC, 28621

The take out at Burch Station is river left. When you approach the final island of the stretch you must paddle on the left side to reach the take out. Before heading to the put in, walk down to the river take out section to see the takeout and make note of what landmarks to look for.

For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access

08) Bean Shoals River Access to Donnaha (Donnaha Access closed until Fall 2023)

A view over the islands and rapids of Bean Shoals

Put in: 4454 Shoals Rd, East Bend, NC 27018

Take Out: NC-67, East Bend, NC 27018 (Temporarily Closed)

This section of the Yadkin River, Bean Shoals River Access at Pilot Mountain State Park to Donnaha Access, is one of our favorites. The shallower waters and islands of Bean Shoals make for some interesting views and rapids at the start of the trip. After the shoals, you can relax for a spell with some calmer waters as the river slows down. 

This paddle begins on river right at Pilot Mountain State Park lands. The river is calm at the put in, but the rapids of bean shoal start about half a mile down river and continue for about a mile. After this section, the river is generally an easy float with an occasional rapid to navigate.The first bridge you cross under marks the end of the section as you’ll find the Donnaha River Access point on river right just after the bridge. There are no dams or portages on this route.

For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access

After Bean Shoals the river slows

15) Boone's Cave Park to Hannah Ferry

Boone's Cave
How to take out at Hannah Ferry

Put in: Boone’s Cave Park: 3552 Boones Cave Rd, Lexington, NC 27295

Take Out: Hannah Ferry: 955 Hannah Ferry Rd, Salisbury, NC 28144

Put in at the state park and paddle nearly 5 miles of relaxing flat water. The takeout on this one is a little tricky- you will need to paddle upstream to the right where the south Yadkin river blueway converges with the Yadkin. Once you are paddling up the south Yadkin the takeout will be on your left. Be diligent about your navigational landmarks on this segment.

For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access

YADKIN RIVER INTERACTIVE MAP

Click on the map icon to see the Yadkin River Onlne Map and the nearest USGS gauge station.

Yadkin River State Trail Brochure Map

Click image to view the PDF.

  1. Visit USGS 
  2. Scroll to the nearest water gauge to the put in.
  3. Check the “Daily Discharge, Cubic Feet Per Second”
  4. See where that number fits within the suggestions below

YADKIN RIVER ACCESSES AND TRIP DETAILS

ONLY AVAILABLE ON DESKTOP OR TABLET.  

VISIT INTERACTIVE MAP FOR INFO.  DATA AVAILABLE ON DESKTOP OR TABLET.

RiverPut in AccessPut in AddressMilesPaddleMile IDDifficultyPut inTake OutNotes
Yadkin01) Kerr Scott Dam202 Ranger Rd, Wilkesboro, NC 286976.8 Miles2.5 Hours163BeginnerLeftRightFamily Friendly: Concrete boat ramp at put-in. Restrooms available. This section features a series of class 1 rapids. About 5.5 miles in, Reddies River enters from the left just before passing the 268 bridge. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin02) Smoot Park202 Chestnut St, North Wilkesboro, NC 2865910.53.5 Hours156BeginnerRightRightThere are 2 entrances to the river. #1 hand carry on steps #2 gravel ramp. Enjoy a series of class 1 – 1+ rapids for a small section then finish the paddle with flatwater. Take-out left at Roaring River. Keep an eye out for Church’s Rock, a large rock outcrop on river left approximately halfway through this stretch. Large islands in this section of river. The first island should be navigated river left, and the second island should be navigated river right. Watch for and avoid low hanging tree limbs. Smoot Park has bathrooms and a playground! For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin03) Roaring River Access9214 Elkin Highway, Roaring River, NC 286695.2 Miles2 Hours145BeginnerRightRightFor more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin04) Ronda Memorial Park238 Clingman Rd, Ronda, NC 286707 Miles2.5 Hours140BeginnerRightLeftPaddle-in camping available at Carter Park access. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin05) Carter Park310 Standard St, Elkin, NC 286216.1 Miles2 Hours133BeginnerLeftLeftThe take out at Burch Station is river left. When you approach the final island of the stretch you must paddle on the left side to reach the take out. Before heading to the put in, walk down to the river take out section to see the takeout and make note of what landmarks to look for. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin06) Burch Station116 Greenwood Circle, Elkin, NC, 286214.7 Miles1.5 Hours127BeginnerLeftRightMainly flat water but will pass through a series of class 1 rapids. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin07) Yadkin Shore Access at US-6018420 US 601 Hwy, Boonville, NC 2705516.9 Miles5.5 Hours122IntermediateRightRightThis is a very long section and will take a full day of paddling. Be mindful of the time it will take you to get on and off the river which can be up to an hour on either end. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin08) Shoals at Pilot Mountain State Park4454 Shoals Rd, East Bend, NC 270186.9 Miles2.5 Hours105RightTBDDo not paddle until Donnaha is officially open. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin09) CLOSED UNTIL FALL 2023 – Donnaha6131 Donnaha Park Rd, East Bend, NC 270186.6 Miles2.5 Hours99TBDLeftDo not paddle until Donnaha is officially open. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin10) Old US 421 River Park7699 Yadkinville Rd, Lewisville, NC 270235.4 Miles2 Hours92BeginnerLeftRightFamily Friendy: This river access is located in a park with volleyball nets, playground, port-a-potty, and picnic tables. The paddle includes long stretches of flat water few class 1 rapids. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin11) Hunstville5600 Courtney-Huntsville Rd, Yadkinville, NC 2705510.8 Miles3.5 Hours87BeginnerRightLeftGravel lot with 10 parking spaces. Entry is hand carry down a gravel ramp and natural steps. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin12) Tanglewood Park4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC 2701216.7 Miles5.5 Hours76IntermediateLeftLeftDAM AHEAD! DO NOT FLOAT OR PADDLE OVER THE DAM. Portage at Idol’s Dam about 4 miles downstream at mile #72. Exit river right just before railroad trestle. This is a very long section and will take a full day of paddling. Be mindful of the time it will take you to get on and off the river which can be up to an hour on either end. This section was ranked intermediate due to the length and dam portage. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin13) US-646970 US 64, Lexington, NC 272959.4 Miles3 Hours59BeginnerLeftRightTake the steps down the bridge to access the river. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin14) Concord Church (NC-801)5897 NC801, Mocksville NC 270283.5 Miles1 Hour50Beginner- IntermediateRightLeftSights Worth Seeing: When you get to the takeout, explore Boone’s Cave Park trails! Check out this brochure https://www.co.davidson.nc.us/DocumentCenter/View/487/Boones-Cave-Brochure-PDF?bidId= For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin15) Boone’s Cave Park3552 Boones Cave Rd, Lexington, NC 272954.9 Miles2 Hours46BeginnerLeftLeftSights Worth Seeing: Put in at Boone’s cave park and paddle nearly 5 miles of relaxing flat water. The takeout on this one is a little tricky- you will need to paddle upstream to the right where the south Yadkin river blueway converges with the Yadkin. Once you are paddling up the south Yadkin the takeout will be on your left. Be diligent about your navigational landmarks on this segment. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin16) Hannah Ferry955 Hannah Ferry Rd, Salisbury, NC 281444.9 Miles2 Hours41BeginnerRightLeftAt the very end of the paddle you will approach an island. Paddle the left side of the island to access the take out at Yadkin River Park. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access
Yadkin17) Yadkin River Park (York Hill #1)11418 Old Salisbury Rd, Linwood, NC 27299Take Out37Take outTake OutYork Hill marks the beginning of High Rock Lake. There are multiple boat ramps on the lake, not specific for canoes/kayaks. Paddlers will encounter the High Rock Dam about 15 miles downstream. For more info visit https://www.yadkinriverkeeper.org/yadkin-river-access

RIVER RENTALS

NC River Riders

201 Big Bend Rd, Ronda, NC 28670 (336) 244-6220 Rentals & Services: Tube, Kayak, Canoe, Shuttle

River Daisy Outdoor Co.

4021 NC-109, Troy, NC 27371 704-985-6002 Rentals: Kayak, Canoe

Rocky Forest River Run

Shop at top of hill, Rocky Forest Trail, Elkin, NC 28621 336-469-8652 Rent or Purchase: Kayak / Tube / Shuttle

Foothills Outdoor Adventures

2618 NC-268, Wilkesboro, NC 28697 Rentals: Kayak / Tube / Shuttles & More

Hometown River Co.

474 N. Bridge St. Jonesville, NC 28642 336-404-1616 Rentals: Kayak / Tube & Shuttles

GetOutdoors Pedal & Paddle

1515 W Gate City Blvd. Greensboro, NC 27403 336-294-3918 Rent or Purchase: Kayak / SUP

YADKIN RIVER RESOURCES

THE Yadkin River Resource

Piedmont
Legacy
Trails

CONTACT US

EMAIL
info@piedmontland.org

PHONE
336.691.0088

Disclaimer: This information is used entirely at the reader’s discretion and is made available on the expressed condition that no liability, expressed or implied, is accepted by the author or publisher or any of its associates, employees, branches, or subsidiaries for the accuracy, content, or use thereof. River channels are dynamic features and thus change frequently; the boater must be aware that hazards exist and be wary of them. Paddling poses significant potential hazards, including the risk of injury or death, and each person participating in this activity needs to understand the risks involved, obtain the necessary training, and take all the needed precautions. This guide provides general information on the topic of paddling, and by providing this information, we do not assume any liability for its use.