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Subcategories from this category: UR Loons Paddlers

To All Loons Paddlers: we have received criticism for promoting paddle outings where some persons choosing not to wear or carry life jackets (PFD’s) create a potentially “liable” situation for our group and associated organization and individuals. The laws of Virginia and North Carolina state that all vessels capable of transporting persons on the water (including canoes and kayaks) must have on-board one USCG approved life jacket sized for each wearer and that they must be readily accessible and ready for use. They do not require that you wear it in all situations but they do require that all children under the age of 13 wear one at all times.

The Loons group is not affiliated with any organization although the Roanoke River Basin Association Upper Reach Program has promoted Loons outings and events in the past. The Loons exists as a volunteer group of paddling enthusiasts whose common interest make us want to paddle together without the burden of liability waivers, insurance and legal oversight that comes with sanctioned events and outings.

The Loons has purposefully opted to suggest and encourage rather than mandate any particular behaviors such as wearing life vests. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) we believe that all paddlers should take personal responsibility for being familiar with and complying with the laws of the state, and 2) adults should be free to make the personal decision whether or not to wear their PFD, and they are always responsible for their children.

If conditions are such that a paddler can “self-rescue” (i.e. swim, walk or drag) themselves to safety in the event of capsize, it is not our responsibility to assume the role of PFD police. They should not expect others to come to their rescue, possibly endangering their lives too.

Personally, I wear my life jacket. I have found that a good quality jacket can be both comfortable, convenient (with many pockets) and are often quite stylish. I have also found that going for a swim and banging my head on a rock can happen with little notice, ruining not only my day but everyone else’s too.

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Posted by on in UR Loons Paddlers

We are sorry for the short notice.  We have spoken to several local Meherrin River residents.  They are telling us that we need to wait till late April for the water levels to be navigable in the river for the north fork.  We will reschedule then.  

This Saturday WE WILL STILL PADDLE.  We are going to meet at Saffold Rd. (Rte. 635) to Whittle's Mill (Rte 636/ Bridge Rd).  Meeting at 10:30 am to drop off boats and shuttle to Whittle's Mill and launch around 11:00 am.  

Dress warm, Layers are the best and stay away from cotton.  Bring your sunscreen.

See you there!
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Posted by on in Kayaking

Hey fellow paddlers,

Get your paddling stuff together, it's that time of year again.  The Loons will be doing some exciting paddles this year. 

We will be venturing down the Meherrin River Saturday March 9th.  We are starting Wallace’s Bridge (Rt 712) to Whittle’s Mill (Rt 636/Bridge Rd).  This is said to be one of the greatest areas to paddle.  As of right now we have about 6 people joining us.  

Make sure you bring warm clothes and plenty of water and food.  Hope to see you all there.

Happy Paddling

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Posted by on in UR Loons Paddlers

Ok so this one day of warm weather has got me pumped to paddle and enjoy the water.  Hope you all are ready as well.  Scott and I have added some of the events to our calender of events and we have added some to our facebook page.  I have also emailed everyone the schedule for 2013 it is also pasted below.  If you are not on our email list please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can stay in contact about our events. 

We have some great events planned as well as some amazing things happening throughout the region for our blueway trails.  If you have not checked out our Trails Wiki, you need to.  Scott and several others have worked really hard to get a good start on this project.  We hope you can help us build our trails wiki and our blog.  Please tell us some of your favorite places to paddle.

We enjoy hearing from you.  Have a great day.


Get Out Now!

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Hello All,

I hope everyone has had a great winter.  I know my winter has been filled with family and friends.  I have not been as active on here as I wish, I apologize for that.  I will try again to post about all my outings whether on land or by sea.

This post is about Scott and I going for a mid winter paddle.  We did a nice trip on Saturday January 19, 2013.  We decided on going from Hyco River to Aaron's Creek.  Kerr's water levels has been low for the past few months, we dicovered after the nearly 5 inches of rain that Kerr has water again.  The Dan River between Hyco and Aaron's Creek was flowing so fast we just help on and let it rip.

The Hyco River is a great paddle with many fun islands to paddle around, although on this trip we paddled over the islands.  You will see that in the pictures below (or  While going towards the Dan River we saw a Banded Water Snake.  It is highly unlikely to see a snake in this weather but due to the flood stage of the rivers we are sure it got kicked out of its hibernation home.  We also saw plenty of Turkey Buzzards.

Scott and I tried to paddle up the Dan and around Hyco Island but were unable to cause of the current.  The current was so strong you could hear it whimping by us.  So we decided to turn around a cruise down to Aaron's Creek.  Aaron's Creek was about 1.5 miles away but came up real fast because of the flow.  We skipped over to the mouth of Aaron's Creek and were greeted by some great rock formations and calmer water.  The take out was about 1.5 miles from the mouth.  The total trip was right around 5 miles.  You can view the maps in the trail wiki.

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Thanks to all who have faithfully followed our scattered e-mail postings since last Fall. We have been busy and not so good about blogging lately. We'll improve as we near spring.

What have we been doing? We are in the process of permitting our three launch sites and two of them (Kerr Tailrace and US-1 Steel Bridge) will be 100% wheelchair accessible. This means programs like Vets-on-a-Roll, Wounded Warriors and any other recreational thearpy program (not to mention those of us with general loss of mobility) will be able to get into a kayak (unassisted) and access over 30 miles of water trails. The first of its kind on the east coast and only second in the Country that we know of.

We've been posting on the River Management Society Website to get input and we are ready to build...well almost.

On top of that Glerin has our website upgraded with the new Trail Wiki which we are working on populating with trail info. We are completing the maps for download (see below for sample) and also getting starting on the 15 trail head signs. We've occasionally been out breaking trail (or rather it has been breaking us) to try to push into some of the true upper reaches.


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A few weeks ago Scott and I paddled Flat Creek in search for Yeti or other wildlife. We came across beaver, ducks, turtles, hawks, eagles, osprey, and crazy kids on motorcycles...but still no Yeti. We paddled about 4 miles up Flat Creek until we could go no further. The route we took started at Steel Bridge US1 down river to Beechwood Flats. Since I am new to the area this place was exciting. The water was calm and filled with all species of ducks. There was a two UR Loons as well.

While in Flat Creek I decided that falling out of the kayak was not a good idea since the water was still very cold. Thank goodness for fast drying clothing and the warm sun. The last few weeks have been great for paddling, hope you are getting out there to do some explporing.

 If you would like Upper Reach has started a paddling group called the UR Loons. This group will meet once a month for a paddle around the region. On April 7th we are meeting at the Steel Bridge on US 1 at 9:30 am with a 10am departure for a trip to Beechwood Flats. For more information contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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US-1 Steel Bridge Launch

Handicap accessible! The launch serves as the takeout for paddlers launching at the Tailrace. Read More

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