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Yadkin River in North Carolina

Trip Overview

We have had a lot of rain in the NC mountains recently, so a friend and I decided to paddle "up river" on the Yadkin, from Keerr Scott reservoir to the Ferguson Bridge. This is NOT a part of the Yadkin Pee Dee River Trail since it goes up the river before the river hits the dam. We put in at Fort Hamby Park a nice county maintained facility with parking, restrooms and the like. Because of all the rain, the river southwest of the reservoir was high and flat. One joy of this trip is the number of birds, particularly herons and kingfishers that live along the river.

Once we left the reservoir and got on the river there were a few boaters (with no wake) at the beginning of the river. After a few turns in the river we left all the boaters and fishermen behind. Both sides of the river are heavily forested and the only sounds are bird calls, the occasional splashing of diving birds and a low, far away drone of motors on boats. The paddling was easy and uneventful. Due to the high water, we couldn't find the usual places to pull over and swim in the river. On the positive side, due to the high water there was no dragging the kayaks over low spots in the river. I estimate the mileage on this trip to be about 6 miles round trip and it took about 4 hours. We were paddling against the current 1/2 the time.

I think anyone looking for a relaxing, easy quiet paddle, with a lot of bird life, would enjoy this stretch of the Yadkin.


The Park has bathrooms, a paved boat launch and parking area and picnic tables.


Fort Hamby Park (the beginning and end of this journey is located on Highwat 421 just west of Wilkesboro, NC.


The Yadkin Pee Dee River Trail Association has maps (a new one in 2005) available on line.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip