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Paddle Boarding in Wilkes

Paddle Boarding

Love being on the water? Love kayaking or wake-boarding?  Then why not give Paddle Boarding in Wilkes a try?  Cook’s Sporting Goods is one of the local stores that offers paddle board rentals and they are $25(per board) by the day.  Simply swing by Cook’s, load the boards(onto a vehicle that can haul them of course!), and hit the W. Kerr Scott Dam or travel along the Yadkin River.  The type of trip you are looking to experience is completely your choice!

Tricks of the Trade

What to Wear.  Swim suits of any kind will work.  Girls- one or two piece, Guys- shorts (& a tee if you want the protection from the sun)  I typically wear a swim suit and shorts just to give myself a little extra coverage when sitting/standing on the board, but anything is fine, as long as it is water-proof and comfortable.  Sunscreen- Be sure to put on a good layer of sunscreen before heading out!  You will most likely not be able to take any out on the water with you, so be smart and put it on in advance!  Sunglasses/Hat-  Again, it will most likely be sunny when you go out and the water only reflects the brightness of the sun.  Wearing sunglasses and/or wearing a hat helps cut down on the sun, so that you can enjoy the experience better!

The Paddle.  The paddles used with paddle boards adjust in length so that they are the right size for the user at the time.  In a standing position on land, hold one of your arms straight up-  The paddle should be adjusted to reach the palm of your hand.

Life Jackets.  You are required to have a life jacket on board, however you are not required to be wearing it unless you are 13 or under.  I have found that it is easier to paddle without one, but if you choose to get in the water, you may want to put it on so you can float around a bit.  My recommendation is tie the life jacket to your board and let it lay on the back of the board- it shouldn’t go anywhere!  However, if you feel more comfortable wearing one the entire time, then definitely do:)  Your safety is the most important thing!

The Board.  Before you begin standing on the board, I recommend starting out in a sitting position on the board once it is in the water.  Give yourself a little time to get comfortable on your board and then work your way up to a kneeling position.  Balance is key when it comes to paddle boarding and you want to make sure you have your balance before you try to stand!  Once you feel confident in a kneeling position, try standing shoulder width apart on the middle of the board.

Paddling.  Now you are up and look like a pro!  But wait- How do you get around??  You have a paddle(that should be adjusted to fit you perfectly) and you will be surprised at how fast you are able to get around just by using it!  If you are interested in going to the right, paddle on the left and if you are interested in going to the left, paddle on the right.  If you want to keep moving forward, alternate paddling on each side.

Fitness.  Paddle Boarding is a great way to workout and challenge your body in new ways.  As you paddle, you have the option of just working your arms and shoulders, or getting your entire body involved and working several different muscles- the choice is yours!  *For those of you looking for an even bigger challenge- try out some yoga poses on the boards!  Yoga classes on the water are becoming very popular and they take immense concentration and practice!

The View.  While you are floating around the Yadkin or W Kerr Scott, take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, of the wildlife, and of the sun setting.  You never know what you might see!

*Tip-  When paddle boarding on a lake or in an area where there are boats and jet skis, there will definitely be a few moments of bumpy waters.  This is not something I prefer to experience standing on a paddle board, so I typically get in a sitting position either indian style or legs out in front of me and continue paddling.  The main thing is to stay calm, the chances of your board flipping are slim.  Just stay aware of your surroundings and of the water.  Make sure you are comfortable and if you are not, paddle to a different location to where there is calm water.

Most ImportantlyHave FUN!!! Paddle Boarding is a blast, especially if it is something you have never tried before.  Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your significant other- and Give Paddle Boarding in Wilkes a Try!!

Zaloo’s Canoes (Canoeing in NC)

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Canoeing in NC

The New River is truly a treasure. It has been designated a National Scenic and Wild river and an American Heritage River. Tubing, kayaking or canoeing down the New is the best way to explore this remarkable natural treasure. The water is crystal clear (and cold) and with the exception of a small section of white water here and there, is smooth as glass. This is a great family getaway.cheap jumpers for sale

Kerr Scott Trails (KST)

Dark Mountain

The name alone conjures up fear; but for the mountain bike enthusiast, Dark Mountain trail at Kerr Scott is the real deal. Fear, for sure, but it is so much more. This series of single track trails is considered by most to be challenging, yet doable. I must admit to carrying my bike on some sections; but as they say “if you ain’t hiking…. you ain’t biking”. J

It is hard to imagine that nearly ten years have passed since I was introduced to the idea of building trails at Kerr Scott. I was approached by a friend (Jim Horton, loving known as the Trail Boss) who was building the trails by hand and was seeking funding for a walk behind grading machine. I encouraged him to seek a grant from the local tourism authority and Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club received $10,000.00 from them and another $2500.00 from the Hampton Inn. The rest is history. Many hours of hard work by local volunteers and Dark Mountain trails were underway.  (Kudos to BMCC and all the volunteers that have made this a reality!!!)

The trails gained national attention and soon the Burn 24 Hour mountain bike race was moved to this location and has remained here ever since. This 24 hour endurance race is held annually in late May and begins at noon and ends at noon and is a crazy workout for those brave enough to tackle it. I have only watched.

Dark Mountain Trails contain 7.5 miles of ups and downs that some have called a free roller coaster ride. The trials are located at the end of Reservoir Road across the Dam. Cross the Dam, turn left and go down the hill to the parking lot, unload your bike, put on your helmet and prepare for the challenge. For your convenience, a free bike wash station is located at the end of your ride. Enjoy.

Dark Mountain Trail Map

Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT)

OVT is 9.5 miles of pure mountain biking pleasure. Generally, this series of trails is doable by most every skill of rider (at least some portions). For me, the most fun is Shiners Loop, a loop trail constructed around a peninsula of land that gives the rider great lake views and absolutely gorgeous wooded scenery. The trail is challenging, but flows like a mountain stream… the downs power the ups and the ups give way to gentle grades that wind through the wooded ridges. It is better than it sounds!

OVT is accessible from the parking lot at the Kerr Scott welcome center located on Reservoir Road. Park in front of the building and the trails are directly across nbso online casino reviews the entrance drive, look for signage. Except for Shiners Loop, OVT is an out and back trail, so watch for oncoming traffic. (I have had more than a few near misses)

Overmountain Victory Trail Map

Warrior Creek

Warrior Creek is the newest of the trail segments and is located north on Hwy 268 some 4 miles from Reservoir Road at the Warrior Creek Campground. Totaling 17 miles and still growing, Warrior Creek offers a day long ride that is challenging enough for any rider. These trails are downright fun! The banks switchbacks are a thrill and the downhill runs are breathtaking.

One cautionary note, I left my left shoulder on these trails, so ride within yourself and let other folks do the same. There are certainly some areas that intermediate riders need to walk J. Rock Gardens are also a challenge on these runs, so be wise and stay safe.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek (6WC) is held here in early April and sold out in 10 hours this year. This event is nationally known and draws the best riders from across the nation. I have had a great time just picking a spot along the trail a just sitting and watching. Of course, as each rider goes by I think…. “That will be me next year”. Not!

Warrior Creek Trail Map

Anyway, with over 35 miles of excellent single track trails, KST offers the best of mountain biking to everyone. From novice to expert, it doesn’t matter; just get on that bike and ride. The trails are calling, are you listening?

Check out the web-based map at this link -

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