Southside residents can celebrate Independence Day on the water with the Dan River Basin Association.
Beginning at 10 a.m. on July 4, DRBA will host its First Saturday Outing at Beaver Creek Reservoir in Martinsville. Coordinator for the outing is DRBA leader and avid kayaker Betty Kirkpatrick, who has introduced countless paddlers to the rivers and lakes in the region.
Boats and gear may be rented from Three Rivers Outfitters in Eden, North Carolina, or from Smith River Outfitters in Bassett.
After canceling the April and May outings and redefining the June outing because of the global pandemic, DRBA members believe that with appropriate precautions they can safely enjoy the flat-water lake paddle.
Built in the early 1950s, the man-made lake covers about 175 acres. It is owned and controlled by the city of Martinsville, for which it serves as the primary source of drinking water. Participants will paddle to the furthest point of the lake where Beaver Creek feeds into the lake along with two other branches of water. This out-and-back paddle will total approximately 4 miles, with easy options to turn back at any time during the float.
“Since no motorboats are allowed on the lake, it remains one of the calmest flat-water floats in the area,” Kirkpatrick aid. “The reservoir is alive with a variety of flowering plants. Herons, turtles and an occasional eagle can often be seen along the shoreline or in the trees.”
Participants are asked to meet at 10 a.m. at the boat ramp, located on Boat Ramp Drive (off Redskin Drive) in Martinsville (36°44’49.3”N , 79°52’16.9”W). Dress in synthetic fabric, be prepared to get wet and bring boat, paddles, life jacket for each boater, lunch or snacks, and water. Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended. Each participant is encouraged to follow state issued guidelines by practicing social distancing and by wearing a mask when launching or disembarking at the ramp. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.
All First Saturday Outings of the Dan River Basin Association are free and open to the public. For information or questions about this event, contact Betty Kirkpatrick by phone or text at 276.692.4063.
For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit www.danriver.org.