DRBA to paddle Mayo Lake Oct. 5

Boaters prepare to launch at Mayo Lake near Roxboro, North Carolina, site of the Dan River Basin Association's Oct. 5 paddle, suitable for novices. The public is invited free of charge.

The public is invited to come and join the Dan River Basin Association's 4-mile paddle along the Mayo Lake shoreline on Oct. 5, guided by staff from Mayo Park, 1013 Neal's Store Road, Roxboro, North Carolina (GPS 36.479996, -78.876064).

Park superintendent Jeremy Royster said, "Mayo Lake is about 2,800 acres and has about 85 miles of shoreline. Since the shoreline is mostly undisturbed, it is great for viewing all kinds of wildlife and birds. It is an important recreation and fishing lake for the region and sees many visitors annually."

Upon arriving at the park, participants should drive to the very end of Neal's Store Road and park in the gravel parking lot. Boats will be launched from the Mayo Lake Park Boat Landing, which has restrooms. The group may conclude the outing at lunchtime in the nearby picnic shelter.

The park has a few kayaks and canoes available at no cost. Participants must reserve them in advance by calling the park at 336-597-7806. Additional boats and shuttle can be rented from Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215, www.3-r-o.com.

Located 10 miles from Roxboro and three miles from the Virginia line, Mayo Reservoir was constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Carolina Power and Light Company for power generation. It is named after its main tributary, Mayo Creek, which in turn is named, like the Mayo River, for Major William Mayo, a member of William Byrd's 1728 survey party, "a Virginia official, land speculator and surveyor."

According to The Dan River Book, the name, spelled "Maho" on the sign where NC 49 crosses the Mayo Creek, is still pronounced "Maho" by many local persons.

Mayo Park was begun in 1996 and has continued to develop, maintaining more than six miles of trails, along with boat landings, cabins, tent sites, boat rentals, rest rooms and other amenities.

Participants are asked to meet at 10 a.m. at the Mayo Lake Park Boat Landing, to dress in synthetic clothing and be prepared to get wet, to supply boat, paddles, life jacket for each boater, lunch and water and to sign a waiver form upon arrival. The outing is suitable for novice paddlers.

To reach the boat landing from South Boston, take US 501 South to Mayo, Virginia. Turn left on VA 96 to Virgilina and right on NC 49 South. From NC 49 South pass Dixon's Store and turn right on Neal's Store Road (SR #1515). Drive to the end of the road to the large parking area at the Boat Landing (operated by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission).

From Roxboro, take NC 49 North 8 miles. Turn left onto Neal's Store Road (SR #1515). Drive to the end of the road to the Boat Landing parking lot.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.

For more information, contact Jeremy Royster at jroyster@personcountync.gov or call 336-597-7806.

For membership and other information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit www.danriver.org.