Pisgah Access to Hap Simpson Park – Upriver

This is an upriver and back trip on the French Broad River near Brevard, NC.  The put in is called Pisgah Access and is located at a bridge on Wilson Road just off old Hendersonville Highway. There is a small gravel lot and a concrete ramp.

I have been testing water on a weekly basis for the French Broad Riverkeeper and my test site is Hap Simpson Park located off Highway 276. I decided to paddle up to Hap Simpson which is right at 5.0 miles, sample the water and paddle back.


Your Paddle Guide at the put in
Your Paddle Guide at the put in

The water is quite calm at the put in and the majority of this trip is smooth water. Continue reading Pisgah Access to Hap Simpson Park – Upriver

French Broad Classique 50 Mile Challenge

Home Stretch
Home Stretch









I completed the 50 mile challenge of the French Broad Classique on April 25th. This was the second time I had competed in the challenge. This year I had a family friend, Augie Parrinello, join me for his first challenge race.

Augie Finishing
Augie Finishing

Augie is an accomplished whitewater boater who has paddled with me on a few occasions.  While I have been training all year, Augie paddled once since last summer and set off in the race in a boat he had never paddled before. Continue reading French Broad Classique 50 Mile Challenge

Is the French Broad River Safe For Swimming?

The French Broad River’s recreational use has increased significantly over the past several years as it has gained popularity for boating and tubing. The French Broad Riverkeeper with MountainTrue has a testing program from April through October which tests for E. Coli. E.Coli is considered an indicator of other harmful bacteria as well.

Volunteers perform the testing at over 20 sites in the French Broad Watershed on a weekly basis and report results to a web site called Swimguide. The Swimguide site is nationwide and is very useful for checking swimming areas at beaches, lakes and rivers. The sites are either flagged green as safe for swimming or red, not safe for swimming. If one site has continued high E. Coli readings more testing is performed to try to determine the source of contamination. Continue reading Is the French Broad River Safe For Swimming?

Penrose Access to Wilson Road Bridge – Upriver



This is an upriver and back trip which begins at Penrose Access and ends above the Wilson Road Bridge in the Brevard, NC area. The put in is at a newer access near the Crab Creek Road Bridge. From Highway 280 take Highway 64 East, in approximately 2 miles turn right on Crab Creek Road (there are signs for duPont State Park) Take an immediate left on Old Hendersonville Highway, then take the first right on Apac Road. The access is at the end of this road. Continue reading Penrose Access to Wilson Road Bridge – Upriver

Bear Creek Lake NC -Sols Creek Falls




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My trip to Bear Creek Lake NC and Sols Creek Falls

With an unseasonably warm day I decided to venture off the river for some distance paddling. I needed get some miles and time on the boat.

Bear Creek Lake is located about 10 Miles South of Cullowhee, NC off highway 281 (Canada Road) There is a free public boat ramp. The lake contain 500+/- acres and is about 4 1/2 miles long. A good portion of the lake is national forest however there is new development going on with very large houses. On this day in March, I was the only boat on the water.

I had visited this lake several years ago when Debbie and I took a canoe. We paddled a good portion of the lake that day and enjoyed swimming and relaxing. I set out with the kayak on this trip to cover more miles. Continue reading Bear Creek Lake NC -Sols Creek Falls

French Broad Classique

The French Broad Classique is held on the French Broad River on the fourth weekend in April. This years dates are April 25-26. The race is organized by FB Paddle Racing. The inaugural race was held in 2010.

The primary race events are an 18 mile downriver race on Saturday and a 16 mile downriver race on Sunday. These races draw competitors from many different classes and includes former Olympians and national champions. Both races are divided by classes as to the type of boat paddled. The fastest boats are ICF classified, others include fast sea kayak, sea kayak, open canoe, decked canoe, recreational kayak, stand up paddleboards as well as gender and tandem/solo classes. All racers start at the same time. The Saturday 18 mile race starts at 11:30am at the Blantyre Access and ends at Westfeldt River Park. The Sunday 16 Mile Race starts at 10:30am at Westfeldt River Park and ends at the Asheville Outdoor Center.

There is a family friendly 8 mile Fun Race on Sunday at 11:00 which starts at the Bent Creek Access Continue reading French Broad Classique

Westfeldt River Park to Boylston Creek – Upriver

This is a nice upriver trip which starts at Westfeldt River Park off Ferncliff Park Drive near Sierra Nevada Brewing and the Asheville Regional Airport. The river is mostly deep through this area with few obstructions other than deadfall trees.

After put in you will quickly pass under the Highway 280 bridge. After the bridge the confluence with Cane Creek will be on your left in about 2500 feet.

Highway 280 Bridge
Highway 280 Bridge

The next landmark is the Butler Bridge Road bridge in another 3/4 mile. There is a dairy farm here which can be a little ripe to the nose. Continue reading Westfeldt River Park to Boylston Creek – Upriver

Reel Paddling Film Festival

Our friends at Headwaters Outfitters are sponsoring a stop of the Reel Paddling Film Festival which will be held Thursday, February 19th at Highland Brewing in Asheville

About RPFF World Tour – from RPFF website.

Rapid Media’s 9th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival showcases the world’s best paddling films to audiences in Canada, United States and around the world. The festival inspires more people to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push physical and emotional extremes, embrace the lifestyle and appreciate the heritage of the wild places we paddle.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is a film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories. The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media also publishes four leading paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines. Your ticket to a Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour stop includes a free one-year digital edition subscription to all of the above magazines.

This looks like a fun event for all types of paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts – hope to see you there. Advance tickets are available online  here or can be purchased at Headwaters Outfitters.

The Bingham School – Asheville

Entrance to Bingham School
Entrance to Bingham School

In 1891 the Bingham School was built on the plateau at current day Bingham and Pearson Bridge Roads. The school was a military boys prep school which had a history dating back to 1780. The school had several other previous locations in North Carolina including Wilmington, Pittsboro and Hillsboro, with the  last location in Mebane which was lost to fire.

All of the schools have been run by members of the Bingham family with the first school started by Rev. William Bingham. The Asheville school was built by Robert Bingham and ran from 1891-1928. The school was closed after Robert Bingham’s death.

Prior to the Asheville campus the other schools had been somewhat primitive consisting of log structures.  The three  Bingham Schools prior to the Asheville campus were built for around $3,500. Average building cost of schools during this era in NC was approximately $5,000. The Bingham School, built in 1891,  in Asheville was approximately $80,000 in building cost. Continue reading The Bingham School – Asheville