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WNCHA Outdoor Experiences: Paddle the French Broad

09/11/2021 @ 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

“For the French Broad is, above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life. Water, forests, plants, animals, people: thronging here in rare and wonderful variety.” – Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad

On Saturday, September 11, the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA), in partnership with Montreat College’s Outdoor Recreation Studies department, will lead a guided paddle tour of one river section that exemplifies Dykeman’s depiction.

Join us at Amboy Road River Park as we prepare to float 6.5 miles through the River Arts District and beyond to Woodfin Riverside Park. This float, with four interpretive stops and one stop for lunch, will take approximately five hours. We will learn about this river section’s natural and cultural history including the tenuous relationship between humans and the river. We will view several historic crossings and bridges, see the damage and legacy of various floods, learn about the creatures that call this river basin home, and examine more recent efforts to care for and sustainably utilize the French Broad. This particular section is relatively calm, with no substantial rapids but several rocky shoals to navigate. Some paddling experience is recommended but not required. Montreat College will provide the canoes as well as the safety gear and briefing. Participants may bring their own canoes/kayaks as well. Drivers will be shuttled back to Amboy Road River Park in a group van.

The Details
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2020 at 9:45am (Rain date: Saturday, September 18)
Time: 9:45am – 3:30pm
Meet at: Amboy River Road Park (180 Amboy Road, Asheville) by 9:45.
Park at: Amboy Riverfront Park OR Karen Cragnolin Park (190 Amboy Road, Asheville). If parking at Amboy is full, simply park at the nearby Cragnolin Park and walk to Amboy Riverfront Park where we will put into the water. Canoes will be waiting for you there.
Cost: $30 for WNCHA members/$40 for non-members ($15/$20 if bringing personal watercraft). *We also have two no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise*

Registration: Register at the bottom of the page to reserve your spot. There are two spots in each boat. Register together to ensure you are placed in the same boat, or send an email to [email protected] to request your seating arrangement.

What to Bring: Plenty of water (min 32 oz.), an easy-to-eat lunch, river clothes and appropriate footwear/sandals, sunscreen, hat (recommended), dry bag (recommended).

Note: The highest priority of this event is safety, though we cannot guarantee this. Participants are required to sign a waiver beforehand. Our group size is also limited to 25 individual participants. Inexperienced paddlers will receive a brief practice coaching from outing leaders before we embark as a group.

Waiver: https://forms.gle/m8bkUfhS9j8DRf1N9

For questions, please email Trevor Freeman at [email protected]


10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Western North Carolina Historical Association


Amboy Road River Park
180 Amboy Road
Asheville, NC 28806 United States
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