The Annual New River Canoe Race will take place on June 7th, 9 am.  All proceed go to support Friends of High Country State Parks’ mission to support our state parks.

The event will begin at Zaloo’s Canoes in Jefferson, NC five miles to the Wagoner Road Access of the New River State Park.

Boats can enter the water from 9 am to 1:30 pm.
Please note boats with children need to be in no later than 1 pm.

Registration is $10 per person, $5 for children and $25 for family float for a single race and $5 for every additional race. Registration includes a FREE T-shirt and entry for a door prize. Click here to download a 2014 Registration Form.

Enter with a Canoe or a Kayak. Bring your own boat or rent one at a discounted price from Zaloos Canoes.

Family friendly event with options to enter as a “Novice” “Expert” or “Championship Category”. “Special” category for those with any special needs.

Music, free food samples, tubing activity, swimming or hiking can all be found at New River State Park until the 3pm Awards Ceremony.

Vegeterian fare will be available for purchase from the Vitality Food Truck.

Ongoing information can be accessed on Facebook by “liking” New River Canoe Race sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks.

ZaloosLogo Thank you to Zaloo’s Canoes of Jefferson, NC for hosting the starting point of the race, providing free shuttles, and providing discounted boat rentals for race participants.  This race would not have survived for over three decades without the support of Zaloo’s!

All day at New River State Park’s Wagoner Rd. Access, you will find outdoor classroom programing, food, music, door prizes, an amazing raffle, and more fun for the whole family!

Here’s the fine print . . .

1. No one under age 12 may participate unless partnered with or accompanied by parent or legal guardian.

2. Each participant must pay an appropriate entry fee.

3. All paddlers must wear life jackets.

4. Boats will be limited to start times which occur in one minute intervals.

5. All paddlers must stay on the race course.

6. Any Junior Class, Junior/Senior class or any boat that has participants under the age of 16 must start before 1:00 PM. All other boats must start by 1:30pm.

7. All racers must cross the finish line no later than 3:00pm.

8. Passing: it is up to the overtaking boat to overtake and alter its course. The slower boat should maintain its course and not veer into the course of the overtaking boat.

9. Good Samaritan Rule: Paddlers who stop to provide assistance to other paddlers in distress may choose to return to the start line and begin again.

10. “Novice Racer” is defined as any party that has not won, placed or shown in ANY previous canoe race in the past 10 years.

11. If one team member qualifies as “Expert”, the team may not enter in a novice race class.

12. “Junior Class” is solely for participants ages 12 – 15 years old.

13. No solo paddlers under the age of 12.

14. Family Float: no more than five (5) persons in a boat.

15. The New River Canoe Race Committee reserves the right to recommend participants to the “Special Class”.

16. The New River Canoe Race Committee reserves the right to disqualify any boat that does not meet the following measurements: a) Novice/Expert – Standard hull measurements of up to 18’6” in length or less than 32” at the four inch water line. b) Championship Class – All must meet USCA competition cruiser specification as follows: Maximum length is 18’6” (minimum width shall be 14 3/8” % of the length) at the four inch water line, measured within 12” fore or aft of the center of the boat.

17. Single Blade Paddles are required for canoes and Double Blade Paddles are required for kayaks.

18. The New River Canoe Race committee’s decision is final on any question or matter of dispute.

19. The New River Canoe Race Committee reserves the right to cancel the race.

20. Recreational kayaks are classified as up to 12’ long. Any kayak over 12’ long is classified as a Long Boat. Boats with rudders are classified in the Long Boats category also. New River Canoe Race Rules




We’ve got even more fantastic events coming up this July at our High Country State Parks!  Click on the links below to read more:

Grandfather Mountain State Park, July 2013 programs

New River State Park, July 2013 programs

For more July events at Elk Knob State Park and Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, see our last blog entry HERE.

And don’t miss New River State Park’s Celebration Day on July 20th.  See the schedule below:

2013 New River Celebration Day


New Ranger at Elk Knob State Park

This just in from Tracy Minton, Superintendent of Elk Knob State Park:

Veteran Ranger Brandy Belville recently accepted a Journey Ranger position at ELKN.  Brandy is a graduate of the University of Georgia.  She has served in the division for the past ten years with assignments at William B. Umstead, Morrow Mountain, and most recently at Pettigrew State Park.  Brandy brings over twelve years of experience to Elk Knob.  She will serve as the lead interpretation and education ranger.  Please join me in congratulating Brandy, and welcoming her to the High Country and Elk Knob State Park.


Tracy Minton
Park Superintendent
Elk Knob State Park

On behalf of the Friends of High Country State Parks, congratulations and welcome to Brandy!

Upcoming Events

Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area has several events planned for early July, including a new yoga program.  Click the links below to see what they are offering:

Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, July 2013 programs

New Yoga program for July

Yoga at Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area

Yoga at Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area

Elk Knob State Park is offering multiple educational programs.  You can also join them every Saturday, weather permitting, to help improve their expanding network of trails.  Click the link below for more info:

Elk Knob State Park, July 2013 programs

New River State Park is offering a program on the Frogs and Toads of the New River on Saturday July 6th at 7:30 pm.  The program will take place at the park’s Wagoner Rd. Access.  Join the rangers for a short slide show to the learn the basics about frogs and toads and the importance of monitoring their health. Then go for a short walk to experience the peeps and trills of the secretive vocalists.  The program will start in the Basement Classroom of the Wagoner Rd. Access at 7:30. Bring red-lensed flashlights, if you have them.

Also at New River State Park this month is the New River Celebration Day on July 20th at the New River State Park headquarters.  Check back later for more details on this event.

Grandfather Mountain State Park has also set the date for their annual Park Family Day for September 15, 12:00-4pm.  Please add these great family events to your calendar, and check back here for more details.

We’re sure to receive more information about great programs and events in our High Country State Parks, and we’ll be sure to post that info here!



Free film showing – The Green Fire

Tonight, at 7:00 at the New River State Park Visitor’s Center, there will be a free showing of the documentary Green Fire, about naturalist Aldo Leopold’s vision of a land ethic for our time.  Click on the flyer below for more details.

8-5x11 flyer_fillable

If you haven’t kept up with all of the great events happening at our state parks this month through our Facebook page, you can click on the links below to catch up with all that’s going on at our High Country State Parks.

Grandfather Mountain State Park Volunteer Trail Day (Sat, June 15th)

New River State Park, June 2013 Programs

Elk Knob State Park, June 2013 Programs

Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, June 2013 Programs

June 2013 Yoga Programs and Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area

New River Canoe Race Review

For those who are curious how well we did at raising funds at the New River Canoe Race on June 1st, I have a preliminary report for you.  We still may have a couple of donations coming in, so we don’t want to give an official final total yet, but we can safely say that we raised over $2700 for our High Country State Parks.  Thanks to everyone who came out for a fun day on the river.  We look forward to sharing with you in future blog posts how this money is spent for the benefit of our state parks.

Stay tuned!


Thank you to everyone who came out to the New River on Saturday, June 1st to make the event so fantastic!

Also, thank you to everyone who has been patient while waiting for us to post the canoe race times.  NOTE: There is a good reason for the delay in posting the results: we noticed some small transcription errors in the score keeping after the race, and we wanted to go through all of the registration forms and race times thoroughly to check for any other transcription errors.  Some corrections were made, and you will find the official final results in the .PDF file below.

New River Canoe Race times 2013*

*You may notice one correction in particular when you view the results.  Lee Jones (boat # 53) is now listed as “1st Place, Runner Up” in the Expert Men’s Kayak division.  Mr. Jones’s time was incorrectly entered into our spreadsheet, but has now been corrected (what a difference a single digit can make!)  We apologize to Mr. Jones and others in the Expert Men’s Kayak division.  We also congratulate Mr. Jones and his fellow racers for an impressive performance!

Please direct any questions or comments about the race to FriendsofHCSP@gmail.com.  As we mentioned at the race, this was a learning experience for the Friends of High Country State Parks.  We faced the challenge of executing a brand new event for us with an all-volunteer staff, all while trying to make sure the event met the expectations of those who have enjoyed the race for decades.  Rest assured that we are taking very careful notes on the little glitches that occurred at this year’s race so that we can make sure next year’s race runs more smoothly than ever.  Despite the few glitches that occurred, I saw so many smiling faces at the end of the day on Saturday that I can’t call the event anything other than a success.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a very successful fundraiser for our High Country State Parks.  Check back on this website for more thank you’s to our fantastic sponsors, more news about how we did raising funds, and more information about other fantastic events happening every month in your region’s state parks!


David Funderburk

Chair, Friends of High Country State Parks


I hope you’re all good and ready for the New River Canoe Race coming up this Saturday!

If you need to do a little stretching to prepare, be sure to check out one of two yoga classes being held at Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area over the next two days.  There will be a sunset session at 7:15 pm on Thursday, May 30, and a sunrise session at 8 am on Friday, May 31.  Click the image below for more details.

New Yoga Program

Once you’re good and limber, definitely come out to the New River Canoe Race on Saturday, June 1st.  The race starts at Zaloo’s Canoes on highway 16 and ends at the Wagoner Road Access of New River State Park.  You can put a boat in the water any time between 9 am and 1:30 pm.  Zaloo’s canoes is offering discounted boat rentals and free shuttles from the park for race participants!

Even if you’re not racing, come out to the Wagoner Road Access of New River State Park for free tubing, AMAZING RAFFLE PRIZES, ranger-led educational programs for all ages, and live music from Boone Americana band Redleg Husky.

Come spend a fun day by the riverside with your High Country community!  Click the image below for more details.

Promotion Flyer-4


The 32nd Annual New River Canoe Race is coming soon on June 1st!

Do you want to save some time in the registration line on the morning of the race?

Click HERE to RSVP online today and print out a registration form that you can fill out and bring with you on the day of the race.

By RSVP-ing, you’ll help us get a better idea of how many people are coming, and by printing your registration form early, you can save yourself some time on the day of the race.  RSVP now!



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