August 2014 Programs August 2014 MOJE programs0001 August 2014 MOJE programs0002 GRMO_Aug2014 August Programs at Elk Knob State Park

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 are happy to announce that you may now make a donation or purchase a membership to Friends of High Country State Parks online.  All you have to do is visit our Membership page, click on the appropriate button, and follow the instructions to pay for a membership or make a donation via PayPal.  This option works with all major credit and debit cards and is especially convenient if you have a PayPal account (though you don’t need one to pay with credit or debit).

Memberships last for the remainder of the calendar year and must be renewed each year, unless you purchase a Lifetime Membership.  The rates for membership are as follows:

  • Individual membership: $10
  • Family membership: $15
  • Student membership: $5
  • Lifetime membership: $250

Currently on the FHCSP board’s agenda are the tasks of producing membership cards for each paid member and establishing member benefits beyond the warm feeling of satisfaction you will get from supporting your local State Parks.  Stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook page to learn about coming membership updates.

For an example of the type of projects that your membership dues would support, read this blog post about the eastern hellbender research equipment we provided to New River State Park last year.  Help us support more projects like this at our High Country State Parks by visiting our membership page now!

The second issue of “View from the Top,” our official Friends of High Country State Parks newsletter is now available.  Incredible thanks goes out to Randy Johnson (www.RandyJohnsonBooks.com) for putting the newsletter together.  Also, special thanks to goes to McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers of Jefferson, NC, (www.mcfarlandbooks.com) for sponsoring the printing of our newsletter.  Once we get physical copies printed, we’ll be able to make the newsletter available at our state park offices and some local businesses in order to further spread the word about how to support our parks!

Click the photo link below to view a PDF copy:

This photo of Grandfather Mountain by Becky Rose is the February 18th, 2012 photo of the day on the www.Asheweather.com webpage.  Parks are open year-round. Let’s be sure it stays that way so we can hike in and enjoy what all the seasons have to offer in our state parks!

Thanks to Randy Johnson for creating this great video about Elk Knob State Park for the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (www.ExploreBooneArea.com). Randy is also responsible for the great first newletter for our organization.

On Tuesday December 20th, Bob White and Pat Beaver, with the Friends of High Country State Parks delivered several Christmas gift items to New River State Park.  The items included scientific equipment and tools to use in research the park conducts on the Eastern Hellbender, a giant aquatic salamander that lives in the river.  This equipment is crucial for the park to continue and expand its ongoing research of the Eastern Hellbender at New River State Park.Click HERE for an article by Ranger Blatny concerning the equipment donated from the friends group and information about our hellbender research.

The photo below shows Bob White, Ranger Doug Blatny, Superintendent Joseph Shimel, and Pat Beaver along with equipment donated for the hellbender research.


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