Weather played havoc with our first attempt to paddle the French Broad near Rosman, NC, on June 5. Heavy rains and many snags and strainers forced the river to be closed on our scheduled date. We rescheduled to June 28, but instead of 10 UBC paddlers, scheduling conflicts reduced us to two couples, the Guderians and the Woodards.
Nevertheless we met at 11:00 at the Magpie Meat And Three in the Brevard Lumberyard. The food was excellent, and we were able to get off in good time to get to Headwaters Outfitters on the French Broad, where the West Fork and the North Fork form the French Broad itself.
The weather was lightly overcast the entire afternoon, making the trip very pleasant. Since we had our own boats, we used Headwaters Outfitters’ shuttle service, putting in at nearby Champion Park in Rosman (also avoiding some Class 2 rapids between Headquarters and Champion Park). Our destination was Island Ford take-out, 10 miles from Champion Park. Our little fleet of one aluminum lake canoe and two recreational-style kayaks negotiated some shallow rocky stretches in the upper section pretty well before settling into some really easy water the rest of the trip. We didn’t encounter any other craft the entire journey.
The wildlife was interesting. We saw an eagle, some hawks and several great blue herons, along with an impressive snapping turtle. Rhododendrons were still in bloom in some of the shady, rocky, steep riverbanks. There were many ash, black locust, ironwood, sycamore and poplar trees lining the bank. There were only a few of the river birch and river maples that are so dominant along our upcountry rivers.
All in all, it was a very pleasant trip and worth consideration for a repeat some time in the future.
To see additional photos, visit the activities photo gallery.