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39th Annual Canoe Race

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39th Annual Canoe Race

The 39th Annual New River Canoe Race will take place on June 1st, 9:00 a.m.  All proceeds  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, N.C. and travel five miles to the Wagoner Road Access of the New River State Park. This paddle route is calm with no white water. This is a family-friendly event. 

About the Race
Boats can enter the water for the race from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please note: boats with children need to be in no later than 1 p.m.

Registration is $15 per person, $5 for children, and $25 for family float (up to 6 people) for a single race. Each additional race is $5. Registration includes a T-shirt and one entry for a door prize. Enter as a "Family Float", “Novice”, “Expert”, or “Championship” cateogry. The “Special” category is for those with any special needs.
Participants can enter the race with a canoe or a kayak. Bring your own boat or rent one at a discounted price . Zaloo's Canoes will provide complimentary shuttles during the race. 

Music, free food samples, tubing, swimming, and hiking can be enjoyed at New River State Park before the 3pm Awards Ceremony. You do not have to race to enjoy these fun activities! Llocal food trucks will be on site with a variety of lunch options.

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

A view of the river at New River State Park

Map of North Carolina


Contact the park




U.S. 221 access
and visitor center

358 New River State Park Road
Laurel Springs, NC 28644

GPS: 36.46768, -81.34035


Wagoner access

1447 Wagoner Access Road
Jefferson, NC 28640

GPS: 36.415808, -81.387174


Kings Creek access

2250 Kings Creek Road
Piney Creek, NC 28663

GPS: 36.527628, -81.336359


Elk Shoals access

349 Methodist Camp Road
West Jefferson, NC 28694

GPS: 36.365324, -81.433277



  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday to Sunday:
    10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Closed November 1 to March 31
  • April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • May to September:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
  • October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm

The swim beach at Elk Shoals access is open from sunrise to sunset year-round.