Dan River

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Written by

Joe Miller

Destination Distance From Downtown

24.0 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete



The Dan poses an unusual problem for a Piedmont river: finding a stretch that's placid enough to paddle. For the most part, the Piedmont is veined with streams that slowly meander their way. But up here in the Sauratown Mountains, the Dan boasts stretches with Class I, II and III water. There's a bit of a respite, though, on the 4.3-mile stretch from the Moore's Springs Campground Access downstream to the take-out at Hanging Rock State Park. You will find one or two Class I rapids, just enough to give you a little challenge on your way downstream. And, it gives you more time to pay attention to the wondrous scenery here where the Dan butts up against Hanging Rock, one of three peaks in the ancient Sauratown range. Craggy Hanging Rock and its neighbor, Moore's Knob, rise nearly 2,000 feet above the surrounding countryside. Other mellow stretches of the Dan can be found farther downstream, beyond NC 704; this is the nearest to Winston-Salem. Because it is a mountain river, it's not always runnable. According to Paul Ferguson's "Paddling Eastern Norther Carolina," this stretch needs a minimum flow of 125 cubic feet per second to run. Check the USGS gage for Dan River near Francisco. More info here. Maps: Paul Ferguson's "Paddling Eastern North Carolina," Pocosin Press. Getting there from downtown Winston-Salem, here

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Dan River

2701 Moore's Springs Road
Westfield, NC, 27053
36.450087, -80.286923

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