ASHEVILLE – More than 60 people have ventured down the world-class French Broad River Paddle Trail and stayed at one of six campsites established by the Western North Carolina Alliance since the trail’s official opening this summer.
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from REI, work on the paddle trail will continue: a campsite will be added just north of Asheville, two island campsites will receive platforms and composting toilets and some sites will expand to accommodate more campers.
The paddle trail opened to a select group of paddlers in early June, who got a sneak preview of the campsites as they were guided down the French Broad River for 117 miles from Rosman to Tennessee. The general public has been enjoying the trail since July 1.
“These campsites offer an opportunity to get people on the river and increase the appreciation and stewardship of the river,” French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson said. “But they also provide a significant economic boost to the region. Recent studies have shown paddle trails in eastern North Carolina had an economic impact of more than $100 million.”
Volunteer work days on the paddle trial will continue this fall. For more information on the paddle trail or to make a campsite reservation visit, www.wnca.org/paddle.