Press release here. Exciting news:

The vision of the French Broad River Paddle Trail will become a reality on June 9, when the Western North Carolina Alliance will officially open the French Broad River Paddle trail at the river’s headwaters in Rosman.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will kick off the journey of some 30 paddlers down the entire French Broad River in North Carolina, led by our Riverkeeper, Hartwell Carson.

Over the past two years, WNCA and a host of partners, such as REI, Parsec Financial, Sweetwater Brewing Company and more than 150 volunteers, have cleared invasive species, constructed picnic tables, built rock stairs, planted trees, and put together fire rings to create seven of eight new campsites along the French Broad River.

Gerrit Jobsis, Southeast regional director for American Rivers, will also make an important announcement that will gain national attention for the French Broad River and the Asheville area.

“Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations,” Jobsis says. “They are special destinations for fishing, boating and other recreation. Just as hiking trails help people explore the land, paddle trails help people discover rivers.

“The French Broad River Paddle Trail provides a fun and exciting way to get families outdoors, connects communities to treasured landscapes and will be an economic driver benefiting local businesses and quality of life.”

The campsites are all paddle in-only sites spaced about 12-15 miles apart. Most of the sites are located on private land with reservations made through the Alliance at www.wnca.org/paddle. Reservations can be made now for dates starting July 1 and beyond.

What: French Broad River Paddle Trail Grand Opening and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about the French Broad River and Asheville

When: June 9, 12:30 p.m.

WhereHeadwaters Outfitters, Rosman, N.C.

Why: To celebrate the grand opening of the French Broad River Paddle Trail, that now connects more than 140 miles of the French Broad River

Who: The Western North Carolina Alliance and American Rivers

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