In early spring hundreds of paddlers launch their vessels into the Dismal Swamp Canal’s dark, mirrored waters. This historic waterway serves as the backdrop for Paddle for the Border, an annual 7.5-mile paddling excursion to the North Carolina/Virginia border.
This 14th annual event celebrates the canal’s rich history, which dates to 1763 when George Washington’s land company first surveyed the swamp before commissioning the waterway’s construction. In the 19th century, the canal’s dense wetlands provided refuge for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad before continuing their journey north.
After enjoying a traditional pre-launch breakfast at the Dismal Swamp State Park, in South Mills, NC, paddlers embark on the leisurely three-hour journey to cross the state line. They finish the day out with a picnic lunch on grounds of the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail at the Great Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp at Ballahack Rd. in Chesapeake, VA.
Interested in participating? Like spring’s arrival, enthusiasm for Paddle for the Border begins building early.
Event Date: Saturday, May 6th, 2017.
Registration opens January 3, 2017. The event is limited to the first 300 participants and fills up quickly due to its popularity.
Open Registration : January 3 - April 7, 2017. (Online, Walk In or Drop Off, Mail) Registration Fee: $40 per person (not refundable unless event is canceled)
Late Registration : April 8, 2017 - Until Full. (Online Only) Add $10 Late Fee.