Blog

Your Guide to Saturdays in Saxapahaw

During the summer, visitors descend on the village of Saxapahaw for a festive, community-wide event: Saturdays in Saxapahaw. This eclectic cultural event promises tasty food, arts, river recreation, and great live music. When do Saturdays in Saxapahaw happen? These festivals happen every Saturday afternoon from May through the end of August. The Farmer’s Market opens […]

Summer Camps Can Transform Your Child

Summer camps are proven to build confidence, bolster physical and mental health, and connect kids to the natural world and to their community. This guide will share the major benefits of giving your child a gift that will last a lifetime. Fresh air. New friends. Morning hikes in the woods. Paddling on lakes and rivers. […]

Staff Spotlight: Breckin Cluff

Breckin Cluff Trading Restaurant Work for Sun and Water Ask folks in the outdoor industry how they got into this line of work and you’ll often get stories of being fed up with typical jobs. Usually, the previous job either had coworkers with poor attitudes or a line of angry customers. Either way, some folks […]

An Outdoor Guide for Seniors

Who says outdoor adventure is just for the young? Whether they are hiking or kayaking, playing pickleball or birdwatching, plenty of senior citizens are enjoying the outdoors. If you’ve reached your golden years and would like some tips for getting outdoors safely, then this guide is for you. Why You Should Get Outdoors In a […]

Go Camping on Spirit Island

You don’t have to travel far to experience an authentic North Carolina wilderness. Our very own Spirit Island offers primitive camping and solitude within a short paddle of Saxapahaw. Spirit Island is a 5-acre primitive natural area that is a perfect spot for someone looking for a wilderness escape while choosing their level of adventure. […]

Author Spotlight: Richard Powers

If you like well-written fiction with an environmental focus, check out the work of Richard Powers. This blog post will discuss the author’s two most recent novels, The Overstory and Bewilderment. Richard Powers is known for gorgeously written fiction that spans complex subjects and often include elements of science and technology. A critically acclaimed but […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Nature Journaling

If you would like to deepen your connection to nature, try keeping a nature journal to record your observations. This daily practice will calm you and encourage you to spend more time outdoors, all while creating a record of your adventures for you to look back on. Nature journaling is a creative endeavor that anyone […]

Staying Safe Outdoors in Winter

Winter landscapes provide clearer views but also new challenges to those venturing outdoors. This blog post will share some general considerations to help you stay safe in colder weather. For many people, the colder months seem like an end to outdoor adventure, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you want to get […]

Great Books by Indigenous Authors

If you’d like to expand your reading list, try reading some fiction from well-known indigenous authors. We’ve compiled three of our favorites, encompassing both classic and contemporary titles. We believe that the gift of reading is to stretch our minds in new directions, so we hope that this list helps you discover some indigenous authors. […]

Get Outdoors in Alamance County

Located in central North Carolina, Alamance County has quietly been expanding its hiking and camping opportunities. Discover the best parks for hiking and camping as well as for other outdoor activities. If you live in or are visiting the Alamance County area, make sure to check out the County’s local parks. Many offer a variety […]

Nature Meditation: Tune Into Your Senses

Ever wondered how to get more out of your time in nature? This post will provide tips for using your senses to meditate and connect more deeply to the natural world. Though hiking and other nature sports have become quite popular, you may still find yourself feeling like something is missing. Maybe you’ve hiked to […]

North Carolina: A Leader in Trail Building

North Carolina has ramped up its efforts to support current trails and trails-in-the-making. This blog will provide information on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the Haw River State Trail, and new efforts to add trails to fund trail-building in the state. North Carolina wants to expand its trail program to promote a healthier population. Though the Appalachian […]

Essential First Aid Skills for Paddlers: Safety on the Water

This blog post will cover some of the most common injuries and dangers associated with paddling and will recommend basic first aid strategies for handling them. Know the Common Dangers While many paddlers can face a variety of emergencies (too many for one blog post to cover), there are some common first aid concerns that […]

Women and Kayaking: Benefits of Challenging Yourself

As longtime outfitters, we’re here to tell you that women make up the majority of our kayaking clients. Not only are they usually the ones who book our trips and arrange for their loved ones to enjoy the outdoors, they also bring a valued energy that deserves attention. Women have frequently told us that kayaking […]

How to Help Children Connect to Nature

If you’d like to help a child appreciate the natural world, then this guide will introduce you to the need for nature connection and offer resources to get started. What is Nature-Deficit Disorder? Playing outside used to be a central component of childhood. Aside from spending time with friends, a child also had direct experience […]

Know Your Heat-related Illnesses

Getting Outdoors in Hot Weather: Know Your Heat-related Illnesses Summertime has always been hot, but with worldwide temperatures trending ever higher, you may be wondering how to still enjoy the outdoors when you see those heat records breaking. Use this blog to learn the major hazards of exercising in hot weather.   While most of […]

A Quick-start Guide to Stargazing

Stargazing is a fun activity when spending time outdoors at night, and though all those points of light can feel overwhelming, the night sky doesn’t have to be a complete mystery. Use this guide to identify some commonly seen star patterns and constellations in the Northern Hemisphere. As children, many of us were captivated by […]

Jump-start Your Paddling Skills with Our Instructional Courses

If you want to learn a new skill or push a current skill to the next level, use this guide to familiarize yourself with our instructional courses. Many people will admit they like to learn, but they’ll often add that they don’t like traditional schooling. Our teaching style is outdoors and anything but traditional. Learning […]

Paddling with Kids: Tips for Paddling with Children

Introducing a young person to kayaking, paddleboarding, or canoeing is a great way to build lasting bonds. Use this guide to help you cover the essentials for a safe, fun outdoor experience. Introducing a child to the outdoors is a privilege. You have the chance to foster a love of nature that will nurture them […]

Three Outposts, Three Ways to Experience the Haw River

Visit our new outposts to explore different sections of the Haw River. This guide will help you choose which outpost offers the right trip options for you and your group. Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same […]

Haw River Trail Authorized to Become Haw River State Trail

The Haw River Trail has long been an attempt to provide conservation through recreation, a means to connect people to the Haw River Corridor by dedicating areas where they can hike, picnic, fish, or paddle. Like many conservation efforts, the HRT land trail has been developed in sections, relying on the “generosity and cooperation of […]

Staff Spotlight: Jerry Yang

You might think of Jerry Yang as our resident vagabond. Happily living full-time out of his SUV, Jerry has arranged his life to be able to paddle, travel, and work various jobs in the outdoor industry. His story is reminiscent of Henry David Thoreau’s advice: “As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes […]

Weather Basics for Planning Outdoor Trips

Weather is unpredictable, but with a little practice, you can make informed decisions about when to continue your trip, and when to reschedule. Admit it. You’ve canceled trips because of the rain. Maybe you were hyped, ready to hike or paddle, but the weather app flashed “60% chance of rain” and you bailed. Stayed inside. […]

Staff Spotlight: Simon Sexton

Simon Sexton The Value of Summer Camps Many paddlers find their way to working in the outdoor industry in an organic manner. Rarely is it simply responding to a job post. Frequently, it’s either a mentor or an adventure trip that points them towards outdoor work. For Simon Sexton, that inspiration came in the form […]

Staff Spotlight: Ben Clarke

Meet our new Bynum Outpost Coordinator! Ben Clarke is one of the few kayakers who will admit to being “totally unabashed” about tubing. You read that right: tubing. Most kayakers would look down on trading their plastic boat for a tube, but not Ben, who tubes not only the Haw River but has braved Class […]

Go Camping Along the Haw River

You don’t have to drive to the mountains to get a remote camping feel. The Haw River Corridor offers several camping spots that provide a get-away-from-it all vibe while still being accessible to the NC Triad and Triangle areas.   Hike in. Paddle in. Either way, the Haw River has a spot for you to […]

Aldo Leopold: The Father of Wildlife Ecology

Nowadays, the ideas that living things are connected and that nature is a process of delicate balance may seem commonplace, but they were not always part of public consciousness. We now think of these things as the science of ecology, which has become the basis for much thinking about the natural world. Like many leaps […]

Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area

Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area Get hiking at Alamance County’s newest park! If you’re a hiker in central North Carolina, then you’ve probably checked out Occoneechee State Natural Area or Eno River State Park. They’re well-publicized local gems—just try finding a parking spot on the weekend!–but you may be overlooking some wonderful, less populated local […]

Paddling in Cold Weather: A Safety Guide

Winter paddling can be a lot of fun, but it requires more planning—and often, more gear—to ensure a safe trip. To newer paddlers, canoeing and kayaking may seem like warm weather sports, but those who have been paddling awhile know that colder months bring some of the best water levels to their favorite rivers. If […]

Hiking: A Beginner’s Guide

Hiking is a wonderful way to experience nature. Wherever you live, make the most of your local trails with these safety tips to ease into a new hobby. Choose a Place to Hike Hiking trails are not always well publicized, but there are probably more in your area than you realize.  A simple Google search […]

Braiding Sweetgrass: Learn to Love Plants with Robin Wall Kimmerer

If you like plants, or if you’ve wanted to develop a stronger relationship with the natural world, then check out Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.  Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Readers appreciate […]

The Bald Eagle: An American Symbol

A National Symbol of Strength and Pride In the United States, probably no other bird is weighted with as much symbolic meaning as the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Even John James Audubon, in his Ornithological Biography, cannot restrain himself from linking the bird with the young country. Whereas most entries in this book trend towards […]

Expand Your Reading List: Barry Lopez

Get to Know Barry Lopez Henry David Thoreau.  Rachel Carson.  Most people with a passing interest in environmental writing would know these names. To Thoreau we credit the dream of retreating from society to get in touch with ourselves. To Rachel Carson we grant the awareness that our daily chemical use can have profound effects […]

Explore the Haw River Hiking Trail (HRT)

When most people think of hiking in North Carolina, they immediately focus on the mountainous, western portion of the state, fixating on crown jewels like Great Smoky Mountains National Park and cities like Asheville. As a hiking destination, the North Carolina Piedmont is often overlooked (even by locals), but over the years, this area has […]

Staff Spotlight: Caroline Newlin

As a local business, we love to hire within the community. Often we find people who not only love the water but also have a deep-rooted connection to the North Carolina Piedmont. They bring local knowledge. They bring integrity. And sometimes…they ride unicycles. Which brings us to Caroline Newlin. A resident of Snow Camp, North […]

Get to Know the Barred Owl

A Singular Call If you’ve walked the Southern woods at night, then you’ve probably heard the Barred Owl’s memorable call. According to Audubon’s Guide to North American Birds, the call is a “loud barking hoo, hoo, hoo-hoo; hoo, hoo; hoo, hooo-aw!”  But if you ask a common birder to make the Barred Owl call, you’d […]

Bob Brueckner: The Importance of Community and Giving Back

Bob Brueckner is the best definition of unassuming: no flashy gear, no boasting. If you met him, you’d probably not guess he’s a sought-after kayak and canoe instructor. Well, unless you see him near Saxapahaw Lake, in which case he would be the guy in a dripping spray skirt, patiently explaining kayaking strokes to a […]

Great Blue Heron: Encountering Grace along the Haw River

If you have spent time on the Haw River, or around any rivers or lakes in the Southeastern United States, then you have probably seen this familiar bird. Figure : https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/id Often mistakenly called a crane, the Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias) frequently stands alone in the shallows of inland rivers and lakes and is […]

Staff Spotlight: Jacob Matheny, Operations Manager

Getting Hooked on the Water If you ask a paddler why they got into boating, they will often share a particular moment that hooked them on the sport. For Jacob Matheny, the Operations Manager at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co., that memory is buying his first canoe at age 16 with money he’d earned […]

Your Guide to Saturdays in Saxapahaw

The village of Saxapahaw has become a phenomenon in central North Carolina known for its tasty food, arts, river recreation, and great live music. During the summer, these things blend for a village-wide community event: Saturdays in Saxapahaw. If you’re looking for a taste of eclectic culture, this is the place to check out. When […]

How Paddling Improves Mental Health

Anxiety. Depression. Stress. As a hurried, modern society, we share many of these struggles, but we also share a common healing element: Nature. What Does Nature Have to Do with Health? You’ve probably heard of “Nature-Deficit Disorder,” a term coined in 2005 by Richard Louv, to describe the plight of modern children who live media-saturated […]

In Celebration of the Haw River Assembly: 40 Years of Protecting the Haw

Who is the Haw River Assembly? If you fish, swim, paddle, or otherwise appreciate the Haw River and Jordan Lake, then you have the Haw River Assembly (HRA) to thank. While you may not know them, the HRA has been advocating for the Haw since 1982, and they are now celebrating their 40th anniversary. The […]