Section 2

You’ve been paddling for a little while now, entirely on flat water. You’ve gotten to where you feel comfortable on the water. Adventuresome, even. And you wouldn’t mind if the water started doing some of the work.

You’re ready for Section 2 of the Uwharrie River.

This 7.4-mile stretch stays just outside the western boundary of the Uwharrie National Forest. The rugged terrain of the Uwharries is reflected on the river — but not too much. On this stretch, you’ll encounter a dozen Class I rapids, frisky passages guaranteed to take the novice boat-handler’s boat-handling skills up a notch. The banks rise up to 75 feet along the river, making for a cozy experience but blocking views of the Uwharrie Mountains beyond.

Be alert at the takeout at Low Bridge Road. The road gets its name for good reason: you can’t paddle under it so be prepared to land in advance, especially when the water is up. Speaking of which, you’ll need this section to be running at a minimum of 1.6 feet, which you can check at either the Abbots Creek at Lexington or Little River near Star USGS gages.

More info: Paul Ferguson’s “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” Pocosin Press

Maps: Paul Ferguson’s “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” Pocosin Press.

Getting there from downtown Winston-Salem

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Distance: 1 hour and 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem
Time to complete: 2-4 hours
Address: High Pine Church Road
City: Eldorado
State: N.C.
Zip: 27247
Latitude: 35.3380
Longitude: 79.5853