Hopefully the withering heat of this past summer is finished and cooler weather is at hand. With fall colors at some of their best in years and (hopefully) the presence of Hurricane Sandy hasn’t messed things up, kayakers and canoeists will find the 2012 Roanoke Ramble to be a pleasant way to spend a Saturday exploring a 10-mile stretch of one of North Carolina’s most beautiful and historic rivers.
The paddle (aka ramble) will originate at the public launching ramp just below the class-two rapids of the Roanoke River in Weldon on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will terminate in Halifax at a private launching facility at 12:30 p.m. Altogether the ramble will cover some 10 miles of the river between Weldon and Halifax.
According to Christina Wells in Weldon, this section of the Roanoke River should be at the very peak of the fall colors this week. It would be a good idea to bring along a camera to capture images of not only the colors but also the wildlife that will be found on (and in) the river. Whitetail deer, black bear, red coyotes (wolves), wild turkeys, ospreys and bald eagles as well as other colorful birds should complement the fall colors
Anglers will be able to try their luck on resident striped bass and largemouth bass if they take along some basic casting gear. It might be a good idea to try some trolling just behind your boat as you paddle downstream. Remember that fishing licenses are required for anyone 16 years of age.
Experienced paddlers will be aware of the inconveniences of not having readily available bathroom facilities along waterways with steep banks. Facilities are available at the beginning and end of the ramble but in between those points one could be well advised to take along some sturdy ziplock bags or other disposable containers.
As of last Thursday morning, Wells reports that the long range forecast for the day of the paddle is calling for a high temperature of 64 degrees (F) and a low of 42 degrees in the early morning. There is a slight chance of rain that day. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with the five countys’ Roanoke River Partners on the paddle day but, just in case, a rain day of Sunday will go into effect.
Registration/waiver forms should have been postmarked by Monday. However, if you must register after Oct. 29, please contact Christina Wells directly at 252-519-2603 or email@example.com and bring your registration form, liability waiver and check with you on Saturday.
Contact outfitters directly to make arrangements. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for an additional fee (including paddles and PFDs) from the following outfitters:
- Roanoke Outdoor Adventures — Contact Heber Coltrain at 252-809-9488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Muddy Banks River Supply — Contact Bill Blackwell at 252-578-8473 or email@example.com.
- Frog Hollow Outdoors — Contact Banks Dixon at 919-416-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Christina Wells at 252-519-2603 or email@example.com for other possible camping options.
Hotel Options featuring Special Ramble Rates
- Days Inn—$55 + tax, call and ask for Roanoke River Ramble rate
- Hampton Inn in Roanoke Rapids—$79 + tax (including hot breakfast, call 252-537-7555 and ask for Ramble rate.
- Hilton Garden Inn in Roanoke Rapids—$69 + tax, call 252-519-2333 and ask for Ramble rate.
- Holiday Inn Express in Roanoke Rapids—$69.99 + tax, call 252-536-2300 and ask for Ramble rate.
- Motel 6 in Roanoke Rapids—$39.99 + tax.
Additional accommodations are available (hotel, B&B and camping) by going to www.visithalifax.com.
A more detailed email will be sent to all participants the week prior to the paddle.
- Coffee and goodies will be provided beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday. In an effort to be green, please bring your own water bottle to fill if you like.
- Use of PFDs is mandatory.
- Complimentary shuttle service will be provided from the take-out at Halifax (where you will leave your vehicle) back to the put-in at Weldon. Come to River Falls Park, 100 Rockfish Drive (off of Highway 301), Weldon to check in and drop off your boat first, then drive to Halifax to leave your vehicle and ride the shuttle. There will be signage to put-in from I-95 exits and Highway 301. There will be signs to take-out in Halifax from put-in at River Falls Park.
- Enjoy a delicious hot lunch with live entertainment by Chamber Grass, bass and banjo duet. Goody bags and t-shirts will be given out at lunch. New this year are long-sleeved event t-shirts.
- Important: A portion of the registration fee covers the cost of a private fishing club boat ramp as our take-out site solely for this event. Please note that this take-out site is not available for general public use.
For further information, check out http://visithalifax.com/phocadownload/roanokeriverramble2012.pdf.