Is the Blueway appropriate for kids and beginners?
Yes. While there are some areas of rapids, the rivers are mostly mild and suitable for children and novice paddlers. With many access points, you can plan a trip as short as a few hours or as long as several days.
Do I need to be able to swim?
The Blueway is a natural environment without lifeguards, so every paddler should be able to swim well enough to get to shore on their own. State law requires an approved personal flotation device be easily accessible, and all paddlers under age 16 must wear life vests.
Is there white water on the Blueway?
The Dan and Staunton Rivers have some Class I and Class II rapids, but the current is generally mild and appropriate for beginners. Always check river levels before paddling and be aware of any storms in the area.
When is the Blueway open? What is the best time of year to visit?
The access points along the Blueway are open seven days a week, year round. Most paddlers visit during spring, summer or fall, but mild winter days can also allow for a pleasant Blueway experience.
What should I bring?
A life jacket is required for each person on the watercraft. Recommended equipment includes maps, water, food, sunscreen, footwear, a shirt for sun protection, a hat, insect repellent, sunglasses, ID, cell phone in a waterproof container, and a trash bag. Other items you may want to bring include a camera, binoculars, fishing license and gear, a knife, paddling gloves, rain gear, toilet paper and baggies, a waterproof flashlight with extra batteries, a fire starter, and ropes or tie-downs.
Is camping available along the Blueway?
Camping along the entire Blueway is allowed in designated camping sites only. The locations of these camping areas can be found here. Always respect private property, obey all “No Trespassing” signs. If you will be approaching your campsite from the water, please book your campsite in advance, have a clear understanding of where your campsite is before launching, and notify the campground office in advance that you will be approaching from the water.
Do cell phones work along the Blueway?
Due to the remote nature of much of the Blueway, cell phone service is not reliable. Do not count on having cell service, and always paddle with others for your safety. A stand-alone GPS device is recommended for long or multi-day paddling trips.
Is a fishing license required?
Anyone over the age of 16 is required to have a fresh water fishing license. Licenses can be obtained at local sporting goods stores or online. Along nearly the entire Blueway, either a Virginia OR North Carolina fishing license is valid.
What kind of fish can be found in the rivers and lakes of the Blueway?
Excellent fishing opportunities can be found along the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. Largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie and walleye are plentiful, along with several other popular species. In 2011, a world record 143-pound blue catfish was caught on Kerr Lake. In 2014, a 135 pound blue catfish was also caught on Kerr Lake.
Are canoe and kayak rentals available?
Yes, canoes and kayaks can be rented from several local outfitters.
Are pets allowed on the Blueway?
Yes. Pet life jackets are recommended.
Is alcohol allowed?
Virginia waterway laws apply on the Blueway. Alcohol is permitted, but the legal intoxication limit is strictly enforced. Paddlers boating while intoxicated risk arrest and injury, and pose a potential danger to other boaters on the rivers and lakes.