north of Greensboro, North Carolina
|Paddle Trip(A Level 2 Trip)|
|Belews Lake, Pine Hall, North
The Road Trip:
1. From I-40, take 68N (exit 210). Continue to Stokesdale (~15 miles). 2. At Route 158 (the BP station) turn left. 3. At Route 65N (the "supermarket intersection"), <1 mile, turn left. 4. One block (at the closed up biker bar), turn left, passed the crumbling Belews Creek Lumber Yard (my old landlord's . . . never liked him). You are now on Ellisboro Road. 5. Continue to Eden Church Road. About 3-4 miles (look for the red- green- yellow multi-colored tobacco barn on right. When you see it, turn on your left blinker. (If you are still going 45 when you see the little "outbuilding manufacturing shop" hit the brakes, buddy.) (If you miss this take the next left on Sardis Church Road). 6. Turn left on Lindsay Bridge Road. Drive slowly, as this is a pretty sight. Also, very country. You will cross into Stokes County. When you come to a bluff off of the right, park the car and take a breath of air. If it is nice outside, you will see a mountain range. Below this, you will see a water tower belonging to the copper tubing manufacturing plant where I worked for 7 years. 7. Continue until you come to Stop Sign. (STOP AND LOOK, PLEASE! This one is blind!)
8. Turn left on to Pine Hall Road (1-2 miles to go!) 9. Stop at Smith Store for a burger and provisions. Talk slowly to Old Mr. Smith if you want some really nice local culture. Don't be in a rush. 10. When you finish up, continue for 1/2 mile, past the geese and donkey on the right. Duke Power's Pine Hall landing is on the left. Brown sign, yellow letters
| The Paddle Trip:
The Launch: Unless there is a bass tournament, the lake is yours. There are two standard ramps. Ample parking. Overnight seems to be okay. Nice beach to right of ramps. Caution: There was some vandalism some time ago, fall '98. The sheriff's patrol. Smith's Store will probably let you park your car there if desired. He lives next door. I never have. Remember, you were nice and talked to the guy? Slip him $10 for. That should be enough. You can walk back . Up to you.
Time: Option 1: 6 miles round trip, 2-3 hours, depending on stops. Very safe. Option 2: approx. 14 miles round trip, 4-5 hours. Very safe.
Route: Option 1: From the landing, a good 1-hour (tops) trip is to go left from the landing to the dam and then turn right toward Carolina Marina Approx 2 miles to the dam buoy. [See Big Island, below.] Another 1-mile to the marina. Look at the boats. Get a hot dog and coke in-season. For $5 you could also have put in and maybe $5 more get a shower. I don't think that it's worth it. Go left along any of the coves. On a nice Saturday, you may pass a sailboat race. Option 2: Go out as before, but cross to the point directly across, a little to the left (15-minutes). Turn right at point and pass little island nestled in on right before you get there and go to Humphrey's Ridge Marina for a burger and tater tots. (Ask anyone, another 10 minutes). Continue on under the power lines and bear right. Piney Bluff Ramp will be double in addition to what you have done. It is a fairly good-sized, easily navigable, winding creek. You will pass many bass and ski boats. Option 2A: Skip Piney Bluff and go out to route 158. About the same distance. Anyone can tell you.
| Paddling Tips: The
wildlife officers (fish cops) patrol during busy times. Mostly looking for
butt-head jet skiers without life jackets. Shouldn't bother a competent
paddler. Option 2: could get a ride back to car for $10 if the guy looks
clean. Probably won't take the money if going that way. Ask people how there
fishing is. If directions seem fuzzy, that's alright. They are just being
Watch out for: a. During summer, many yee-hah, ya-hoo, giddey-ups. b. Best time is fall, winter, spring. I go every weekend in winter and suggest a 2-mile wetsuit if nervous. I have never gone over, even in some 20-25 knot puffs and small white caps. I am reasonably capable. c. Prevailing wind is from the Duke Power plant in the afternoons. Or up channel from Humphrey's Ridge Marina direction
Natural Features: Fall foliage is great. An occasional beaver. People do catch bass (3 lbs.). Cautions posted on eating over one portion per week, as lake is power plant heat sink and many years ago, there were ash (selenium) dumps. Loons are frequently seen in coves of which there are many. Many terns apparently got blown in from coast. Great Canadian Geese landing during fall/winter. Lake steams nicely on cold mornings from heat generated by Duke Power.
Other Landmarks: Dam is 2 miles from ramp on left. "Big Island" is dead ahead on way to dam (20 minutes from ramp). Stone's throw to other reasonably good-sized island in middle of main part of lake. Windsurfer put-in is another 10 minutes on right past islands. Nice lake homes are on right another 5 miles if you skip the dam. Carolina Marina is, as stated, on right past homes (another 10 minutes)
Stretch Your Legs: Big and Good-sized island (says no-camping, but I have seen tents there. Be cool - leave only footprints Carolina Marina Humphreys Ridge Marina Three other small islands around power plant and Pine Hall ramp Small island on way to Humphrey's Ridge.
One Paddler's Story: . My name is Mike. I paddle a Sealution II XS. Have paddled on this (and a FOLBOT) on the coast a little. Been to Everglades. Planning a trip to Montana (Flathead Lake). I paddle all year, every weekend, especially on Belews Lake. My friend goes with me a lot. Belews Lake is a well-kept secret. All but a few of the people around here are polite, most clean up fairly well. During the summer, it gets hot and muggy on this lake, but that is the beauty of it . . . because people think if it drops below 60, they should get off. Good. More for me and mine. You will see a lot of people with more boat than is necessary, but the fisherman are polite. Stay away from the jet skis. Camp where you can, I say. Absorb the local color, and give me a buzz: Kayakfan@AOL.com if interested in a guided tour.
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