Morrow Mountain State Park will host Kayaking 101

Morrow Mountain State Park and several other North Carolina state parks, in partnership with the North Carolina chapter of the American Canoe Association (ACA) and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, will offer low-cost kayaking instruction at state parks May 20. The event is in celebration of National Safe Boating Week, which begins the same day.

The event follows a collaboration between the ACA and the state of Tennessee in 2022, which hosted more than 170 participants and earned a Four-Star Award for an innovative program from the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association.

“The volunteer instructors are excited to help out again this year to bring new paddlers into our sport,” said ACA Southeastern Chair Andrea White. ”Just one day of training can make the difference between setting yourself up for a bad experience that ruins the sport for you versus setting yourself up for a whole lifetime of paddling fun, enjoying our amazing waterways.”

Participating North Carolina state parks for this event are Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Jordan Lake State Recreational Area, Hammocks Beach State Park, Morrow Mountain State Park, Carolina Beach State Park, Hanging Rock State Park, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Lake Norman State Park, Falls Lake State Recreational Area and Lake James State Park.

Division of Parks and Recreation Interim Director Brian Strong is happy to see events focusing on boating safety.

“We love providing opportunities to paddle for our residents and visitors to North Carolina. Paddling comes with some of the greatest responsibility for visitors,” he said. “Being educated and prepared improves safety not only for paddlers but also for emergency personnel.”

Classes offered by the ACA will cost $15 per person for the day, a discount of more than $35. All instructors are volunteers who are nationally certified to provide paddling and rescue training.

Each park’s event will be limited to 15 participants. Participants can either bring their own kayak or indicate at registration that they would like to borrow a kayak, paddle and life jacket at no additional cost.

These classes are made available by certified instructor volunteers and safety boaters from multiple organizations and businesses. Equipment and financial support were donated by other sponsors. All partners and sponsors have helped to make this event possible with one goal in mind: to help educate paddlers statewide who enjoy North Carolina waterways and paddlesports.

Interested parties can register at https://tinyurl.com/Kayaking-101-NC.

In-person spaces are limited. A free online class is also available; however, in-person training with a certified instructor is encouraged.
The ACA is the national accrediting body for paddle sports education.