Halifax County, Virginia
The Dan River* is the major tributary of the Staunton and has three public boat landings in Halifax County and access at one bridge crossing, which divide the river into the following stretches:
1. Milton to Leggett’s Pace’s (14 miles, 4 hours)
2. Pace’s to South Boston (15 miles, 5-6 hours)
3. South Boston to Staunton River State Park (13 miles, 4-5 hours)
*Of historical note, the Dan River was once incorrectly labled "Fitzwilliam" in the Moseley Map of 1733. This error came from the North Carolina faction of the 1728 survey of the Virginia-North Carolina border survey headed by Colonel William Byrd and of which Edward Moseley was one of the North Carolina commisioners. It is unknown why he labled the Dan River Fitzwilliam on his A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina five years later and it is the Banister that is call Fitzwilliam on the commisioner's map.
"There was a well-defined cleavage among the Virginia commisioners; Byrd, William Dandridge, and surveyor Mayo composing one faction, Fitz-William and Irvine the other. Fitz-William objected to the employment of as many men for the expedition as Byrd desired . ." After concilliation " The North Carolina commissioners, in recognition of his sympathy with their contentions, named on their map of the survey that tributary of the Dan now known as the Banister, Fitz-William River, while the Virginia commissioners, strange to say, left no tracing of the stream on their map, which was prepared by Surveyor Mayo."
The Banister and Hyco rivers are the two major tributaries which flow into the Dan in Halifax County, and each offers miles of paddling opportunities.
The Banister enters Halifax County from Pittsylvania near Hermosa, and has one public boat landing and four bridge crossings in the county, which make it possible to paddle the following stretches:
1. Mt. Airy to Leda (10 miles, 4-5 hours)
2. Leda to Meadville (6 miles, 2-3 hours)
3. Meadville to Halifax (10.5 miles, 5 hours)
4. Halifax to US 360 (5 miles, 2-3 hours)
5. US 360 to Wolftrap (3 miles, 1 - 1.5 hours)
The Hyco enters Halifax County from the southwest and is canoeable for 24 miles from Harmony to Buggs Island Lake, in the following stretches:
1. Harmony to US 501
2. US 501 to Hyco Road
3. Hyco Road to 738
4. 738 to US 58
5. US 58 to Bugg’s Island Lake
The third major tributary of the Dan is Aaron’s Creek, which is canoeable for eight miles before it merges into Bugg’s Island Lake. It has one boat landing and one bridge crossing access, making it possible to paddle Aaron’s Creek in two stretches:
1. Virgilina to US 58
2. US 58 to Bugg’s Island Lake
Charts created by Dr. William E. Trout, III, of the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society, and published in the DAN RIVER ATLAS, First Edition, 2003. This book can be purchased at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History Gift Shop, the Dan River Basin Association, and VCNS.
Individual charts are planned to be added during the week of 11/24.
James River Batteau Festival
Virginia Canals & Navigations Society
Dan River Basin Association