Haw River - Saxapahaw Lake Trip
Put In - Located in the town of Saxapahaw, NC, west of Chapel Hill on Highway 54. The Put-in is a dock owned by Boy Scout Troop 65. The road to the dock is gated and locked. The Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company owns rights to use the area and can unlock and enter. Others must park outside the gate and walk/portage to the dock, about 700 feet. The dock area is very silt laden, in that if you walk in the water you will sink to over your ankles or more. I found using the dock to get in and out was easier. A dam is near the dock and caution should be used, signs are posted to this danger.
Distance/Time - 10.4 miles/3 3/4 hours
Difficulty - Above average, low water areas and few places to take out to rest.
Trip Directions - Arrived early 6:30am and was on the water by 7am. Headed upstream towards the unknown. The low water areas, do to silt, disappear and the river becomes very scenic and isolated. Various creeks and streams are available to explore. I kept pushing up river as I could hear a low groaning noise and was surprised when I ran head on into another low level dam. I could take out below the dam on the rocks and enjoy the rapids and moving water. Can not imagine trying to portage around the dam as the banks are high and poison ivy covered. Turned around here and paddled back. Along the way I met up with a group of paddlers from the Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company. Looks like they were having fun.
Scenery - All kinds of wildlife from birds, to turtles, etc. I did encounter thousands of Mayflies hanging from the low lying tree leaves. When you neared them they began to swarm.
Hazards - Low water areas.