Want to social distance? Want fresh air? Exercise? Beautiful scenery? Family Fun? I have an answer for you: Row Co River Adventures in Rowan County owned by Stephen Black and Nancy Blakeley-Black. This water experience includes trips on the Yadkin River, the South Yadkin River (Wilkesboro to Bull Hole), High Rock Lake, Tuckertown Reservoir, and vacation rental properties such as Airbnbs that are using their services for their guests.

I chatted with Nancy the other day and her enthusiasm is contagious. She and Stephen met when they were 15 years old and started paddling High Rock Lake together. Over the years their joy grew into purchasing kayaks to use for pleasure. “We began paddling the South Yadkin River and noticed we didn’t see other people using it,” said Nancy. This got them thinking about how they could educate others about all the wonderful water sources available to us here in our county and surrounding areas.

After talking with Three Rivers Land Trust here in Salisbury, they decided to start a business that would allow them to share the water scene with others in the community, whether they are experienced paddlers or beginners. This can also be a very educational way to teach the young and old about caring for our waterways and how it is all of our responsibilities to keep them clean and litter free.



Their rentals can be used for a one-day trip or rented for several days. Currently Nancy and Stephen have 15 kayaks that are being used and plan to purchase more in the near future.

These kayaks include:

  • A Single Sit-on-Top kayak for youth and adults. These kayaks can hold an adult up to 300 pounds and up to 125 pounds for a youth.
  • Fishing kayaks that can hold a person up to 350 pounds.
  • Tandem Sit-on-Top kayaks that are perfect for two people to ride and share the paddling, which can come in handy on long trips! This also includes one tandem that is perfect for two adults and a child. The weight limit for the tandem kayaks is 500 pounds.

All kayak rentals include the kayak, a life-vest, and a paddle. Rentals vary depending on the type of kayak that you choose, but average $35.00-$45.00 a day.


Kayaking is fun for everyone, no matter what age!


Type of Services

Row Co River Adventures offers several services that water lovers may enjoy! Some of these services are:

  • Self-Guided Tours: includes a kayak rental and a shuttle to the launch site.
  • Shuttle Service: you can use your own equipment and Row Co River Adventures will assist you to getting to your desired location.
  • Drop-off Rentals: they will bring the equipment to you in multiple locations.


Special Events

Row Co River Adventures offers one of the coolest water trips out there with a “Monthly Moonlit Paddle.” This river trip is during a full moon and is a beautiful experience. The schedule for these moonlit trips is set for September 2 at 6:30 p.m., October 2 at 6:00 p.m., and November 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Nancy shared with me, “people during our last moonlit paddle came from as far as Fort Mill, South Carolina and Winston Salem.” Be sure to call ahead and if you have your own equipment you can join in this fun event for free!


The moonlit tours are truly a beautiful sight!


Environmental Awareness

After talking with Nancy about their business, it was apparent that they have a deep-rooted love and concern for the environment of the waterways in which they paddle and enjoy.


River clean-ups help preserve the beauty and health of the waters for years to come!


They recently participated in Rowan Creek Week by helping to clean trash from Town Creek in Salisbury and Eagle Point Nature Preserve located in the county on High Rock Lake. Spending time in the outdoors in Rowan County is a great way to become aware of how litter in the waterways can be detrimental to our environment. I have personally noticed how people carelessly discard trash around water edges and in outdoor trails. Row Co River Adventures plans to have semi-annual river clean-ups in the future to ensure the health of the waters that we all like to enjoy for years to come. This is definitely a positive thing for our county now and in the future.


Summer into Fall

As we approach the end of the summer heat, we can look forward to the days of beautiful, colored leaves, pumpkin everything, sweaters, boots, and hallelujah, cooler fall weather… or maybe that is just me that’s looking forward to cooler weather! This allows us plenty of time to enjoy being outside and to be socially distanced at the same time! Nancy told me that “sometimes we go out on the water and seldom see anyone else on the waterways.” Sounds very peaceful to me.


Catching the sunset from a kayak is truly breathtaking.


I guess you can say, have paddle, will travel; travel the beautiful waters that we have in our county. I’ve just added another item on my bucket list and at least this one is something that I can easily check off now with Row Co River Adventures here in our county. Nancy left me with this invitation to, “come on out and enjoy the natural serendipity of the waterways.” I think I’ll do just that!


There are several ways to get in touch with Row Co Adventures. Their website is www.rowcoriveradventures.com , or you can call them at (704) 870-8362, or email them at rowco@rowcoriveradventures.com. They are also on Facebook under Row Co River Adventures LLC.