The Haw River offers a broad range of recreational opportunities just a short drive from Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro. Visitors can enjoy a day of fishing, hiking, wildlife watching and more. However, there’s nothing quite as thrilling and relaxing as paddling the waters of the scenic Haw River.


“One of the things that makes the river unique is its history from wild to industrial and back to mostly wild again. The river has recovered greatly since the passage of the Clean Water Act,” says Joe Jacob, founder of the Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. “Additionally, there are both very calm, lake-like stretches for beginner paddlers and white water stretches with rapids for more experienced paddlers who want more of an adrenalin rush. Because of the rocky nature of the river, there are no power boats; therefore, you get to see a lot of wildlife because of the lack of noise and disturbance.”


Jacob spent two decades with The Nature Conservancy, working in their Alaska office and serving as Director of Science for the Southeastern United States before becoming a paddlesports business owner, instructor and guide.


For 17 years and counting, Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. has been the only outfitter offering guided trips, self-guided trips and paddling instruction on the Haw River. They provide a variety of canoes, single-person kayaks and tandem kayaks. Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. also offers sunset and nighttime paddling trips.


“We do what we love, love what we do and try our best to deliver more than we promise,” Jacob says. Best of all, he enjoys “knowing that we are making a difference in our guests' lives. Getting them connected with Nature, our life support system.”


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Canoe & Kayak on the Haw River