2020 Dragon Run Summer Paddle Trips











Updated 8/30/2020 



Friends of Dragon Run (FODR) welcomes you to one of the most beautiful rivers in Virginia. We are dedicated to preserving this waterway and believe one of the best ways to do that is to show people how special it is by offering paddle trips down the river.  We thank you for your interest in Dragon Run and look forward to meeting you on the morning or afternoon of your paddle trip.

The 2020 Fall paddle season will be different from all other FODR fall paddle seasons.  We will host paddles on 3 weekends in October, we will use a round-trip route, and we will continue the COVID-19 precautions we put into effect this summer.  Here are the details.  

Masks required:  Please help us comply with Governor Northam’s requirement for face covering and social distancing.  At all times while on land, Crew and Guests must wear a mask -- during equipment fitting (kayak, PFD, Paddle) and during launch and takeout.  If you are not willing or able to wear a mask, please do not make a reservation.

Dates: October 16, 17(2 Paddles), 18, 19, 20, 23, 24 (2 paddles), 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 (2 paddles) and November 1. We will paddle every one of those days that the weather permits, by reservation only. 

Limited group size: 6 Guests maximum each day.  Group reservations will be permitted, but the maximum group size is 6; no exceptions.  Every paddler must be at least 18 years old.

Route: We will use a round-trip paddle course so we can take out at the site where we launch and parked our cars.  This will eliminate the need to carpool.  We will launch from FODR property on the Dragon at the Mascot bridge on Route 603 (Farley Park Road).  We will paddle upstream a short distance and then downstream for about 1.5 hours to the old logging canal, turn around, and paddle upstream for about 1.5 hours.  Since we will paddle upstream, against the current, this paddle will be more strenuous than our other paddle trips.

Start times and place: We will meet at the Mascot Bridge.  The meeting time for all the paddlers is 8:30 a.m. at the launch site, except for the Saturday afternoon paddles, which will meet at 1:00 p.m. Directions and a map are provided below. 

Sanitizing Equipment: Prior to each paddle, the kayaks, paddles and life vests will be sanitized.  The porta-potties will be sprayed with a sanitizing solution.

Social distancing: To comply with social distancing requirements, guests will be asked to move between marked stations in staggered fashion to get fitted with vests, kayaks, and any other equipment.  On the water, the smaller group size and different route will allow us to avoid tight clusters, and we will pass through only a few gated beaver dams.

No Radios: We will not use individual radios or headsets or earpieces.

No lunch break:  We won’t stop for an extended group lunch break, but we will take several short breaks for folks to hydrate, so bring water and snacks.

Reservations: Reservations will open on 9/1/20 at 9 a.m.  Go to and click on the Signup Genius button.  You will be asked for your address information, so that we can assist with contact tracing if we are asked to do that by the VA Department of Health.  Donations must be made at the time of reservation.  The suggested amount is $50.  Without a donation, you may still paddle but not with an advance reservation. 


REFUND POLICY: Refunds will be offered if FODR has to cancel the paddle due to weather or if a paddler guest is ill.  Many paddlers whose trips have been cancelled by FODR do not ask for a refund.  Since this is our principal fundraising activity, we hope that you will consider this option, if possible. 

If we have to cancel a paddle or make any changes, we will call the phone number that you give us when you make your reservation.  If you are part of a group, please give your group leader your mobile phone number.  It will be the group leader’s responsibility to notify everyone in the group.  We are not able to arrange rain dates.

Any time you have questions, you may email 

We provide a kayak for each paddler, a paddle, and a life vest.   DO NOT bring your own boat. The kayaks are sturdy 9 or 10-foot flatwater kayaks that are ideally suited for navigating the Dragon’s narrow, twisting channels. We will adjust your boat to ensure your comfort. 

You may bring your own paddle and life vest.  However, your life vest must be a standard Coast-Guard approved PFD, not inflated by a cartridge. WE REQUIRE LIFE VESTS TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE RIVER.  VESTS MUST BE ZIPPED AND/OR BUCKLED AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE WATER.

We will be on the water about 3 hours, depending on water levels and the overall ability of the paddlers. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, trips usually end around 12:00 p.m. (4:30 for the Saturday afternoon trips).  It is not wise to schedule other events on the day of the paddle because of the uncertainty of trip length.

The trips are not too strenuous, but for anyone not used to paddling, the second half of this trip will be upstream, which can be a bit tiring. Spills can and do occur; so be prepared to get wet. Dress for the weather on the day of your paddle.  Bring rain gear and/or a jacket if rain is forecast. A light windbreaker or even a fleece jacket might be handy if it is breezy or chilly. Other items to bring along including paddling gloves, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses and insect repellent.

There are port-a-johns where we launch and takeout.  However, there are NO facilities of any kind along the paddle route.  Bring enough food and water for the day.  No drinking water is available along the route.  We will take frequent water and snack breaks; but we will not stop for lunch.  Pack your food and water in a small, soft-sided bag that will fit in the kayak – the storage area is only about 12 inches wide. Secure cameras, binoculars, phone, and other expensive items in waterproof bags that you can tether to the kayak or wear around your neck.

NOTE: We strongly recommend that persons with heart problems or other serious medical conditions consider very carefully whether they should make the trip. Remember, we will be in the wilderness. Medical help and transportation are a significant time and miles away. If you have a physical condition that would require treatment while you are on the water, be sure to bring necessary medications and equipment you normally use to treat the condition. If you are allergic to stings, be sure to bring whatever medication you use to counteract a reaction. Please notify your Trip Leader if you have an existing medical condition that we should know about. 

Although insects are seldom a problem, it is wise to bring insect repellent. If you are allergic to stings, be sure to bring whatever medication you use to counteract a reaction.

What about bad weather? We will definitely cancel in case of thunderstorms or if the river is running too fast or the water level is too low. We usually cannot make the decision to go or not to go until the morning of the paddle. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a telephone number where you can be reached the night before and early on the morning of your paddle.  At or before 6:00 a.m., we will notify everyone with an individual reservation or the leader of a group reservation. If you are part of a group trip, be sure to give your group leader your contact information.

If you feel ill on the day of your paddle, stay home!  And, if you have to cancel for any reason, PLEASE LET US KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!! That will enable us to fill your seat with someone else We post all cancellations and other openings on our Facebook page.

We will be selling FODR merchandise each day after the paddle. We will have T-shirts ($20), long-sleeve performance t-shirts ($25), quarter-zip long-sleeve performance t-shirts ($35), long-sleeve performance hoodies ($30), caps ($20), and bucket hats ($30) for sale, with all proceeds benefitting FODR.  We take cash, checks, or credit cards.


This information sheet and the attached Friends of Dragon Run Release Form should be given to everyone in your party.  The release form should be filled out (only one person for each form) by each participant; don’t forget to initial the middle paragraphs.  Bring it to the launch site on the day of your paddle. 

The above information is intended to help you have a safe and happy trip and to enjoy the special wonders of Dragon Run. We look forward to escorting you on this exciting adventure.


Coming down Rt. 17 South: When you get close to Saluda, start looking for Rt. 603—Farley Park Road – on your right, which goes to Mascot.  Turn right and drive about 2.5 miles; DO NOT CROSS the bridge into King & Queen County.  Turn into the parking lot on the right and follow the crew directions. 

Coming from the Richmond area: Take I-64 East, Exit 220 onto Rt. 33. Go 20 miles to Glenns. At the intersection of 33, 17, and 198, turn left. Check your odometer and drive about 6 miles on Rt. 17 North. (Do not take Rt. 17 Business into Saluda). At 5 miles, get into the left turn lane. Turn left on Route 603—Farley Park Road—stay on Route 603 and drive about 2.5 miles; DO NOT CROSS the bridge into King & Queen County.  Turn into the parking lot on the right and follow the crew directions. 

Coming from the Peninsula and Southside area: From I-64, take Exit 258 toward Yorktown:  Cross the bridge over the York River and proceed about 26 miles to the intersection of 33, 17, and 198. There is a stop light at that intersection. From that point, continue north on Rt. 17 for about 6 miles and get into the left turn lane. (Do not take Rt. 17 Business into Saluda). Turn left on Route 603—Farley Park Road—stay on Route 603 and drive about 2.5 miles; DO NOT CROSS the bridge into King & Queen County.  Turn into the parking lot on the right and follow the crew directions. 

Coming from Northern Neck: Take Rt. 3 across the Rappahannock River to Rt 33.  Turn right onto Rt 33 and follow straight through to Rt. 17 (go straight through the light in Saluda). Turn right onto Rt. 17 and drive for about 4 miles on Route 17 North and move into the left turn lane to turn left on Route 603-Farley Park Road.  Stay on Route 603 and drive about 2.5 miles; DO NOT CROSS the bridge into King & Queen County.  Turn into the parking lot on the right and follow the crew directions. 


**TAX INFORMATION** IRS requires that a receipt be provided any donor upon request, and that a contemporaneous receipt be issued at the time of any donation of $250.00 or more. FODR will provide a receipt if requested, which will disclose that the trip is valued at $15.00, and that any donation in excess of $15.00 may be considered a donation to Friends of Dragon Run, a 501c(3) organization. We recommend you consult your tax advisor about tax deductions.






In consideration of participating in any way in the FODR field trip, the undersigned, for himself or herself, his or her personal representatives, heirs, next of kin, agrees to the following:

HEREBY RELEASES, WAIVES, DISCHARGES, AND INDEMNIFIES the Friends of Dragon Run (FODR), all principals, agents, representatives, officers and directors and their respective successors, heirs, and personal representatives, saves them harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, liability, costs and expenses in connection with loss of life, personal injury, and/or loss or damage to property arising from or out of any occurrence associated with participating in, observing, entering or exiting this FODR field trip.

THE UNDERSIGNED expressly acknowledges and agrees that the activities of this field trip are, by its nature, dangerous and involves the risk of serious injury and/or death and/or property loss or damage. The undersigned further expressly agrees that the foregoing release and waiver is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the laws governing the towns, cities, and counties where the field trip is being conducted.


Coronavirus / COVID-19 Warning & DisclaimerCoronavirus, COVID-19, is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily through person-to-person contact. Federal and state authorities recommend social distancing as a means to prevent the spread of the virus. COVID-19 can lead to severe illness, personal injury, permanent disability, and death. Participating in this field trip could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. FODR in no way warrants that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in this trip. Please initial the blanks here to indicate your agreement.  If you are unwilling to agree or if you are feeling unwell, please withdraw from today’s paddle, and your paddle donation will be refunded.

I agree to keep my mask on at all times while on land and during launch and take-out activities.‏ ______  ◄−−−

I agree to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from other paddlers and crew members.

_______ ◄−−−

 This release, waiver, and indemnification agreement specifically embraces each and every phase of the field trip sanctioned, authorized, offered and/or promoted by said releasees during the entire FODR field trip in which the undersigned participates so that the parties herein intended the same effect as if executed after each and every activity of the field trip in which the undersigned participates so that the parties herein intended release shall be fully and effectively released and indemnified as to the entire field trip herein described and that if any portion thereof is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall not be withstanding continue in full legal force and effect.


THE UNDERSIGNED HAS READ AND VOLUNTARILY SIGNS THE RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT, assumes all risks in connection with the FODR field trip, agrees to abide by all of FODR’s rules and regulations in connection with the field trip, agrees that photos of me may be taken and that such photos may be used by FODR and further agrees that no oral representations, statements, or inducements apart from the foregoing written agreement have been made.  (Only one person per form.)


PRINT FULL NAME: ___________________________________________________________




CITY__________________________________ STATE____________ ZIP ________________


PHONE NUMBER: _____________________EMAIL_________________________________

SIGNATURE: ________________________________________          DATE: ___________



We invite you to become a member of FODR.  You can complete the application in our brochure (available after your trip) or on our website , and use PayPal or give us your dues today or send a check to

FODR, P.O. Box 882, Gloucester, VA 23061.



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