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Paddle for the Border
May 3, 2025 

Registration Info Coming Soon!


In early spring hundreds of paddlers launch their vessels into the Dismal Swamp Canal’s dark, mirrored waters. This historic waterway serves as the backdrop for Paddle for the Border, an annual 7.5-mile paddling excursion to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

This annual event celebrates the canal’s rich history, which dates to 1763 when George Washington’s land company first surveyed the swamp before commissioning the waterway’s construction. In the 19th century, the canal’s dense wetlands provided refuge for those enslaved traveling the Underground Railroad before continuing their journey north.

The fee is $55 per person.  After enjoying a pre-launch "grab-and-go" breakfast at the Dismal Swamp State Park, in South Mills, NC, paddlers embark on the leisurely three-hour journey to cross the state line. They finish the day out with a picnic lunch on grounds of the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail at the Great Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp at Ballahack Rd. in Chesapeake, VA.


Open Registration:  Info Coming 2025! (Online, Mail-in, Walk-in, or Drop-off)

Late Registration:  Info Coming 2025! (Online Only; add $10 late fee)

Pre-registration is required for this event.  This event is limited to 375 paddlers.  



Paddle for the Border Brochure

Paddle for the Border FAQ

2023 Where is CD Now? (one woman's PFTB experience)

Phone: 252-771-8333

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