About the State Trail

The Dan River crosses the North Carolina and Virginia border eight times on its 214-mile journey from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Kerr Lake. The 90 miles of the river in Surry, Stokes and Rockingham Counties were authorized as a state trail in 2021. This is a paddle trail.

Trail blaze for Dan River State Trail

The fish at the center of the Dan River State Trail is the logperch, a federally endangered species that is found in the Dan River. Adult logperch typically inhabit medium- to large-sized warm, clear streams and occupy riffles, runs, and pools containing sand, gravel, or boulder. They utilize their snouts to overturn gravel to forage on benthic aquatic macroinvertebrates. This fish is just one of the many reasons to protect the Dan River and its tributaries.

Trail Use


Partner Organization

Tab/Accordion Items

The mission of the Dan River Basin Association is to protect and promote the Dan River Basin through recreation, education, and stewardship.

Outdoor enthusiasts and concerned citizens organized the Dan River Basin Association in 2002 to preserve and promote the wilderness-like rivers of this border region of Piedmont North Carolina and Virginia. Leaders in the Basin's counties recognize the increasing importance of the abundance high-quality water in this 3,300-square-mile region.

About Partner Organizations

The legislation that created the Complete the Trails program requires that funds be distributed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation to a nonprofit partner for each trail. To be the recognized partner, an organization must have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Division and an approved 3- to 5-year plan for deploying the funds to develop the state trail.

As part of the Complete the Trail Program, each state trail partner organization was required to submit a five-year plan, outlining priorities and goals until 2027 for their trail. Excerpts from the plan are outlined below.

Download the Plan (PDF)

Capacity Building Fund Projects:

  • Staff support
  • Hire part-time DNST assistant
  • Purchase ESRI (geographic information system) materials
  • Purchase fieldwork tools and supplies
  • Update website
  • Conduct river safety information sessions
  • Develop promotional information, volunteer recognition, and events

Priority CTP Projects:

  • Master Plan for DNST
  • Renovate and designated current public accesses
  • Create signage plan for Stokes County
  • Land acquisition
  • Settle Bridge access permanent easement and/or purchase
  • Priority accesses identified on Master Plan completed
Estimated cost for all DNST priority projects $430,000
Estimated cost for all DNST projects $665,000
CTP allocation for DNST $507,375


Banner photo by D. Cook: Kayaker on the Dan River at Hanging Rock State Park