Woodfin – The Town of Woodfin is a finalist for a whitewater committee that is looking to build a World River Center. This past Friday (February 15) the Town of Woodfin received a visit from a delegation from the International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF) Committee to discuss the possibility of locating a World River Center here in Woodfin along the banks of the French Broad River.
“The Town of Woodfin, due in large part to the coming Woodfin Whitewater Wave, and the enormous amount of support enjoyed in the Asheville area for kayaking, canoeing, and associated sports has helped propel us to one of two finalist cities for this new installation along with Richmond, Virginia,” said Woodfin Town Administrator Jason Young.
The Woodfin Whitewater Wave is part of the large Woodfin Greenway/ Blueway project which got its start in a 2016 bond referendum voted in by the citizens of the town. The multimillion-dollar project is using bond money along with private funds to build the section of greenway that “…will follow the river for 3.5 miles to the point where Beaverdam Creek enters the French Broad River near Riverside Business Park. The 1.25-mile Beaverdam Creek section will follow Beaverdam Creek upstream through its delightfully wooded and secluded gorge to the area near Reynolds Village and Merrimon Avenue” according to information found on the Woodfin project’s website
The Blueway part of the project “will bring these improvements:
- A modern new access ramp – for trailered boats and all users – is included in the plans for Silver-Line Park. Plenty of parking as well.
- Expansion and improvements at Riverside Park will also provide for a new trailer-accessible access ramp, environmental restoration, and generous parking.
- The Whitewater Wave will add fun and excitement to the river trip through Woodfin. It will have convenient access beaches both above and below the Wave. It will be fun and exciting for novices and experts.
- Full-service outfitters that provide boat and tube rentals, shuttles, and public parking are expected to locate along the river in Woodfin.
- The Greenway along the French broad will allow floaters a convenient way to get back upstream or go downstream on bicycle or foot as part of their river experience.
- The Blueway project will greatly expand the recreation corridor for the river, from upstream of Asheville and the River Arts District, through Woodfin and beyond.
“We want to thank the delegation for considering our hometown as their own (potential) new home town and let them know we appreciated their visit,” said Young.
According to the group’s website, “The Hall of Fame was founded in 2003 by Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI), Inc., of Garrett County Maryland. ASCI is home of the first mountaintop artificial whitewater course in the world. IWHOF then partnered with the Paddlesports Industry Foundation.
“The International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF) is a program of the American Canoe Association, a national non-profit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling. IWHOF is led by an international Board of Governors who hail from various paddling backgrounds. Nominations are sought and submitted through IWHOF Affiliates around the world and screened by an international panel.”