Visitors, Start Your Engines


August 9, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Run, paddle and bike your way to fun at Smith River Fest! Held annually in Martinsville - Henry County, Virginia, this event is truly a celebration of all things associated with the Smith River.

45 miles of scenic river flow through our community from the base of Philpott Dam down to Eden, North Carolina where it meets the Dan River. Alongside the river and throughout Martinsville & Henry County are nearly 20 miles of shared-use trails that make up the Smith River Trail System. Paddlers will love the variety that the Smith River offers from calm floats to class I/II rapids. 

Paddle the river, participate in the 4.8 mile long river race and 5K Mud Run, browse vendor booths, enjoy children's activities, watch live demonstrations and much more. There really is something for everyone at Smith River Fest! 

The festival is located at the Smith River Sports Complex, 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton, just off the Hwy 58 Bypass. Admission is free! 

Directions to Smith River Fest 2014 Vendor Application


Featured Activites

  • 4.8 Mile River Race
  • Helgramite Hustle 5K Mud Run
  • Martinsville Speedway Presents Blue Ridge Duck Race 5000 (NEW in 2014!)
  • Vendors
  • Free On-Site Bicycle Loans
  • Fly Tying & Casting Demos
  • Corn Hole, Bounce Houses & Games
  • Canoe and Kayak Rentals On-Site
  • "The Smith River Experience" Free Canoe Rides for Beginners
  • Live Music & Demos
  • Food Vendors & Beer Garden

Scenes from Smith River Fest

See more photos on our Facebook page and feel free to post a few of your own! 

Smith River Fest 2011  Smith River Fest 2011  Smith River Fest 2011  Smith River Fest 2011 

Safety on the River

We want all of our paddlers both beginners and experienced to have a safe and enjoyable time on the Smith River. Please read and followSmith River the following recommendations. If you're new to the sport of paddling, feel free to ask questions. We love to help new paddlers fall in love with the sport of kayaking and canoeing!

  • Always wear a coast guard approved life jacket at all times.
  • Beware of strainers and over hanging limbs. Strainers are fallen trees, bridge pilings, undercut rocks or anything else that allows the current to flow through while holding you. Strainers are deadly!
  • If in doubt, get out and scout!
  • Know your paddling abilities and plan your outing accordingly.
  • Dress appropriately for weather conditions. Carry extra clothes in a dry bag in case you flip and go for a swim. Hypothermia is a serious threat on the Smith River. Temperatures from 45 to 55 degrees are the norm for most of the length of the river. 
  • Call before you paddle! The US Army Corps of Engineers generates peak demand power at Philpott Dam. A water release schedule can be obtained by calling 276.629.2432.  

Event Sponsors

Dan River Basin Association Logo         Henry County Parks & Recreation Logo  Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia   
  Boys & Girls Club          Activate MHC    

Find Smith River Fest on Facebook!