Martinsville, Virginia


Paddle, Run and Bike Your Way to Fun at Smith River Fest


If you're interested in getting more active outdoors but are not quite sure where to start, Smith River Fest is a perfect launching pad to find your next hobby. More than 120 vendors and activity areas will be on hand at the August 10th event to showcase recreational opportunities and regional businesses.

The festival will be held at the Smith River Sports Complex from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. The public can enjoy many free activities including guided nature hikes, bicycle rides with Activate's Bike Barn, children's canoe rides with the Boys and Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, a climbing wall and fly casting demonstrations with the Smith River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Several outdoor organizations and clubs will be featured at the event, including Trout Unlimited, the Dan River Basin Association and Blue Ridge Ski & Outing Club, which all lead organized outdoor activities for members and guests.

 Canoe and kayak rentals will be available on-site for families wanting to float the river and everyone will have a great time participating and/or watching the Smith River Race and the Helgramite Hustle Mud Run. Day-of registration for both races will be held at the festival grounds beginning at 9 a.m.

The Smith River Race begins at 11 a.m. at the South Martinsville River Access, following a mandatory safety meeting. The course is 4.8 miles long and Michael Amos currently holds the course record of 34 minutes. The finish line for the race is visible from the festival grounds so that spectators can cheer on the paddlers.

The Helgramite Hustle Mud Run will offer two heats for runners this year, a competitive run at 1 p.m. and a Family/Team/Fun Run at 2 p.m. The 5K course will feature 10 mud pits and 18 obstacles that runners must climb over, under or through. Prior to the second heat, which often features teams in zany costumes, the Ray Hollingsworth Dancers will lead everyone in a fun warm-up dance featuring the 70's tune "The Hustle".

County Administrator, Tim Hall will emcee all three races and awards will be given out at 3 p.m. at the Smith River Fest stage area. Details about the festival, including registration information for both the River Race and Mud Run can be found at Smith River Fest or by calling 276.632.8006.