Post Christmas Paddle

River of Sticks 10th Anniversary Paddle

Date: December 26th, 2015 Sponsor: DDRC
River: Upper Sabine Trip Leader: Bryan Jackson
Reach: Few miles - no plan to camp or use heavy equipment to move logs, sticks, etc Phone: 972-979-2519
Difficulty: Class I * (See scale below) E-mail: Bryan Jackson
Rendezvous: 9am 69 Bridge

Required Skills: Basic flat-water paddling with a desire to make short portagages

Campground: N/A

Confirmation Deadline:



Trip Description:


Please join the Dallas Down River Club for a Christmas Tradition, River of Sticks. We plan on meeting at the US Highway 69 bridge and paddling down to the first biglog jam we encounter, or lunch time, and then paddle back to the bridge at the put-in. Please bring a picnic lunch, folding chairs, stuff to match the weather drinking water, and a life jacket. This should be an easy trip, and it is ideal for those with families with children or paddlers wanting to have a leisurely paddle and try out your new gear.

Gear Requirements:

Bring boats (just about any seaworthy craft will do for this trip), PFD's (lifejackets), paddles (a spare is recommended), a whistle or other signalling device, appropriate clothing for the conditions we expect to encounter, headlamp, food, beverages, drinking cup and a mylar space blanket, as well as a warm, dry set of clothes just in case. A small cooler for drinks and lunches to be carried in your boat would be recommended.


Bring whatever you want to eat and drink for lunch, but remember - NO GLASS OR FOAM POLYSTYRENE STYROFOAM CONTAINERS!

Back-up Plans:

There is no backup plan for this trip. If, for any reason, the trip on the Sabine cannot be made, then it will be cancelled.

Driving Directions:

This reach of the Sabine River is located on the Smith - Wood County line, on US Highway 69 between Lindale and Mineola. The boat ramp is on the northwest corner where the highway crosses the river.From Dallas:

  • IH 30 East to US Highway 80 East, then VEER RIGHT (Southeast) on US Highway 80 East;

    East on US Highway 80 to US Highway 69 in Mineola, then turn RIGHT (south);

  • US Highway 69 South to the Sabine River;

    Exit on right just before the river and then proceed down the paved road to the boat ramp.
  • From Dallas (Alternate Route):

  • IH 30 East to US Highway 80 East, then VEER RIGHT (Southeast) on US Highway 80 East;

    US Highway 80 East, then merge onto IH 20 East;

    IH 20 East to US Highway 69 (Exit 554) just south of Lindale, then turn LEFT (north) onto US Hwy. 69;

  • US Highway 69 North across Sabine River, and then turn left across highway to boat ramp on the NE corner.


    Upper Sabine River on the Smith - Wood County line

    Google Push Pin GPS

    Map shows yellow pin

    * International Scale of River Difficulty

    Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight, self-rescue is easy.

    Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

    Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

    Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended.

    Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

    Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.


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    Last updated November 15, 2015 9:28 AM