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About Us & Our Name



Situated on the New River in Jefferson, NC, Zaloo’s Canoes offers the finest canoe, kayak, and tube trips in the area. After starting as a small canoe rental service out of the back of a pickup truck on the side of the road in 1976, Zaloo’s has worked hard over the last 46 years to become one of the oldest and friendliest river outfitters in the area. We specialize in fun and exciting boat and tube trips for families, friends, and groups on one of the most historic and scenic North Carolina rivers, which also happens to be an American Heritage River. The New River is a great canoeing, kayaking, and tubing river for a child’s or beginner’s first river experience — pets love it too! With its gentle flow and beautiful surroundings, the New River is sure to wow and stun the whole family and provide a priceless set of unforgettable memories.

a group of people on a boat


Main Zaloo's Logo

There’s a story behind the naming of Zaloos which probably could have only happened in the 1970’s. The tale begins with William “Earl” Farrington who was raised on this property just over the ridge to the east. His family raised dairy cattle and Earl carried the heavy milk containers over the ridge to the highway to be picked up by the cheese plant in West Jefferson. Earl graduated from Lees McRae College and went off to WWII. Upon returning from the Pacific Theater he settled in Detroit Michigan and became an engineer at Ford Motor Company. The Farrington’s kept the original homestead and he brought his family back here often to visit. Earl enjoyed canoeing and became a Boy Scout leader, taking his troop including his son on many canoe trips. Earl’s son Newton grew up paddling rivers in Michigan as well as the New River.

In 1976 Newton moved to Ashe County and started this canoe rental. He was an avid music fan and especially loved the song “Uncle Jed Say” from the album Happy & Artie Traum. Newton had the idea, why don’t I become Jed Zaloo and my wife Samantha could become Mamie Zaloo from the song? Why not? And so it was, Newton became Jed and Samantha became Mamie (some folks called her Amy) and Zaloo’s Canoes was born. This section of the Farrington farm became Zalooville. Of course Zalooville needed a mayor and by a unanimous vote Mark Thomas, Jed’s best friend since elementary school was elected and he became known as Howie Zaloo, the Mayor of Zalooville.

And that is how Zaloo’s was named….enjoy the tune!

Although this is a fairly factual representation of the truth, all of the folks mentioned either living or dead have asked not to be bothered by proving any of this, especially those that have passed……….but here’s a recent pick of Uncle Jed, Mayor Mark and Happy Traum at MerleFest (2019)