• Paddle For Peace

    River Expeditions For War Veterans

  • What We Do

    We are an organization which allows nature to help heal the wounds of war.

    Paddle For Peace


    Mission: To conduct wilderness paddling trips as a form of outdoor therapy to help veterans suffering from war trauma.


    Paddle For Peace(PFP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization developed to provide an additional form of mental health therapy to those war veterans suffering from war-related afflictions. Half of our returning war veterans receive mental health diagnoses, to include post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma, which can lead to high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide. River paddling trips are offered to war veterans, including women-only trips, as a form of healing outdoor therapy.

    Greenbrier River, West Virginia

    River Expeditions


    Greenbrier River- West Virginia

    The Greenbrier is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the East. At high water levels, you can paddle 158 miles. This river is user-friendly, characterized by easy-going class I and II rapids with calmer stretches. The long and friendly river, flowing through the West Virginia mountains and the Monongahela National Forest, is as magnificent as the paddling. If rainfall is scarce, expect to drag your canoe across shallow section. 45 miles/2 nights. Beard, WV- Caldwell or Ronceverte, WV. (Distances dependent on water levels) May 2-4 2017

    Cheat River- Shavers Fork- West Virginia

    The Cheat River is a 78.3-mile-long tributary of the Monongahela River in eastern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania; both flow into the Mississippi Watershed. Owing to the ruggedness of the Allegheny Mountains, the Cheat remains remote with few settlements and developments along its banks. This river system is full of great paddling stretches; the section from Bowden to the bridge crossing Shavers Fork, close to Little Black Fork, is a favorite, but low water levels often restrict paddling. From 219 bridge in Parsons to Rowlesburgh has great riffles and fishing. 35.5 miles/3 days. Parsons,WV to Rowlesburgh, WV

    Shenandoah- South Fork- Virginia

    The north-flowing Shenandoah River defines much of the Virginia landscape, popular with farmers, songwriters, and paddlers alike. The South Fork Shenandoah, between Luray and Bentonville, exemplifies the river’s scenic beauty. You will paddle relatively calm waters with the occasional ledge rapid, which will be portaged, through a combination of farmland, privately owned forest, and public land. The river runs through the heart of the valley with the Massanutten Mountain range rising to your left and the peaks of the Shenandoah National Park rising to your right. Gorgeous!!!! 28miles/2.5days. Luray VA to Bentonville, VA (If water levels high enough, to Front Royal- 44 miles.

    OCT 3-6, 2016

    Big Sandy River- Tug Fork

    The Tug Fork is located in the southwestern region of West Virginia. The Tug flows through remote mountains in its upper course. The river valley between Pike County, Kentucky and Mingo County, West Virginia was the scene of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud in the late 19th century! 27.6miles/2 days. Panther WV to Matewan WV

    Monongahela River- recently added!

    "The Mon" -- "Pennsylvania River of the Year" in 2013. The 135-mile-long waterway has historic small towns along its banks along with coal barges, other canoes, paddle rafts, kayaks and fishing boats.
    And along the banks of the river, from the town of Monongahela all the way south into West Virginia, sit towns rich with historic significance -- some buildings even date back to the Revolutionary War. Too many cool things to list!! In the second half of the 20th century, industries that helped build these towns faltered, with jobs and populations lost, leaving only the history behind. Peaceful, isolated moments combined with vibrant, uniquely cultural communities, while locking through 9 dams will certainly provide an unforgettable experience! Will put in from my Camp after a hearty breakfast and finish at Station Square for a delicious dinner while enjoying the lights of downtown Pittsburgh! 135 miles/ 8-10 days. Colfax, WV- Pittsburgh PA- GREAT TRIP- strenuous paddling.

  • Who We Are

    Annie Balthazar

    Iraqi War Veteran, Founder of Paddle For Peace

    My name is Annie Balthazar, an Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) war veteran. I recently solo-paddled the entire Mississippi River- 2,200+ miles from its Source to the Sea. It served as an indescribable form of Outdoor Therapy for me. As a result, I have established Paddle For Peace, a non-profit 501(c)(3), in hopes of sharing the wonders of river paddling with other war veterans. Paddle For Peace river adventures will be offered to veterans who suffer from war trauma. All veterans are encouraged to consider and participate in this form of "wilderness therapy". River expeditions will be offered several times a year in "Wild and Wonderful" West Virginia, including women-only trips. These trips will range in length from 20-200 miles. I anticipate launching my first pilot expedition in the Spring of 2016. I am passionately committed to this mission. Please help me be a part of a growing number of vets finding effective ways to help themselves through wilderness adventures.


    "Enlightenment is not a matter of imagining figures of light,

    but of making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

    Annie L. Balthazar (Major USAF, 1996-2007)

  • Paddle For Peace Expeditions

    River Reflections

    3 October 2016 Osprey Cabin meetup Everyone arrived safely and found Osprey cabin Monday night. Tommy was the first to arrive, even before me and Ed with our amazing Canoe & Kayak video crew. Michael and Ed Evangilidi were close behind and Adam finally made it in after dark, which was no small...
    I am still wondering why I did not include the Upper New River in my list of West Virginia rivers- the amazing waters that share their wisdom and healing to those of us who still are suffering and plagued by War. It was a short scouting trip from Glade Creek to McCreery. My husband, Ed and my...
    What an amazing trip! All 135 miles!!!! This river presented many pleasant surprises- great riverbank camping, very little trash and industrial areas, generous river angels, kind and helpful Lock Masters (all veterans!), courteous recreational boaters, fishermen, and towboat captains. Day 1-...
    Tug Fork River Deep in the dusty coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains is a forgotten river that is older than time itself. Its waters are polluted, its history is bloody and the men and women who live along its banks are some of the strongest and most perseverant people in all of America....
    Cheat River- www.cheatriverwatertrail.org I was joined by Mike Price, WV Sierra Club Chair, on a 2.5 day trip from Parsons, WV to Rowlesburg, WV. This was a scouting trip for me and I was pleased when he wanted to join me. We were dropped off by Ed in Parsons and put-in at the Rt 219 bridge at...
    GREENBRIER RIVER- 38 miles. Beard to Caldwell, WV (385 CFS) Had an amazing journey on the Greenbrier River. Ed put me in at 12 noon in Beard right off of the Greenbrier River Trail. Water was low, but amazingly peaceful and flowing. My boat (16 foot We-no-nah Royalex) was light and floated along...
  • Who's Talking About Us

    Take a look and enjoy!

    Canoe & Kayak Veterans' Series "Healing Waters"


  • Contact Us!

     Come paddling!

    Fayetteville, West Virginia
    call anytime. Please leave a message.
  • With Immense Gratitude

    Gently-used camping and paddling items accepted

All Posts