A little over 20 miles from downtown Lynchburg, across the Moore County, Bedford County line and down a long, winding country road filled with old farmhouses, horse barns, and a historic cemetery sits the newest entrepreneurial venture of three Lynchburg small business owners, Lucky Duck River Rentals and the Halls Mill Market. The local kayak and canoe rental spot and their sister market and restaurant enjoyed their grand opening on Monday.
The Lynchburg Times headed out to Halls Mill the day before for a sneak preview of the new, local small business and here’s what our staff thought were the highlights.
1 | Lucky Duck provides everything you need to float the Duck River. Co-owner Benji Garland runs the Lucky Duck side of things and he’s created an experience that allows folks to just show up and float. Lucky Duck will rent you a kayak or canoe to take on an easy, great-for-beginners float from the Halls Mill Bridge put into the Rattlesnake Lodge Road take-out located 5.5 miles downriver. They provide life jackets and paddles and pick up every hour on the hour. The cost is $35 per kayak or $60 tandom. There is a $20 transportation fee for pick up. To reserve a spot online, click here or call (931) 294-3474 or (931) 307-6562.
2 | The Halls Mill Market provides the rest. From drinks, snacks, and fishing lures for the float to a hearty breakfast before or a tasty lunch after your adventure, the market has you covered. The breakfast menu includes items like cathead biscuits filled with bacon, sausage, tenderloin, and country ham as well as eggs to order, French toast, and pancakes. Lunch includes things like hand-patted hamburgers, Philly cheese steaks, and loaded baked potatoes.
3 | Experience the world-famous Grilled Cheese on Crack. Barrel House Barbecue’s Chuck Baker is one of the co-owners of the Halls Mill Market and they’ll serve a menu of originals plus barbecue from his restaurant inside the nearby Nearest Green Distillery. The market will also serve his world-famous Grilled Cheese on Crack. It’s a foodie’s bucket list food that you definitely want to experience at least once.
A Clarneau-inspired otter on the side of the historic Halls Mill Market instructs visitors that is “otter be a good day.”(Lynchburg Times Photo)
4 | They sell Snow Spin Baits. If you want to add fishing to your floating experience, the market sells handmade spin baits by McMinnville fisherman Chris Snow. He’s made a business out of fishing on the Center Hill Lake with sponsors like All Pro Rods and Punisher Lures under his belt. His baits are all handmade right here in the USA and available in a very limited number of places.
5 | The place exudes good vibes. Baker, Nicolay, and Garland have worked hard to create a space that’s an asset to not only locals but also visitors. The interior of the historic building enjoys a quaint feel with mismatched, repurposed tables and chairs, lots of historic photographs, and a charming collection of items for sale – like a small-scale Cracker Barrel. Outside the sprawling front porch offers oversized rockers so you can sit and relax and local artist Clint Clarneau hand-painted logos for both the Halls Mill Market and Lucky Duck as well as a charming otter on the side of the building that lets you know it “otter be a good day.”
The Halls Mill Market opens for breakfast at 6 a.m. each morning and closes around 7 p.m. Lucky Duck River Rentals will be open seven days a week at 8 a.m. They’ll stopping rentals around 1 p.m. but stick around until everyone is off the river. If you’d like to learn more, check out their listing page by clicking here. They are located at 871 Halls Mill Road in Shelbyville. •