The South Fork of the Moormans River flows off the Blue Ridge Mountains, and out of Shenandoah National Park, emptying into the scenic Sugar Hollow Reservoir. (Boating is not allowed on the reservoir itself). This drainage is best known for a swimming hole known as "Blue Hole" about a mile up the South Fork from the reservoir. The creek rarely has enough water to paddle. Harris and I made a run after 5"+ of rain hit the mountains, blowing out most of the usual creek runs in the area. We had a great level on this creek though. Unfortunately there was also plenty of wood - we had about six portage around logjams between Blue Hole and the lake. The highlight of the run is the Blue Hole drop. There are two stout drops leading into the main falls, then another drop not far below (the last one was full of wood in January, 2010). The Blue Hole drop went well and was by far the best part of the run.
(Coordinates provided are approximate.)
Tell us about this gauge by leaving a comment.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The reservoir is located basically at the far western end of Garth Road, about 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville. Follow Garth west from C-ville, to White Hall. Pass Wyant's Store and Garrison's Grocery, bearing left (Rt.614), towards Sugar Hollow Reservoir. You'll parallel the main stem Moormans River. In fact, if the South Fork is running, you'll probably have to drive THROUGH the flooding Moormans River, at least hub deep, a few times on your way up to the reservoir. Pass the dam and the lake. Park at the parking lot at the head of the lake and find a safe place to ferry across the (probably-cranking) North Fork Moormans. After crossing the North Fork you'll begin your hike up a fire-road trail to the South Fork. When the trail meets the South Fork, ferry over and continue hiking up past the stone chimney, to Blue Hole or farther up if you want.Ignore the (almost certainly absurd) directions below, since 'shuttle' is carrying upstream as far as you wish to boat. However, you may use the text-entry box to input your home or other starting location to get drive time, distance, and directions to this location.
South Fork Moormans: Blue Hole
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!