The Upper Rockfish is a fairly calm river with sporadic class I-II rapids and riffles. There is a partial old dam in the section below Rt. 29. The dam has a section removed on the river-left side that allows passage on that side. The move is not technically hard but is somewhat "blind" and does require some degree of boat maneuvering. Occasionally fallen trees have blocked the river temporarily, so keep this potential hazard in mind when floating the stream.
The Upper Rockfish is formed by the confluence of the North Fork Rockfish and the South Fork. They come together about a half-mile downstream of the Rt. 6 ("River Road") bridge that crosses the North Fork Rockfish.
You could potentially access this reach by putting-on the North Fork at this bridge (N 37.910227 deg, W 78.832509 deg). You can also access the reach at the Adial Bridge, which is the access point used in this description. This is also the location of the USGS "Rockfish River near Greenfield, VA" gauging station.
There is decent access at the Nelson County Wayside (N 37.845134, W 78.816669) along Rt. 29 near Woods Mill, VA. Park in the wayside parking lot and find the access point farther upstream. Currently (May, 2018) there are piles of gravel stored beside the small trail down to the river. This is immediately below some riffles visible from the north-bound lane of Rt. 29. The Wayside access can be used as a put-in or take-out, depending on flows and desired trip length.
Take-Out: For a longer trip option you can float down to an access point along Rockfish River Road below "Stage Bridge." Access is not available at Stage Bridge but there are some small roadside pull-outs along the river below Stage Bridge. Head all "Posted" signs and use your judgement. Rockfish River Road is reached by driving north on Rt. 29 from the Wayside. Rockfish River Road goes east from Rt. 29 about 1 mile north of the Wayside.
The USGS gauge is located at the Adial Bridge access point. A flow of 200-250 is a decent minimum but the river can be negotiated at lower flows but may require boaters to get out and wade their boats through shallow sections. (Fun but shallow runs have been had as low as 76 cfs!! Bring the right attitude.)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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