Lower South Fork Rockfish: "The Cider Run"
Welcome to the beautiful Rockfish Valley, also known as "Alcohol Valley" for its many breweries, wineries, and...cideries!
This run may be the best way to combine the area's scenic, outdoor assets along and a few of the popular "Brew Ridge Trail" watering holes.
The Cider Run could be paddled from the Blue Toad Cidery to Bold Rock Cidery a mile or so downstream. Along the way you'll enjoy great views of Three Ridges Mountain and Horseshoe Mountain. (Please don't confuse this section with the much steeper/gnarlier UPPER South Rockfish, which is just upstream).
The actual take-out location used for this description is the baptist church off Glenthorne Loop Rd. a mile or so off of Rt. 151 (see GPS coordinates/map). Do not use this access on Sundays or if the church is in use. You may also be able to use Bold Rock Cidery as a take-out, but you'd have to carry your boats several hundred yards to the parking lot. Please ask for permission if you use this option, and post a comment below afterwards.
The recommended put-in is at Blue Toad Cidery ( 462 Winery Lane Roseland, VA 22967 ) but, again, check with the folks at the cidery before putting-in. Another possible access is at Moses Hughes Rd. bridge upstream, but this adds slightly more difficult rapids and a very likely chance of running into dangerous trees/logs across the creek in that section above Blue Toad.
This is a small, narrow, fast stream so there is always a chance for wood across the creekbed. Be aware of this danger. It is recommended that you scout this section from the Rockfish Valley Nature Trail beforehand - it's a nice walk with good views of the mountains.
Much of this streambed has been "improved" for better health of the stream ecology. You will note the man-made ledges, especially in the section along the Rockfish Nature Trail. This provides some very small, but surfable ledges with small but deep pools below.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
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Typical "Cider Run" rapids
A man-made ledge on the "Cider Run"
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