(see comments) The landowner that owns the entire upper section including 'The Falls' has made it absolutely clear that boaters are not allowed on 'his creek'.
So consider this wonderful little stretch of water CLOSED.
Barbours Creek is a pristine mountain stream.
This run is a great intro to creeking. The most serious hazards are usually strainers. Undercuts are infrequent.
So when you drive shuttle (see directions tab) be safe and when you park get well out of the road and leave room for others. Take a trashbag and pick up around the put in especially. Wave and smile at local landowners if you pass them while paddling. Talk to them if engaged. Be friendly. Pick up trash.
Don't Even Think About Fishing Without Written Permission. To fish take your licenses and go way upstream to Nat'l Forest. 'The Pines Campground' is on Nat'l Forest up between the North and South Prongs and has plenty of free camping and good trout fishing when the prongs are stocked.
There seem to always be several natural strainers on this run so keep a close look out for wood everywhere and take it extra slow. As with most small mtn. streams, avoid large groups much over 4 people at a time; this allows everyone to spread out enough, but still stay within eyesight and earshot.
This run is about 3 miles and can be done fairly easily in about 2 hours at "0". This will be a bumpy level but you should have no trouble avoiding strainers and if you're lucky you can tunnel though most of it. After learning the run it is a blast to run laps on at a (+) level.
Paddled at about 14 inches today (2/23/2019). There are 3 trees across the river but you can get under/around all of them if you try hard enough. Go far far left at the first one, 5ft off the bank. Go far far right at the second one, you eddy out in in some saplings and pull/crawl through them until you can get to the gap under the tree. At the third one you go left of center, duck under the tree right at the point where a second tree is coming out of the water.
Paddled 5-10-09 @ noon. Craig Creek @ Parr= 2000 cfs and falling; Potts Creek @ 900 cfs and falling. Water 3-4" above low water bridge, and 1" above concrete shelf under bridge at Forestry road. Put-in at forestry road, took out at Rt. 609 Bridge. As all have said, riverwide strainers are in there and several in spots in which wyou are commited and have few eddies to catch. Large groups would have a hard time getting everyone into an eddie. To be safe, we portaged at least 3-4, no limboing here. the worst strainer that comes to mind is across from the trailer with the big rock and satellite dish in the front yard. You cannot see it from the road unless you pull off and walk over to the bank. The lead in is blind, class 3, and few eddies. The river lieft portage up the bank to the road is a tough climb. Talked to several locals and all were friendly.
Gauge update: Looking back I see the gauges changed some as I was headed to the river. For my earlier post figure Craig at Parr to be 1,200 cfs and rising slightly, John's Creek to be 475 cfs and cresting, nearby but different watershed Pott's Creek to be 650 cfs and cresting.
10 years ago
Local drainages to check out with online flow gauges:
Potts Creek - gauge is in Covington, VA
Johns Creek - gauge is in Newcastle, VA
Craig Creek - gauge is in Parr, VA where Roaring Run confluences.
SEE THE PHOTO GAUGE OF BRIDGE:
12'' - MAX est.
6'' - pushier, in the trees in places.
4'' - very good
2'' - ideal
0 - low
-2 -- minimum
-3 -- i've done it
-6 --- probably possible
You can also have a looksee at the low water bridge on the way in from Rt. 615. If the flow is over the bridge you are good and the bridge gauge should be around -3. If flow is over the bridge and to the entrance gate you might be seeing something near "0". If flow is over the bridge and current is around the entrance gate and closer to the road then you are in the (+) range and ready to run some quick laps.
Permits are not required for this reach.
low water bridge at +1
put in bridge
local drainage area
Put In Gauge
low water bridge
No Gauge? No Problem.
the part time recycler
cartmans ledge video1
Barbours Creek Falls
one of two long slides
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