Big Reed Island Creek - Route 58 to US Route 221

Big Reed Island Creek, Virginia, US


Route 58 to US Route 221

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 12.5 Miles

Low water BRI

Low water BRI
Photo taken 05/16/17

River Description

Big Reed Island Creek downstream of Rt. 58 contains some moderate whitewater in a pretty micro-gorge as it approaches the Laurel Fork confluence.  Laurel Fork almost doubles the flow and there's a nice rapid just below this with some big waves. Above and below this the creek is pretty but milder and there are more cabin intrusions.  For a good run on the upper section you'll probably need close to a foot on the Silverleaf Rd. bridge gauge as a minimum.  Take out as far upstream on River Rd. as you can as there is mainly flatwater the last couple of miles to the Silverleaf bridge.

This reach should probably be divided in two parts; the upper section with most of the whitewater from Rt. 58 to River Rd/Silverleaf; and then a milder section from River Rd/Silverleaf to Rt. 221. See Ed Grove's Classic Virginia Rivers for a good description of this stretch of the creek; Roger Corbett's Virginia Whitewater only includes the section below U.S. 221.

See also Lower Big Reed Island Creek.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-05-16 01:03:47

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 26 2016 (871 days ago)
Yugie888 (158360)
Started at Silverleaf with the gauge at the bridge well below 1 ft. Water wasn't even on the bridge
pillar gauge. Lots of rocks just below surface to maneuver through/slide over. I was floating a
Necky Rip rec kayak, my friend was in a Perception Carolina 13.5 touring kayak We both enjoyed the
scenery and the challenge of the falls. I would like to have more water to run the Silverleaf to
221 stretch again. See the pics attached: The first set of falls, went river right. Second set of
falls, went river left, then back to center to exit. Third set and most intimidating, went down the
middle channel, which was pretty easy to ride.
May 25 2013 (1999 days ago)
mrpossumtail (154945)
Use the Chestnut Creek gage as a surrogate. I would not run this unless it was running at least 125
August 28 2008 (3730 days ago)
x (1)
Not a very demanding stretch seriously. You will be fine in a rec boat without a skirt. a couple of
nearly unavoidable strainers last time I went, but other than that pretty safe.
July 31 2007 (4124 days ago)
x (1)
This is the best stretch of BRI that is worth running. Gauge used to be a minimum of about 1 foot
at the bridge at Silverleaf Rd. No USGS gauge. Class (II+ - III). Not for a novice!

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