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Difficulty I-II
Length 50 Miles
Flow Range 350 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 51 minutes ago 391 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/27/2020 8:10 pm

River Description

There are multiple sections to paddle on Big Walker Creek, with 50 miles of stream from near Bland to the confluence with the New River at Ripplemead.  All of the rapids are straightforward and do not exceed class II at normal flows.

The most popular and scenic section is the lowermost 8 miles between Farley Wayside park on Hwy. 100 near Staffordsville to the Ripplemead takeout on the New.  The first half (to the 622 bridge) features several streamside cliffs.  Below 622 the creek is more remote and in the spring and summer is a beautiful green tunnel.  It is possible to paddle only the first half (4 miles) if you are short on time or want to do a bike shuttle (2.5 miles using Rt. 708).  The full section requires a 10-mile shuttle through Pearisburg.  Ripplemead is now a developed access with a concrete ramp, latrine, and ample parking, and is about a half mile downstream on the left after entering the New. This section requires about 350-400 cfs at Bane; ideal flow is 600-700.

The next section upstream is from Poplar Hill (Hwy. 100) to the low-water bridge upstream of Farley Wayside.  This section is 8 miles with a shuttle of less than 5 miles.  There is a good put-in on the upstream side of the Hwy. 100 bridge at a large gravel pull-out.  The Little Walker Creek confluence is on the downstream side of this bridge, adding significant flow.  Near the end of this section, the creek passes under Hwy. 100 and the next mile or so down to the takeout has one of the nicest sections of rapids. The takeout is at a low-water bridge (Rt. 749) a half mile upstream of Farley Wayside.  Since this would be a portage, most people prefer to take out here, or you can continue to Farley Wayside. 400 cfs should be enough.

White Gate to Poplar Hill is 11 miles with two portages.  The first is a 5-foot low head dam which can be seen from Rt. 733 (Old Mill Dam Rd.)  Ideally one could put in below this dam, but unfortunately there is a chain-link fence between the road and the creek.  The second portage is a low water bridge a few miles downstream.  Both portages can be made on the left.  The shuttle is 7 miles- north on Hwy. 100 for a half mile and then left on Rt. 42 to White Gate and the intersection with Rt. 670.  You may have to hunt for a decent put-in in this area.  600 cfs is probably a good minimum.

Above White Gate, it is possible to paddle from near the Kimberling Creek confluence down to White Gate.  This section is 5.5 miles with some nice rapids near the end, at the Rt. 667 bridge and just below as the creek makes a 180 degree bend to the left.  The shuttle is about 3.5 miles along Rt. 670 (Flat Hollow Rd.) and bikeable.  600 cfs is the likely minimum.

Further upstream Big Walker is much smaller since Kimberling Creek doubles the flow. There are a variety of options, though one should be more alert to fences crossing the stream and low-water bridges.  One option is to paddle 5.5 miles from the upstream Rt. 608 bridge (near Central United Methodist Church) to the downstream Rt. 608 bridge.  You may need close to 1000 cfs or more to paddle above Kimberling Creek.

See Also: Virginia Whitewater, Roger Corbett

Rapid Descriptions


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8 years ago

Easily paddlable up to 400cfs... Can be done down to 250cfs with some scraping.

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Andrea Jones
13 years ago

We paddled the lower 8 miles of this stretch which is probably the best section of the creek. This is a beautiful stretch of creek that is class I-II and, I've been told, is a favorite fishing spot, too. Minimum level is generally around 350-400 cfs. We paddled it at 650 cfs and had a very enjoyable trip with plenty of water. About 3 miles into the trip, pay attention to the cliffs on the right. A pair of bald eagles have been spotted nesting in the area and they are sometimes visible - especially in the spring. The best putin for this stretch is at Rt 100. There is a park on the upstream side of the bridge that has plenty of parking. The best takeout is on the New at the Ripplemead access point; just upstream of the Rt 460 bridge. To get to it, get off of Rt 460 at the first westbound exit to Pearisburg. At the end of the ramp, turn away from the town of Pearisburg and follow the road downhill and under the Rt 460 bridge. Look for a pull off on the left after crossing the RR tracks and going under the bridge; about a 1/4 mile upstream of the bridge.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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article main photo

Attention Virginia Boaters!

Jason Robertson

During the high waters of Spring 2003, there has been a noticeable increase in reported confrontations between boaters and property owners in Virginia. Please remember to be respectful and courteous to property owners; do not trespass; and avoid confrontation in order to preserve access in the future.

Kevin Colburn


Philip Young


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209644 05/21/18 Kevin Colburn new description
1210862 01/20/19 Philip Young creek mileage
1215294 06/14/20 Philip Young updated description
1215296 06/14/20 Philip Young updated description
1215297 06/14/20 Philip Young updated description
1215295 06/14/20 Philip Young updated description
1215345 06/24/20 Philip Young updated description
1215357 06/27/20 Philip Young updated description
1206755 08/03/16 Philip Young added photo to main page
1191693 10/03/03 n/a n/a
1210860 01/20/19 Philip Young Added photos
1206760 08/16/16 Philip Young updated takeout