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Difficulty III-IV
Length 1 Miles
Flow Range 50 - 150 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 10 years ago 1.9 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 03/20/2008 7:00 am

River Description

Virginia Whitewater, Roger Corbett; also Ed Grove<p>

Voila! This short but exciting trip through Thoroughfare Gap (between the Bull Run and Pond Mountains) has become a Âmust for advanced boaters in the Washington area. It starts off mildly, but quickly steepens, right after Trapp Branch enters from the right, in a narrow class II+ rock garden where big boulders and mid-stream trees block the view, and most of the eddies are either behind the boulders or in the woods. You can glimpse this section from I-66 west, and you can hear the traffic even over the sound of the rushing water. The rapid continues for almost a half-mile, and reaches class III at the end, where most of the water heads left under a sometimes-overhanging thorn bush (where Eric Gervais chose to flip and roll rather than scarify his face). Watch out for strainers throughout, but especially here and in the final class III rapid below the ledges.
Catch the eddy on the left just before the class III- first ledge, and climb up to the railroad tracks for a good view of the second ledge as well. The first ledge is normally run straight down the middle of the left chute. Eddy out quickly after running this drop, to bail any water and set up for the second ledge. This one is class III+, with a hydraulic on the left side, but it is not really as hard as it looks. Enter the drop on the right edge of the main channel, angling left. Open boats sometimes take on a lot of water here, and then have to try to stay upright in the steep run-out and avoid the midstream boulder just below and the rock wall further ahead on the left. Above about 1 foot, a sneak route opens up to the right of the island. There is calmer water below, where you can bail and recover, before a class II- rapid and then a bouncy class III boulder garden, which is a pretty straight shot after a twisty entrance -- a fine finale to the trip.
You can park along the road on the downstream side at the put in. At the take out, park on the field at downstream river right  the owners of the property are very friendly to paddlers, whereas the road shoulder is posted against parking.

This is a popular run, often done in conjunction with nearby Cub Run, which is somewhat easier to catch.

Ed Evangelidi testifies:<br>
There is a gauge at the put-in. There is a long stretch of fast water with narrow channels through small woody trees growing in the middle of the stream before you get to the good whitewater. This section is potentially dangerous because there are few eddies if you encounter any kind of blockage.

Rapid Descriptions


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Chris Preperato
7 years ago

since the gauge here is unfortunately offline, I'll suggest a new one with some possible level correlations: GOOSE CREEK NEAR MIDDLEBURG, VA Based on my experience, somewhere around 500cfs on that is about 0" on Broad, assuming rain isn't localized to like a 5 mile area around goose creek. 750cfs is about 1ft, 1000-1200cfs is about 2ft, and 1500+ is 3ft. So, as a general rule I'd say if it's 500cfs and not dropping fast, you'll should be able to run Broad, even in the summer. If it's 1000cfs, you'll definitely get a good flow. If it's 2000+ and not dropping, you'll get a nice big water flush.
The run as a whole reminds me of a creekier version of the Savage. From about 6" to 1.5ft it's a great III-III+ creek run. Over 2ft it's an easy class IV flush that's pretty hard to beat in the DC area. Over 3ft, it's in the trees and is a bit more serious, but, still really fun.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports




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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.

Stephen J. Ettinger


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191695 03/20/08 Stephen J. Ettinger n/a