A 150 day old warning about this river was added. Click on comments below to read it.

Covington - Rappahannock School (Route 622) to Rush River

Covington, Virginia, US


Rappahannock School (Route 622) to Rush River

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 40 fpm

VW Rapid Covington

VW Rapid Covington
Photo taken Hurricnaes of 04

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01662800 175 - 3500 cfs II-III 00h26m 52 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is a a great little creek with multiple 2' to 3' ledge drops and a lot of rock gardens, it is very tight so be prepared to make tiny eddies to boat scout.

1' to 3' are great levels. 3' is pushy on such a small creek with constant strainer possibilities.  About 300 yards above the take out there is a great surf hole.


Virginia Whitewater, Roger Corbett or Classic Virginia Rivers, Ed Grove

The Rock Mills takeout can also be used for whitewater sections of the Rush and Thornton. The Thornton requires substantially less water than the Rush.


Ed Evangelidi testifies:
This creek is also runnable well above US 211. There is a nasty cattle fence under the Rte. 622 bridge, so most like to put in here. Note a painted gauge here. Most want about 3” to avoid painting too many rocks going downstream. The major rapid is a narrow tweeze between boat length rocks. The upstream rock on the left blocks a straight shot through the rapid, the downstream rock on the right forces you to turn left just above it and another rock just downstream and to the left requires an immediate downstream turn around the rightmost rock. This is a hard Class-3 move for short boats and a Houdini move for large tandem boats. Very easy to pin here. At high water there is a Class-2 sneak on the right that can also be used as a portage route in low water. The rest of the run is a mix of Class-2 rapids. If the creek is a little too low, try the nearby Thornton River.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-06-05 20:36:17


Stream team editor

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.
August 5 2018 (107 days ago)
Mike MartinDetails
Here's the latest strainer for the Covington. I paddled the Covington from the Rt. 6222 put in to
Rock Mills with 4 other Blue Ridge Voyagers Canoe Club members on Aug. 5 after a deluge made the
Battle Run USGS gauge hit 2,000 CFS around 2 a.m. It had been wet all week and the gauge had
dropped to 500 by 8:00 and, and everything in the area was running high and after heavy rain the
night before. We finally put on around 1 pm with an estimated 10" of water and fell to about 3" by
5:00. Anyhow, we had been warned* about a dangerous strainer around a blind corner where the river
makes a sharp turn to the right due to a cliff on river left. It may be visible from the tiny, one
boat eddy on the left-side eddy just above the turn. I marked the landing/portage point on river
right (an easy drag around) with hot pink plastic streamers like surveyors use. The strainer in
question is medium sized pine tree that can be cut with a chain saw, and the dangerous branches
that point down into the water could be removed with hand saws at low water. The strainer is
located about 500 yards above the first bridge. This strainer is a deadly trap for anyone who winds
up in it, so heads up to anyone who runs the river while it remains there. The other obstructions
were easily visible by eddy-hopping. Tip: Don't crowd your probe or the boat in front of you. Logs
bar the usual route at Volkswagen Rock. The rapid was runnable by setting up on river left and
ferrying across right above the main log. One of our group made the move; one swam under the log,
while the rest of us opted for an easy drag around. Another strainer further downstream required a
short drag around; We fit under two limbo logs with no problems for open boaters, and had a few
tight squeezes . What a joy is was to run this gem in August sunshine! *Thanks to Bharris for his
6/24 report here and to BRV members Ron Knipling, Jenny Thomas, and Jim Long and others who sent
descriptions from their trips earlier after I put proposed the trip to the BRV and CCA email lists.
June 24 2018 (150 days ago)
bharris (160097)
What a great run! I ran this yesterday when the Battle Run gauge was at about 450 CFS and the
painted gauge on the Thornton (at Rock Mills) was 2.9 feet. This seemed like a perfect level. I
didn't hit any rocks and I could still make the micro eddies to avoid downed trees. THERE IS ONE
TREE TO WATCH OUT FOR. It is early in the run, not too far after the first decent rapid. There is a
sharp blind turn to the right and there's a pine tree with multiple branches all the way across.
Luckily there are a few micro eddies on the left. There was also a log in the chute at VW rock
rapid and a big tree across the river at the top of what I thought was the best rapid, a slide
below the bridge. This rapid can still be run if you walk around the first of two trees. The run is
4.5 miles long (Grove 1992). The directions and title on this page are unclear. I didn't see the
Rappahannock School, 622 crosses the river twice, and the point on the map for the putin seems to
be in the wrong place. The putin is at 38.672875, -78.170387.
June 5 2009 (3456 days ago)
Chris MoylesDetails
Run 06/05/09 - 6" on bridge gauge - Multiple strainers (7) including at the put in, one across the
top of VW rapid and one 100 yards further down at the Boof Slide rapid. Higher levels will push you
into these, both are around blind corners. I will try to get in at low water and remove these ASAP.
One strainer will not be cleared for years, massive Oak below the first drop, 200 yards from the
May 4 2009 (3488 days ago)
Chris MoylesDetails
Gauge was wrong, but is now calibrated to Battle Run, a nearby, comparable watershed; however, when
rainfall is spotty, there are no assurances. Note: This gauge is on a much smaller stream on the
other side of a ridge - email: Chris@fauquierhousing.org if you want a level check, i live nearby.
It has only run (barely) once in 2009.
March 7 2008 (3910 days ago)
x (1)
Upper Section Run March 2, 2008 1 ' at bridge marker- Shade Road to Hunters Road - 3 mile section
*One strainer in eddy 200 yards below Red Shed rapid *One strainer river left at Japanese House
rapid - between 2nd and 3rd ledge- runnable river right or center -left equals pin -
December 2 2005 (4737 days ago)
chris moylesDetails
Run Nov. 29th and 30th 2005-
One big log right at the top of the VW drop-
Can sneak right or boof left (if you are a bit crazy -very tight sequence!

March 30 2005 (4983 days ago)
Chris MoylesDetails
Run March 28-2005 at 1 foot marker at put in-
One three-log strainer 400 yards above Hunter's Mill bridge. Will try to clear it this week.

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