Cub Run - Route 29 bridge to Compton Road

Cub Run, Virginia, US


Route 29 bridge to Compton Road

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 17 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Cub Run

Cub Run
Photo of Jim Pruitt by Mark DeAgazio taken 2001 @ 1 foot RC

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01644280 5.00 - 9.00 ft I-III 01h29m 3.19 ft (too low)

River Description


Call this a suburban creek run through a short but pretty gorge rimmed by townhouses. Offers Class III rapids in the first 1 1/2 miles then eases up. The water is usually brown with urban runoff and silt from Northern Virginia development. Multiple runs can be made by using an interim takeout at 2 miles. The first few rapids can be scouted by walking down to the creek from the adjacent townhouse complex on the east side of the creek.


Access the putin by offloading boats on the downstream side of the bridge and parking on the access road on the northeast side of the Cub Run bridge on Route 29 (watch the No Parking zone) Takeout at Compton Road bridge. Compton Rd. is reached by going west on Route 29 for one mile and taking the left turn on Bull Run Post Office Road. Go another 1.1 miles to left on Compton Road. In less than 2 miles you'll come to a bridge over Cub Run. Park on the upstream side across from the water treatment plant. A longer 3.5 mile run can be had by paddling to the confluence with Bull Run and then to the Route 28 takeout.


Just below the putin you encounter some Class II water before a steeper boulder garden slalom with a good entrance at center left. The next drop is a set of two ledges forming a Class III. There is often wood in one of the slots through these ledges. Run the next drop on the far left. Just below here a bike path ford marks the end of scoutable rapids and the location of a small creek that enters on river left. You can carry up the path and run the creek, Big Rocky Run, down for some short but fun Class III micro stream practice (This little creek will be scrapey until about 3 ft. Note the creek drainage includes a water treatment facility.) A couple Class II drops lead to the final rapid, a steep Class II+ slalom course mixed with standing waves.

After that, it's a few gravel bars and some moving water to the takeout.

John Alden says: "A fine surfing wave forms at the confluence of Big Rocky Run....and Cub Run as the level approaches 3 feet on the Route 29 gauge. It is a steep, fast wave with good eddy access on river left.

"For multiple runs you can eliminate the shuttle by taking out on river right at the powerline crossing and carrying back to the pedestal foot bridge and ferrying across to river left. A full run from Route 29 to the powerline crossing and the hike back to the put-in can be done in thirty minutes (without scouting)."

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-03-10 18:50:28

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.
September 9 2011 (2627 days ago)
jkinnick1 (153512)
My wife and I went this morning at 7am, when it was 9.6feet... which is above the recommended
level. It was totally crazy. We're not that experienced kayakers, but the waves where 6feet plus.
For example, a tree we used to go under when it was 5.5feet was now totally covered and made a huge
rapid. The good thing was that the logs going across that normally get ya were covered up, the
problem is that it was one continuously hugemongous rapid that didn't stop. We both bailed, but
fortunately we're ok, although we lost a bright green Dagger Showdown. If anyone finds it please
let us know! Thanks and God bless you all! Happy Kayaking!
May 19 2011 (2740 days ago)
Nik and Allison WhiteDetails
The two pipe bridges have been removed however, 2 river wide strainers remain. First, 10 yards
downstream of the first path crossing there is a river wide log jam that sneaks up on you very
quickly. Seeing how close this is to the put-in I'd recommend just walking down the path and
putting in downstream of the logs. The second log is about 300 yards downstream of the first but is
easily portaged on the left. As for runnable level, the removal of the first pipe bridge seems to
have lowered water levels at the bridge gauge. We ran it at about -0.8 on the bridge gauge (just
below where the concrete pour line is on the bridge) and it was scrapey but runnable. Probably a
good minimum.
April 17 2011 (2772 days ago)
Jason Details
There is currently two pipe bridge crossings that are a must scout before you run. The first one is
just down from the route 29 bridge and the other is at the foot crossing next to big rocky run. I
found a link that describes what all of the construction is all about. Check out: I am not sure if they are going
to remove the pipe bridges but the construction is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2011.
March 10 2011 (2810 days ago)
sapien (152235)
There's an actual gauge on Cub Run at Compton Rd -- you can get a reading at (login as guest/guest) and click on station ST50. Those
familiar with the run should be able to deduce a good level -- looks like it normally reads about 1
ft lower than the Broad Run gauge, although on 3/7/11 it crested at 12 ft(!) and 4400 CFS.
October 14 2010 (2957 days ago)
Chris PreperatoDetails
A thought on gauges. While the Broad Run gauge has been a decent correlation, I believe I found a
better gauge while messing around on the USGS site: Its FLATLICK BRANCH ABOVE FROG BRANCH AT
CHANTILLY, VA....which it so happens is a tributary that runs into Cub Run about a mile above the
standard whitewater run (check the Site Map to verify) Right now, with about 3/4" rain in the area,
its showing about 60cfs and 1.6ft...not sure what the Cub Run bridge gauge is at, but I doubt its
running yet. If people posted what their runs on the bridge were and what this gauge was at, I bet
we could get a reliable correlation.
April 17 2010 (3137 days ago)
Courtney CaldwellDetails
There is a temporary sewer pipe strung across Cub Run at the second footpath crossing, just above
the confluence with Big Rocky Run. This will form a perfect deadly strainer at certain water
levels. Imagine a round pipe with water flowing under it into a comb of concrete stepping stones.
September 27 2009 (3339 days ago)
x (1)
Ran it today at 0' on the bridge gauge...wouldn't want to run it any lower than that, and it was a
bit scrapey. The log at the bend is still there, though the bottom of the log was at river
level...when I ran the creek back in June (around 2' on bridge gauge), I didn't notice the log, so
I imagine it was underwater. The gauge at Broad run read 250cfs, or 4.5ft, and was just peaking
when we put you can probably do it a bit below 5ft
May 28 2009 (3461 days ago)
x (1)
cub run is a wild ride, i was thinking of runnin' it this past Tues...way too high!
May 5 2009 (3484 days ago)
x (1)
This is a great creek to run but watch out for strainers and the log across it right before the
first rapids as Jason said. Plan for next Monday again Jason. 7.2 feet this little creek is pure
May 4 2009 (3485 days ago)
Jason Details
6.5 feet is a good running level. There is one good size strainer tree stretched across the whole
creek about 1/2 mile past the put-in at the route 29 bridge. It is right after a bend in the creek.
At this level it was only about 1 1/2 feet above the water. Protage this spot and put in right
after the log and it is smooth sailing the rest of the way. Also ran Big Rocky Run, there is one
good size strainer, but it had enough room to duck under it, the main run on this was smooth. After
the two creek meet move to the right, there is a large debre pile on the left that could propose a
snag hazard. Great day for creeking!
May 12 2008 (3842 days ago)
x (1)
13 feet is very high and creates a strainer condition--use caution above 9 feet. MIKE
November 15 2005 (4751 days ago)
Kyle BergnerDetails
Ran the lower wave train right before the bridge in October after about 3 days of solid rain. It
was goin at about 8-9 feet. LOADS of fun, but even more strainers, so be careful. Thanks to Kenneth
for the opportunity

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