We paddled the North Anna at 4,560 cfs (Parlow gage) yesterday and it was fun and fast. Not sure where an upper limit on this river might be, but it is certainly fun at this level. Our group consisted of two K1s and we paddled the 9.5 miles in 1 hr 40 min. We didn't stop to scout the falls since the trail on river right was underwater most likely.
Today we paddled the North Anna at 2,200 cfs on the upstream gage (Parlow Gage), 2,400 cfs on the downstream gage (Heart Gage) and 4 feet on the painted marks on the bridge at the put in. Our group included two K1s and an OC1. We launched at 10:45 from the Butler Ford Bridge (Route 601). The first half of the trip was fairly pedestrian and there were a few waves to surf, but most of the features were washed out. The second half of the trip had a little more action. About a mile or two above the falls line rapid, the whitewater increased and we had some fun picking our way through the braided channels that form at this level. Just upstream of the falls, we pulled over to the right bank to scout. The trail that you use to scout this rapid was almost level with the water and at some points was underwater. The falls looked fairly straight forward and there was no wood in to worry about. There were a couple decent sized holes, but nothing that overly concerned us. We all decided on a line that was right of center and only 10-20 feet off the right bank. Everyone had a clean run, and we enjoyed it enough to carry back up the island and run a different line left of center and close to the left bank of the island. The sneak route on river left that goes around the island was also doable but we didn’t have the energy to carry up again and try to run that line. The remainder of the trip was fast moving flat water and we pulled into the takeout on Route 1 at 2pm. According to my GPS we traveled 10 miles in about 3hrs and 15 minutes including time for scouting the falls and eating lunch on the river.
We ran this section 12-11-09 @ 1260 on the Partlow gauge and 1890 on the Doswell gauge. The timing here seems crucial because the river gets most of its water from the releases @ Lake Anna. Because of the heavy rains they have been releasing up to 2,000- 3,000 cfs (more than enough to make it a fun run). It took 3.5 hours to run the full 9.5 miles, stopping only once to scout and playing a little on the way. The first few miles had some small features, sm waves and holes to play in, the sections were spread out with @ 1/2 mile flatwater between rapids. It does braid quite a bit and provide some cool different lines and options. About half way through you start to hit some bigger rapids (class II+/III) and the flatwater sections get smaller. The major rapid that is talked about if the Fall Line Rapid. This was a Class III + (IV) at this level and a must scout . We scouted from the left bank, the far right lines looked fun but had some big holes and pourovers. We took the far left line and dropped a nice big rockslide/chute then portaged the island to run the rest to the main flow. Before we put back in to run the rest of the rapid we got a chance to see how big and nasty the far right side looked. After fall line it does flatten out and its a quick paddle to the takeout. Overall this is a great run , great scenery, fun at @ 1000 to 2000 cfs. I'll post some pics from the trip.
1.There is a USGS gauge for this river! It is the “North Anna River at Doswell.” Can the StreamKeeper please post it? You actually pass it on this float after the Fall Line rapid.
2.Fall Line rapid has a portage trail on river left, if you skirt the left bank as you approach the rapid you should see it
3.I have pictures of fall line rapid I’d like to post here if the Stream Keeper would contact me.
17 May 03: There is a $1.00 per boat put-in fee at the route 601 bridge (Butler Crossing) in accordance with the Float Fisherman of Virginia sign posted there. This run definitely needs a relatively high level of water to adequately negotiate the Class III at the fall line, about 8 miles into the trip. Great scenery, pristine and natural. Easy run except for the rapids at the fall line. Try the fishing, but be sure you have a valid license! Fritz Crytzer
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Dropping the sneak on river left.
Fall Line Rapid North Side
Fall Line Rapid
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