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Difficulty I-IV
Length 32.5 Miles
Gauge POTTS CREEK NEAR COVINGTON, VA
Flow Range 180 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 15 hours ago 39.2 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/18/2008 4:26 pm

River Description


There's a campground near Paint Bank, which seems to be the popular section of this creek to run. It's probably Class II-III.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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n/a
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10 years ago

3.8 ft is a personal cut-off low. Around 4.5ft. is a sweet level but the current is very swift for Novices. Anything above I wouldn't recommend for Practiced Novices.

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Philip Young
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10 years ago

Ran this at 3.4 feet or 350 cfs. The minimum on this should probably be 300 cfs (not 180), same as Corbett (at least if you are putting in at Paint Bank). Very pretty class II-III run with a fair amount of maneuvering and an occasional scrape at this level. The strainer below the first bridge is still there, and had to be portaged. The second ledge (a lot like the first ledge at the FS campground) is just below this strainer. We floated to the third bridge-- more pools, but some interesting rapids, and one low water bridge.

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Jimmy Thomas
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10 years ago

Ran from Paint Bank to second Rt. 18 bridge on 5-10-09 at a level just under 5 feet. We found that where the creek splits, if you go far right, almost like making a u-turn away from most of the flow, the main strainer section is avoidable. We were able to get under the wires on far river left, but anything 5 feet or over would likely require a portage. Just after the first bridge there is a tree across the creek, and at this level we were able to slide over it. At lower water this may also require a portage. Just after the tree, another nice drop and then the rapids mellow out a bit, but still fun, until the second bridge where we took out.

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John
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10 years ago

Ran the section of Potts again at higher water than previous and was def. a step up. class 3 + for sure. a few must make moves and 2 wires across the creek from Paint Bank putin to take out at Steel Bridge campground. water was at 4.5 or a little higher on gauge. -cam I ran this with cam on 1-7-09 after 2 inches of local rainfall - brought up this section to 4.5 ft. We ran from the Paint bank Depot Lodge down to the Steel Bridge Campground - around 2 miles in about 45 mins braving the end of the storm, sleet, rain, and gusty wind. The first place to watch at higher flows is within the first 1/4 mile when the creeak cuts right away from the road, this is an area where the creek splits several times around several islands creating a maze of sorts leaving you to scout or guess for the best route - beware of strainers, this was the only place we found strainers requiring portage. The next major concern is just before the Depot Lodge Outfiiter (see photo), There is a 75 yard rapid with a couple small strainers in this section that require you to move left to right to left and end with a double cable from an old bridge that crosses the creek. We were able to move far river left and squeeze under the cable - at higher flows (5+ ft.) this will probably become a mandatory portage; make sure to scout it before you round the bend into the rapid. If you are on the water there should be a smaller 'precursor cable' hanging across just upstream of the bend before the rapid with a hanging sign that says something about trout or tresspassing or both or neither. . Then all is well and boat scoutable until you reach the campground where the real fun begins and gradient picks up for a 1/4 mile. Running along side the campgound, take out before going under the next bridge and hike back through the campground to shuttle. Potts Creek continues to grow in size and flow from here to Covington & runs through some beutiful scenery and along amazing cliffs.

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11 years ago

8/13/06 Have run a couple of areas of Potts. Great at 2.8 feet. Had to portage over one low water bridge. Scenery was spectacular. Creek moves along well and has some fun rapids. Cows in the creek a bonus! Lot of fun for beginner kayakers and intermediates! Will have the river to yourself most of the time.

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11 years ago

4-29-08Some good rain brought this creek up fairly well this weekend. The gauge in Covington read-4.5 to 4.0- and we ran the Steel Bridge campground section off of route 18. Great whitewater! walked the campground road(which is all roadside to the good whitewater.)We ran it twice, great fun.I'd say class 2 and lower 3 from what I saw and rode.- check for upcoming photos-cam

Gage Descriptions

Gauge min is based on a comment posted here which said that the creek was good at 2.8 feet (=180 cfs). It may be runnable at lower levels, also.

Permits

NA

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

article main photo

Attention Virginia Boaters!

4/24/2003
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.
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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191780 05/18/08 n/a n/a