Rappahannock, Virginia, US
1. Route 647 (near confluence with Jordan R.) to Route 211 (Upper Rappahannock)
||I-II (for normal flows)
More of a creek than a river at this point, the upper Rappahannock is a swift flowing stream
featuring tight maneuvering, downed trees, abundant wildlife and beautiful rock formations. It is
an excellent Class I-II open canoe run for low intermediate paddlers who can deal with strainers or
the shepherded practiced novice.
The rapids are primarily sand and gravel bar riffles and tight, curvy chutes formed by rock
outcroppings and a handful of easy rock garden rapids. In June 2001, there were several strainers
on the run. Most could be lifted over and a handful required ducking. A particularly difficult spot
is located just below Tapp's Ford Rd. (Rte. 645), which is the recommended interim putin. The
stream narrows to a 6 foot wide right side channel and passes under three downed trees. All of
these can be negotiated but the channel is somewhat blind. Rock formations are present throughout
the run. The author saw 7 beaver, muskrat and deer while paddling here.
Access is first described for the lower 7.5 miles of this section. This is the suggested run here
because the entire 13.5 will probably take 6 or more hours due the number of strainers up high. The
7.5 mile takes about 4 hours. Putin at the Va. Rte. 645 one-lane bridge (Tapp's Ford Road). Ask
permission to pull down to the river at the house on the northeast side of the bridge. Takeout at
the public access at the Hwy 211 bridge. There are several shuttle options, but a good one involves
driving west from the takeout on 211, taking a right turn onto 645, veering right at the first Y in
the road and staying straight to the putin bridge. The upper putin can be reached either by staying
on 645 to Rte. 647 and turning left, or taking Hwy. 522 off 211 to Rte. 647 at Flint Hill, VA.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2006-07-25 05:43:25