This one is fire and ice. It starts with 3 miles of moving flatwater through pastoral countryside, then ends with just over a mile of Class II+ whitewater at the end.
The putin is at the Business 15/29 bridge at the Remington gauge, .5 miles west of Remington and well south of the new 15/29 bridge. The first minor rapid, Railroad Rapids, can be seen 150 yards downstream. The next three miles are flat but pretty, with 10 ft banks shielding you from the surrounding farmland. On my last trip here I saw herons, turtles and a bald eagle.
The action starts after a gas pipeline crosses the river. There is a very small drop here, and vegetation is partially cleared on both banks. After a minor rock garden, you will approach Sandy Beach Rapids, the largest rapid (Class II+) on this section of the river. This rapid can be bank scouted on the right. The actual sandy beach is posted and located below the rapid on river left.
You then pass through a succession of rock gardens as well as three more Class II rapids. As you go through the last one, the Kellys Ford bridge swings into view. Take out on river right at the public boat launch parking lot. The adventurous can run the boat launch itself, a Class II move.
Both the putin and takeout were the scenes of minor Civil War skirmishes. The Rappahannock served as a de facto border between the North and South during the war, and springtime flooding of the river complicated many a Northern general's plans.
*An Alternative put-in exists 0.85 miles north of the take-out, on Kelly's Ford Road at the Wildlife Management Access.
This access involves a 0.45 mile walk down a gravel road, then take a left at the civil war monument and follow a 200 yard faint trail system down to the river. This will put you on river right above Sandy Beach Rapid
*Another alternative put-in exists - 0.48 miles north of the put in on Summerduck road - at the Handi-cap Hunting Access. This involves a 0.25 mile hike on winding trails down to the river. This puts you at the river below Sandy Beach rapid, but a 0.25 hike/attain up the river will get you to Sandy Beach Rapid. River left, at and for a bit below Sandy beach, is private property, so ferry across to the Wildlife Management and walk if you don't want to attain.
Put in, in the town of Remington has no parking signs everywhere, spoke with friendly gal at BP gas station just on edge of town near bridge, you can park directly across from the BP at that small gravel lot--really easy walk to put in, drop boats at put in first, no berm on road. Take out at Kelly's Ford has a wooden ramp...very nice. Level was 4.34ft today, 46F air temp, sunny and the best way to spend the day after Christmas! Morgan suffered through the bountiful flat water that runs pretty much 75% of this run until we got to the class 1+ perhaps class 2 rapids near the end. Suspect Class II+ rating comes from the technical nature of the rapids when they do appear, beautiful rock gardens. Keep your eyes peeled! Great place to do river exercises as Morgan put me through ferrying back and forth across the rocky rapids, eddy hopping behind boulders from one side of river to the other as well as side surfing baby ledges. Will come back at 6ft to see some of those big boulders buried with water and producing yummy holes to play in.
There will soon be a public put-in just above the bridge, so the grumpy landowner issues will end.
Definitely leave your car in town. There is a town lot behind the Exxon and the walk is not bad. If you leave your car on the southeast side of 29 the landowner will egg it. I plan on disturbing all the wildlife, urinating and crapping on private land, shooting, littering and all because I am special.
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
There are occasional landowner problems at the put-in. Keep this in mind and keep your visit brief here. If you see fresh
The Remington Gauge is at the putin. Between 4.5 and 5.5 feet is a fun level. Above that, the rapids and drops start to wash out.
At high levels, the rapids section just becomes one long Class III wave garden.
Below 3.8 feet it gets progressively boney in places.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Rapids Above Kelly's Ford
Rapids above the bridge @ Kellys Ford
Sandy at 3'
Waves on RR
Wave train, bottom of rr sandy beach
Otter getting in hole
Sandy Beach Rapids
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!