Just ran this tandem at 550 cfs and it was plenty of water for a fun trip. The real minimum for tandem canoe is more like 300 cfs or 3 feet on the Palmyra gauge. Might need more than that for a kayak.
The dam at the old Woolen Mills is long gone now. Your best bet for putting in is now on the north side of the river at Darden Towe Park. This makes for a little longer run but you get more time on the water and less time running the shuttle by not having to go all the way down Market Street.
The minimum of 600 cfs is too high. Ran it a couple of weeks ago at 520 cfs and there was plenty of water. There are also steps at the takeout which make the climb up the bank much easier.
Previous comment about strainer removed as the strainer has long since washed away. Ran the river yesterday (03/31/2012) at around 850cfs which provided for a fast, fun, and very technical trip. The only time I've run this trip previously, we were at 200cfs and might as well have hiked with as low as the water was. Even at that low a flow, it was still runnable, but very, very scrape-y.
At 850cfs this river is delightful for anyone in need of a good warm-up run for the beginning of the season, or for teaching novices to run some slightly bigger/longer and more technical rapids.
The river main page should probably be updated as the better put-in is now Darden Towe Park which has ample parking and a designated (and free!) public boat ramp. This adds a few class I-II- rapids into the trip and provides for a much easier entrance to the river.
The best rapids on this trip are between the I-64 bridge and the bridge at Milton/Shadwell just before the take-out. There are 3 sizable drops on this stretch which provide for excellent teaching opportunities.
The take-out is poorly marked (not much more than a game-trail when seen from the river) and the embankment you have to climb is steep, but the carry to the parking area is thankfully short. Once you're past the bridge at Shadwell, look for the next set of riffles just under the overhead power-lines. The take out is actually in the middle of these riffles on river left.
Above about 1,500 cfs, there is a really fun play wave in the rapid above the Shadwell bridge. If there's nothing else going, it's worth some time, especially when the level gets to 3K or more. Have fun!
Gauge is about 20 miles downstream from run.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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First lower rapid
first complex rapid
Really, Really Low
Yeah, it was low...
That's some fancy boat stackin' Lou!
Sometimes flatwater offers a nice surprise
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