Russell Fork, Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+ (for normal flows)|
|Russell Fork Gorge|
|virtual-6393||400 - 1500 cfs||II-III+||00h22m||517 cfs (running)|
The Russell Fork from Bartlick Bridge to Garden Hole makes for a nice intermediate whitewater paddle for those not comfortable running the more challenging Russell Fork Gorge section. There are several nice rapids in the Bartlick to Garden Hole reach which is sometimes run in conjunction with stretch from the Flannagan Dam on the Pound River tributary during the annual fall whitewater releases every weekend in October.
Check out the RussellFork.info for a wealth of info & photos.
Garden Hole Takeout:
Driving east from the Breaks Interstate Park on VA80 look for the gravel Garden Hole Rd on your right. This is a steep in spots road (2-wheel drive is ok but if it's raining the mud might make it interesting for some) that is often used as a putin for the RF Gorge section.
Following VA80 east towards Haysi,VA look for VA611 on the right about 5-6miles past the Breaks Park. follow VA611 till it crosses the Russell Fork at the Bartlick Bridge.
Stay on VA80 into Haysi. Do not turn off the road (VA80 veers away in downtown) and follow the river through downtown. The road continues on river right past downtown, parking is about a half mile from downtown on the left side of the road across from an appliance store.