Rt 820 to the confluence with the Little Dry River is a great little run! Ran at 4.3ft. Only hazards are 2 concrete fords (portage), low bridge (fine today, but will be trouble at 6ft), one 2/3 river wide strainer (sneak on right), and a massive river wide strainer pile extravaganza (obvious portage). All visible from a distance. I'd advise against taking a complete beginner due to the small size of the eddies above hazards. An advanced beginner or intermediate paddler would be fine. Approx. 8 miles.
The 6 mile run from the Rt. 42 bridge in Timberville to the Rt. 617 bridge near New Market is a great section to introduce beginner/intermediate paddlers to slightly pushier water (with an emphasis on slightly). The run takes about 2 hours in a white water kayak, I'm sure a canoe would shorten that quite a bit. About 1.5 miles upstream from the 617 bridge, there is a decent sized Class III rapid followed by a small wave train. I guess it'd be called "Serpent Castle" rapid because a hand painted rock sign that reads "Serpent Castle" is displayed on the large 8 foot tall rock formation on river right just before the rapid (this area also makes a great scout/portage for those a little nervous about it running it). You'll know the rapid is just ahead when the river makes a sharp bend to the left and the rock formation comes into view. A word of caution for those who chose to surf: there is a rock just under the surface in the wave after the main drop. If you get flipped in the left side of the rapid (facing upstream), odds are pretty good you'll get pushed right against it. Overall, not a bad little day trip, recommend this one for sure.
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