At least five good catch on the fly surf spots can be caught running center to center-left in this rapid. At least one of these allows cartwheels at prime levels. There is a playspot bottom right of rapid around 3ft at a wide but shallow ledge which is gentle and big enough for two boaters to play in at the same time. (Excellent horizontal play.) Around 4ft there is a wave/hole bottom left of this rapid.
This is a fairly good park and play spot on river left at the Brooks Daypark on River Road going toward Sandstone Falls. Video of surf. Surfable down to 2.5'. Ideal at 7500 - 10000 CFS, 2.7' - 3.6'. Ends possible at 8500 - 10000 CFS, 3.3' - 3.6' (in short boat).
This is a ledge drop of about 4 feet or so if run center of the right of island channel. Run left of island for a complete sneak or river right bank of island or far right to sneak this ledge hole that can get nasty. Easy boof for intermedate boaters. There have been rescues here due to unwary river users.
There are numerous earlier takeouts for novices to take advantage of that are roadside before you get to Sandstone. Sandstone Falls (far left portion) is not much fun below 10,000 CFS or 3.5ft. It gets boney and you just end up doing a seal launch off the lip of the falls. If you do choose to run the falls stay far left (no farther than twenty feet off the river left bank). There is a 15 ft slide before you get to the pool above the falls. Picture of Slide Take out in the pool below the slide and scout the falls from the boardwalk. The preferred line is the highest drop and the cleanest (shown in pic). Other lines have submerged rocks and logs that change constantly with all the debris.
There are some class IV to V drops in the river right channel. I've run the far left one (of the right channel). Bring your creek boat if you are up for these.
This rapid (directly below Sandstone Falls) is for those who enjoy huge surf. Great waves form above 5 feet, but are not eddy accessible. Easy walk, partly on boardwalk back to put in. At extremely high levels (Thurmond gauge reading somewhere in the 15-18 ft range) this is easlily 12 feet high and surfable.
Not sure if that's where I was but I was at a nice play wave. I parked at the Sandstone Park lot where you walk out on the boardwalk to view the falls from downriver. There's a huge exposed shelf type rock at 2.72 that creates a campground sized eddy. In the river center there formed about a 4' beautiful wave to surf and play in. Just wanted to post this because I couldn't believe the my son and I had this spot to ourselves and a few spectators from the boardwalk for the whole afternoon. Definitely worth checking out this wave to have some fun. The link below also has some footage from Brooks Play wave it's not very big at 2.72. Definitely not as big as it looks in the photo.
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From Robert Martin 2001-01-15 19:02:34
If you ever have a couple of hours to kill on a Sunday afternoon on your way home, check out Sandstone Falls. It is awesome. They have a nice park there with a boardwalk that will give you access to the many veiwing points. It could be run (sneaked) on the far far left. The center of the falls is a good 20'+ vertical drop and the right line is a class VI monster. "It's not for runnin', it's just for lookin at."
The Hinton gauge is located on the reach on river right 1.5 miles below the confluence of the Greenbrier River. 1.35' = 798 cfs and it has not been that low since 1988. 5.90' = 30,400 cfs. The cfs is based on rating curve #27 for the Hinton gauge.
Hinton gauge stages can also be obtained by calling 304-466-0156. The recorded message is updated every morning before 9:00 AM. Courtesy of the USACE the Bluestone Dam.
There is no real max on this run for advanced boaters; in fact, this run is at its best when extremely high. Just be sure to scout Brooks Falls and Sandstone Falls. Ran it at around 7ft and it was BIG WATER for sure.
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Brooks Falls River Right
Better view showing foam pile.
Nice wave at high water
Brian hitting the boof.
Brooks Falls from river right cliff
Brooks bow stall
Popping through a hole river right
Wishing I had brought floatation
Approach 2 to Brooks Falls
Approach to Brooks Falls River Right
Brooks Falls river left line
Brooks rapid view from center of river
Brooks rapid play wave
Sandstone Falls runnable section entire view
slide above Sandstone Falls far left
above Brooks Falls
Brooks Falls left line from above
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