Four Mile Run - Ohio Street to Arlington Ridge Rd


Four Mile Run, Virginia, US

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Ohio Street to Arlington Ridge Rd

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 4.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 36 fpm
Max Gradient 50 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
FOURMILE RUN AT ALEXANDRIA, VA
usgs-01652500 400 - 5000 cfs III 00h24m 22 cfs (too low)


River Description

Ed Evangelidi testifies:
This creek is rarely run for a long distance due to the pain of numerous dangerous low water bridges, many of which are found around blind turns. Most paddlers concentrate on sections that contain “interesting” rapids. The upper reach has a sloping rapid of at least 6’ that funnels into a mean looking hydraulic. The middle section has long stretches of nice rapids and above Columbia Pike is an interesting set of rocky slalom routes that are fortunately well between two low water bridges. Below Columbia Pike the creek is fairly channelized between flood walls but still throws up occasional rapids. The creek is extremely flashy and rarely stays up for as long as an hour. The stream has a junkyard quality to it with every type of debris lying about but it once had a fancy swim club in the 1800’s that used a dammed up pool (remnants still visible) in Glen Carlyn Park.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2002-07-01 07:01:35

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 15 2002 (5969 days ago)
Stephen J. EttingerDetails
Alf Cooley and I ran this in July 2002 from Ohio St. to below Geo. Mason Drive (3.5 miles), after a
one-inch rainfall. (We checked out but didn't run the class IV chute just above Ohio St.) There is
easy whitewater (class I-II) almost the entire way, with one tougher section that reaches 100
ft/mile for 1/3 mile from Glencarlyn Park (2.2 miles) to Columbia Pike (2.9 miles). The only place
we needed to scout was a class III+, 5-ft. ledge, that could be run in the middle. We had to
portage 6 low-water bridges from the bicycle path. The first two, above Glencarlyn Park, come upon
you around turns with little warning, while the latter four can be seen well in advance
(fortunately, as they have no eddies nearby). Lots of overhanging branches in the first mile, but
not much after that, and no streamwide tree strainers at all. Overall, it is an enjoyable trip, but
you should only do it at low water so as not to get swept into the bicycle bridges. And if you get
to the put in and find the creek high, just wait awhile, as it falls very fast; it went from 600
cfs (too high) at the gauge to 230 cfs (too low) in 2 hours.


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