This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III
Length 4.5 Miles
Gauge FOURMILE RUN AT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Flow Range 400 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 24 minutes ago 15.7 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/01/2002 7:01 am

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 Âinteresting 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 1800Âs that used a dammed up pool (remnants still visible) in Glen Carlyn Park.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

default user thumbnail
n/a
|
14 years ago

Jeez, this might be my only first descent--1971?? In a Grumman, if anyone here remembers what that is!

default user thumbnail
Stephen J. Ettinger
|
16 years ago

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.

Summary of Gauge Readings

Ed Evangelidi testifies:
River gauges are useless for this flashy stream but rain gauges might let you catch this feisty creek. Figure on at least 2” of downpour unless you are living within sight of the creek & can launch right away before the rain stops.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
FOURMILE RUN AT ALEXANDRIA, VA
AW Gauge Info
16 cfs 00h24m n/a
;

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

;

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

article main photo

Attention Virginia Boaters!

2003-04-24 00:00:00-04
Jason Robertson

During the high waters of Spring 2003, there has been a noticeable increase in reported confrontations between boaters and property owners in Virginia. Please remember to be respectful and courteous to property owners; do not trespass; and avoid confrontation in order to preserve access in the future.
user-avatar

Matt Muir