This section starts off with a class III- rock garden just upstream of the bridge, and never slows down much. The initial mile is fine -- long class II+ and III- rock gardens, and nice scenery. Then comes the first dangerous spot, where the collapsed bridge to the Rose River Center (a religious retreat) leaves only a narrow, strainer-attracting channel on the right. Scout this before you put in, and/or eddy out on the left just above it. Half a mile below there is a low-water bridge to Graves Mountain Lodge; pull out well above and portage. Not long after comes a low weir followed by a short, steep class III rapid that contains a partially floating metal pipe (a strainer at low levels) and sometimes fallen trees as well. Make sure you scout this before running it, as the pipe can be quite dangerous. And then, after a class III rock garden and a short pool, the horizon line disappears. A pair of huge boulders split a class III+, 6-foot drop into 3 channels; the left one is tortuous, but the middle and right routes are more straightforward.
The final mile has been re-engineered to a uniform 50-foot width, with boulders on all sides, and horseshoe-shaped rock weirs (with openings in the middle) to control the destructive tendencies of high water with a 70-feet/mile gradient. Take out at the small dirt pullover a quarter mile below the confluence with the Robinson, at SR 649 in another quarter mile, or continue further down the Robinson.
In very high water, for advanced paddlers, you might put in 1.2 miles further upstream, at Rte. 670, where the gradient averages 120 ft/mile. I don't know what's in this stretch.
Note that there have been negative interactions with a hostile angler claiming to be a landowner on this reach.
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
This is a case of driving upstream and biting off what you can chew or what might have enough water. The upper reaches are not accessible except by carrying up a trail; but anyone that can deal with this kind of advanced to expert water wonÂt be stopped by a little extra footwork. The lower few miles are a nice Cl 3 but watch out for an old piling abutment that tends to catch wood and block the stream. Also note that just below (50 yards?) the bridge into Graves Mountain Lodge is a semifloating anchored piece of plastic pipe that could strangle a paddler. Scout this danger twice. When you get there but also when you come down river as the creek drops fast and a well underwater piece of plastic might be just enough above water to slide your boat under (but not you) when the creek drops an hour later. Since this run is so short, you just gotta continue on down the Robinson rapids to Rte. 231. Culpeper gauge correlation is good for historical data as the creek and gauge readings both drop fast from this level.
Lat/longitude coords are just a guide, to get you into the ballpark.
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