Tye - 3. US 29 to James River

Tye, Virginia, US


3. US 29 to James River (Lower Tye)

Usual Difficulty I-II(III) (for normal flows)
Length 12.5 Miles

Lower Tye Local

Lower Tye Local
Photo of Peyton Galloway taken 5/2006

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02027000 150 - 10000 cfs I-II(III) 01h07m 201 cfs (running)
Upper limit for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.

River Description

The Lower Tye is a great option for those looking for some mild whitewater in an undeveloped and fairly scenic setting. This section is popular with everyone from family floaters to inner-tubers. The usual hazards (foot entrapment, wood or "strainers" in the flow, etc.) apply, but generally the river handles a wide range of flows. 

This section is the sight of an annual downriver race and family-friendly gathering put on by Nelson County Parks & Recreation and the Nelson Area Paddlers. The race is usually the first weekend in May. 

Take-out: You have at least two options for take-out points.

1. The first option - making for a shorter trip - is the Falling Rock Road (Rt. 654) bridge. There is some parking along the road on the river-right side of the bridge. This can also be used as a put-in point for a trip down the lower part of this stream reach.

2. The lower option - making for a longer run - is to take-out at the confluence with Rucker Run. The coordinates used on this webpage correspond to the Rucker Run confluence. Be aware that the access to this spot is unclear. There have been some issues with access here and reportedly law enforcement may have warned - or ticketed (?) - paddlers trying to cross the field from the river to the parking area, which is actually adjacent to the bridge over Rucker Run. Please respect private property and do not even think of driving across the field between the road and the Tye River.

Put-in:  There may be a few options for put-in access as well

1. The put-in coordinates used for this webpage are on South Powell Island Road. Stay away from areas that are posted against trespassing and use judgement. Some folks access the river at a point known as "hippie hole" along this road.

2. There is private access at the end of South Powell Island Rd. that is closest to Tye River Road. You may need to ask permission to launch here, and park in the appropriate location designated by the landowner.

3. Falling Rock Road is a lower option. See the description above.



StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-30 20:56:03


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.
April 27 2017 (593 days ago)
TheHerbwitch (159048)
We ran this stretch today from US 29 through the confluence to the Wingina boat ramp on the James
below JRSP. The Tye was at 341cfs when we put on and 304 cfs when we took out. I think it would
have been perfect with just a little more water to pad a few of the rough places. I wouldn't
recommend this run below 300 cfs because you need the extra water to get you to the confluence in a
timely fashon. At this level, most of the river was made up of class 2 wavetrains with several nice
class 3 spots in between. This stretch is fast, secluded and fun. Total run time was @7 hours with
a couple of extended breaks.
April 30 2012 (2416 days ago)
x (1)
The dam mentioned in the description was removed in July 2007. That means that you can now put on
the Piney and take off on the Tye.
July 6 2011 (2715 days ago)
steveriddle (153302)
At the begining of June 2011 we did this run at 76cfs and it wasn't bad. Did it in my Old Town 158
and had no problems and the fishing is GREAT !!!
July 6 2011 (2715 days ago)
x (1)
6/22/2010. We are kayaking at 032cfs. We'll let you know how it goes. Anyone paddle this level
before? It took us about 12 hours of dragging our kayak at 32cfs we went today 6/20/11 300cfs and
did it in 3.5 hours an excellent run after a good rain the night before. Would not want to run it
below 200cfs
July 14 2006 (4533 days ago)
Gus OsimitzDetails
We paddled the lower Tye on 7-2-2006 at 180 cfs - very nice in an open canoe - would be fun in a
kayak. We paddled it in ww-kayaks on 7-7-2006 at 120 cfs - scraped a bit in several places - I
would not recommend the river at 120 cfs or below.

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating