New - 07. Ripplemead to Pearisburg

New, Virginia, US


07. Ripplemead to Pearisburg (Ripplemead to Bluff City)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 8 Miles

New River

New River
Photo taken 08/01/16

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03176500 3.00 - 6.90 ft I-II 00h19m 5.63 ft (running)

River Description

Click here for a very useful map for this section, and most sections of the New River in VA.

Andrea Jones related:
The first rapid mentioned below sounds like the long class II rapid that has John Boat Hole at the top right of it. JB Hole has been known to cause some long swims by inexperienced boaters. The second rapid mentioned is also known (years ago) to have some large fresh-water sponges below the ledge in the middle of the river. You'd have to have low, clear water and a snorkel to see them, if they are still there. The beach is only there at lower water levels. There is another rapid after a long, slow wide section of the river that is called Clendennin Shoals. It is about a 100 yds long and is marked by a very large rock on the shore at river left from which comes out a small ledge. Below the ledge, the current funnels to the bottom left of the rapid in a narrowing shoals with a good-sized hole at the bottom. Best place to run it is start center and end bottom left, punching the hole square. Right side is very shallow. This hole does wash out at higher levels. About 3/4 of a mile after Clendennin Shoals, there is a large island that has most of the current running to the right. There is usually enough water to run the left side, but be careful of log debris at the old mill (or something) site, just before you get back to the main current of the river. NOTE: This will bring you out just above the take out. It isn't hard to attain back upstream to reach the two large ledges mentioned below.
One more suggestion. At the takeout, park your shuttle vehicle in the Wades parking lot at the top of the hill. It is not recommended to park under the bridge near the river.

Will Stauffer-Norris shared:
The put-in for this stretch is immediately after the Highway 460 bridge over the river on the right. You need to follow the road all the way down past the railroad tracks, passing back under the bridge.
The actual run is mostly easy class I-II whitewater. The rapids are almost all formed by ledges, so there will be a short rapid followed by a long stretch of flatwater. There are no named rapids along the stretch as far as I know. The largest is probably class II+, identified by a turn to the left and a large boulder in the center-right that forms a hole at high water. Another notable spot is a short, turbulent wave train (run river right) with a good-sized gravel beach on the right below it (good for eating lunch!).
Playboaters should not overlook the wave at the bottom of the last rapid; a ledge forms a nice-sized hole at levels between 2.5 and 3.5 ft. Park-and-play is very easy-- just park at the take out under the bridge and paddle up the huge eddy behind the island.
The take out for the run is right underneath another Highway 460 bridge, at Bluff City.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-07-13 13:32:13

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 6 2018 (137 days ago)
KayakPat (159939)
Ran this section on 7/4/2018 with the water level approx 3.5 Rapids were fun but the shelves were a
little scrapey. I don't think I'd do it again if the water was much lower.
May 27 2013 (2003 days ago)
acercanto (155471)
Ran this on 5/26/13 at approximately +5'. At this level, most of the normal rapids are washed out,
but others came in and made it an entertaining run. The first busted dam was completely washed out
and just presented a nice long wave train. There were a few nice standing waves about halfway down
that made for some fun times. Overall, very runnable at this level for beginners, but also fun for
the more adventurous.

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