New, Virginia, US
07. Ripplemead to Pearisburg (Ripplemead to Bluff City)
||I-II (for normal flows)
New RiverPhoto taken 08/01/16
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 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.
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Last Updated: 2018-07-13 13:32:13