Put in at the Parkway bridge or parkway parking lot at the dam.
Take out at the end of Rutrough Rd. Go through explore park merge right in the park come to a stop sign left onto rougtrough rd follow till dead end 4 miles round trip or so. Take out closes at dark.
Ran yesterday July 15, 2011 - just over 200 cfs (~210 cfs). Some spots were scrapy but there was ample to get down. The play at rapids was mainly eddy hopping, but there was one fun 2' wave that I could park my Gyramax on as long as I wanted - we probably stayed there a half hour or so surfing.
Joe, as far as I know there are no scheduled releases, but releases don't really make much difference in the level on this section, rain does. See JAL's comment below. Look at this website: http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydro/ If it is over 885 on the forebay then water is flowing over the dam in addition to any release, and the upper dewatered section runs. 885.5 forebay is a good level for the upper section, usually coincides with the USGS being between 4.5 to 5.5 feet. Look for a faint dirt trail that goes straight down off the main path, go down the steep slope and walk upstream to the big pool above the rapid to put in for the upper section.
Ran today at about 3,000 cfs and barely below 7'. First time down. At this level, the only significant rapid was the one that you can barely see from the bridge, with a sizable moving whirlpool on the left eddy line at the bottom. Surfed maybe 10 waves, but not a great play run at this height - you got one shot on most waves and that was it. Will have to try it lower - I presume a lot was just washed out.
Was very quick - from my house in Roanoke, paddling, and back, was 3.5 hours. Russell Bailey - Roanoke VA
i'm taking over the blank comment! i dont bother with this run below 4-5 ft.
if you want to forcast a release do the following: Notice that it is raining in Roanoke Valley (& has been). Notice that the Roanoke River has or is rising and it usually likes to go brown in color quickly. THEN check here: http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydro/ IF the forebay is higher then the 'actual pond' they ARE releasing and in all likelihood the overflow is running and the dewatered streach below the dam is running.... If the forebay is just below or right at 'actual pond' they are probably releasing ever couple hours or so. IE - if forebay is Just below full pond and you know the river is running at anything above minimum they probably have just done a release. check the gauge you can see they do regular releases when the river level is up. If the river is up and muddy anywhere in roanoke upstream you can bet they are releasing. But dont hold out any hope on catching juicy levels due to releases, it has to rain first. JAL
With the snow melt last week we got to run the gorge on March 7th level was over 3ft and 440cfs good hole all the way down. we are heading over there now it is on the rise and raining today 3/14/09 250cfs now and comming up. Great run and close to Town.
You can not depend on the releases , you need to depend on Mother nature. we got to run this on Nov. 1st after a rain it was at 3.0 . also got to surf a small hole near the take out due to the lake being so low. we paddled the original river channel that has been under water fo 20 years. make sure you are out and gone before dark, the Roanoke county police gave a flyfisherman a ticket on the 8th for trespassing at the end of Rutrough rd. at the take out! for being there after hours. FFV is working to build a set of steps at the take out. DKS
does anyone know if there is a set date and time for these water releases or are they random?
You have to depend on mother nature try to catch it at 850 CFS its a blast. Hopefully the government didn't shut down the parkway today its running at 996cfs.
Joe Shelton 4-9-2011
We ran the gorge section a few days ago, and it was a short ride and some good surfing-the level was right above 3 ft and it was awesome! Small rapids mostly small class 2's but had some fun ledges, nice scenery except trash from the dam pushing it down,also ran it at 2foot and it was not worth the time no surf (very little)and scraped all the way down oh and expect to share the river with some fishermen too-even a small seal launch at the end-woo-hoo. I'll be back for more gorge!!!putin-parkway parking lot at the dam-takeout-go through explore park merge right in the park come to a stop sign left onto rougtrough rd follow till dead end 4 miles round trip or so-cam
This a great run, close to Roanoke! takes about 2.5 hours to run you can boat this as low as 2.0 and is great at 3.5 to 4 ft.on the gauge. there is a lot of trash on the banks from the floods in the past, but still worth the time.put in at the Parkway bridge take out at the end of rutrough rd. DKS
Look at this website:
http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydro/ If it is over 885 on the forebay then water is flowing over the dam in addition to any release, and the upper dewatered section runs. 885.5 forebay is a good level for the upper section, usually coincides with the USGS being between 4.5 to 5.5 feet.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Take out at the end of Rutrough Rd. Go through explore park merge right in the park come to a stop sign left onto rougtrough rd follow till dead end 4 miles round trip or so
Roanoke River 600 cfs
Little Niagra from Blue Ridge Parkway overlook
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