Boating Update: Spring-Summer 2015

The boating activities listed below may change depending on weather and water levels. As in the past, we plan to have a picnic lunch somewhere along the shore and, after paddling, meet for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Reminder: The club owns a trailer and can transport up to 6 boats. We also have 2 sit-in kayaks and 2 canoes available on a first-come-first-served basis. We will announce the time and place to meet for each event.

May (date TBA)
Nelson Downriver Race: Sponsored by Nelson County Parks & Recreation, this event takes place on the lower Tye River the first week in May. Rapids are class II-IV, so this run is for experienced white water paddlers. For further information:
(This is not a club event.)

Saturday, May 9th
Familiarization Session: Especially for beginning canoers and kayakers, we will hold an afternoon paddle on our own Lake Monocan to help newcomers with basic paddling techniques. This is also an excellent opportunity to try different types of boats before making a decision to purchase.

Friday-Saturday, May 22 & 23
Upper James River:  Horseshoe Bend to Buchanan and Buchanan to Alpine sections. Join us for either one or both days. The Upper James is beautifully scenic and with rapids generally in the class I-II range, a fairly easy paddle with just enough bumps and wave fields to keep it interesting. Rental boats are available at Twin River Outfitters. Overnight lodging TBA.

Wednesday, May 27
Rivanna Reservoir: This is a flat water picnic paddle, great for beginners. Despite the fact that the reservoir is located within the city of Charlottesville, it is remarkably remote and scenic. Launch near the water treatment plant and paddle 5 miles to the head of the reservoir.  No livery service.

Monday, June 8
Moorman’s River: If you think there’s no such thing as an unspoiled river only 10 minutes from Charlottesville, you’d be wrong! Moorman’s River has beautiful bluffs and exciting rapids and good fishing all within a stone’s throw of the city. This stretch must be run just after a decent rainfall. No livery service.

Thursday-Friday, June 18 & 19
Bolar Lake and Jackson River: Something for everyone! Located near the West Virginia border, Bolar Lake is perfect for those who prefer calm, flat water while Jackson River, with its class I-II and II-III rapids, offers a bit of a challenge to more experienced paddlers. We could plan this outing as an overnighter. For non-boaters there are beautiful hiking trails around Bolar Lake. No livery service. Overnight lodging TBA.

Sunday, June 28 or Monday, June 29 (TBD)
Upper-Upper James River:  Iron Gate to Craig Creek or Craig Creek to Horseshoe Bend section. “Best Class 1 Trip in the Southeast” according to Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. Consists of numerous class I and a few class II rapids. (Very dependent on appropriate water level!) Rentals are available from Twin River Outfitters.

From this point on, plans are tentative. We will revise regularly - - - - - - - - - -
South Fork of the Shenandoah River: Bealer’s Ferry to Burner’s Ford section. This is probably our favorite paddle in this part of the state! Gorgeous scenery with numerous class I rapids and – just before the end – an exciting (but not difficult) class II roller coaster ride through Compton’s Rapids. Rentals are available from Shenandoah River Outfitters.

Mid James River: Wildlife area to Howardsville section. An easy downriver run with a number of class I rapids and plenty of ledges to scrape and bump over. Attractive, but not spectacular, scenery. Rentals available at Howardsville Livery.
Beaver Creek Lake: Another flat water paddle only ½ hour from Wintergreen. Located just outside of Crozet, Beaver Creek is secluded and beautiful with numerous coves to explore before we gather for a picnic back at the launching ramp. No livery service.

Salt Water Scramble: This will be an overnighter in the Virginia Beach area. Day #1 we plan to paddle the Lynnhaven River tidal estuary then, on day #2 Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge State Park. Expect waves and wind but no rapids! Rentals are available from Surf & Adventure Co. For non-boaters there are hiking trails, bike rentals and shopping to enjoy.

Walnut Creek Lake: Located in Southern Albemarle County, Walnut Creek Lake (flat water) is smaller than most other nearby reservoirs but it is very attractive  - a pleasant place to paddle and picnic. The park also offers a Frisbee golf course and two beach area for swimming and sunbathing. Canoe rentals are available.

Greenbrier River: (West Virginia). Ronceverte to Alderson section. This one is new to us, so we’re uncertain about many specifics.  The rapids in this section of the Greenbriar are rated class I-II and there are numerous ledges that have to be bumped or scraped over; however, we’re told that the scenery is worth the effort. More info to follow.

Craig Creek: (Botetort County).Too large to qualify as a creek and too small to be a full-fledged river, Craig is a fairly easy run even for beginners through bucolic areas with mostly class I rapids. No livery service.

Mill Creek Lake: (Amherst County). Mill Creek is large and inviting and, at this time of year, resplendent in fall foliage. Beautiful surroundings, convenient picnic areas, strictly flat water paddling. No livery service.

Also, we are exploring several boating venues about which we currently have insufficient information such as the Upper Potomac River Paddle & Wine Tour, the Cowpasture River, the Buffalo River, Claytor and Philpott Lakes and so on. Lastly, we may just announce some last-minute, impromptu outings as we go along. Stay tuned!

On most trips everyone packs a picnic lunch for themselves to enjoy somewhere along the shore. After paddling there is dinner at a nearby restaurant. Plans can change depending on weather and water levels. Those signed up to get emails should expect impromptu outings to be announced.

Questions? Email