Friday, September 26, 2008

Maury River at Bean's Bottom - September 2008

Just beneath the Furrs Mill Road overpass in Lexington, Virginia is primitive boat access to the Maury River. I arrived there on a cloudy and windy afternoon with my 14' Heritage kayak to check out the flatwater visible from the overpass.

Bean's Bottom is a popular spot for those putting in or taking out of the river, and it's also a popular spot for tubers in the summer. Today, however, I had this section of the river to myself. The access path to the river is rocky and rutted, so I elected to not take my big truck down the path and use my fat kayak wheels instead. As is usually the case, the path is worse than it appears in the picture below. There is parking alongside the road at the top of the path for a handful of vehicles.

The upstream part of the river was very shallow with riffles and rapids, making your only choice for flatwater kayaking in the downstream direction. There is about 1/4 mile of flatwater on this section of river, and it only takes a few minutes to paddle down to the next set of rapids. These rapids represent a one-foot drop in the river, and I didn't float through them.

It's a pretty section of the river with dense woods on one side and a steep limestone cliff on the other. Large boulders litter the river bottom. Interstate 64 is not too far away, and the drone of trucks made its way down the river valley on a constant basis, although it wasn't intrusive.

Two or three round trips on this section of the river takes about 30 minutes of so, and the section is really too short to get a good workout. It's better for poking around or working on technique, or for those people who are local to the area. River access in Jordan Point in Lexington is not too far downstream, and for paddlers with a shuttle, it would be a convenient hour or two trip down the river from Bean's Bottom to Jordan Point, with the shuttle taking about 5 minutes.

View this location in Google Maps by clicking here.

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