Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maury River near Buena Vista - September 2008

Just under the Highway 60 bridge near Buena Vista, Virginia is a primitive public boat access ramp providing access to the Maury River for small fishing boats and paddlecraft. The ramp is cut into the riverbank and lined with gravel; 4WD is probably recommended with this ramp, but it's also easy to just carry your boat down to the water to put in. Parking exists for a number of vehicles.

This section of the Maury River is a small reservoir behind Moomaw’s Lock and Dam and provides the paddler with about 45 minutes of leisurely paddling upstream to the first set of rapids, then back downstream to just above the dam.

The upstream rapids represent a 2' foot drop in the river, and it's not possible to paddle upstream through them, although it would be a simple matter to portage over the rapids.

The boat access ramp is about a third of the way upstream from the dam to the first set of rapids. This is a popular take out spot for tubers and rafters coming downstream from Lexington and points above. Today, however, I had the river to myself with the exception of one lone husband and wife team on a very small fishing boat. In fact, I usually have this section of the river to myself.

This section of the Maury River is close to my home, so I frequent it several times per season. I also enjoy the folded limestone bedrock in the cliffs that line one side of the river.

There are several artifacts on the river from the canal days in the late-1700's and early 1800's. A rails-to-trails railroad lines follows the river on one side, and there is also an old lock which one can explore on this section, as well as the ruins of an old dam.

The flatwater section of this river is approximately 1/2 mile long, and there are a couple of homes along its banks, as well as the traffic on Highway 60, so it's not as peaceful as some of the other locations on this blog. However, it's convenient and close enough to my home for a quick afternoon paddle on a hazy, hot, and humid September afternoon.

View this location in Google Maps by clicking here.

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