Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Calfpasture River near Deerfield - May 2009

The Calfpasture river joins with Mill Creek in Goshen, Virginia to form the head of the Maury River. I took advantage of a pretty afternoon to drive up Marble Valley and explore the Calfpasture River, which runs through Augusta and Rockbridge Counties. While there seemed to be several promising, if short, spots for flatwater paddling, public access to the river was not apparent with the exception of one road crossing a few miles north of Deerfield.

For sure, the road up Marble Valley is pretty, with sweeping views of 4,463-foot Elliot Knob to the east. Elliot Knob is one of the higher mountains in the northern part of Virginia, and is just high enough to support a small stand of spruce trees growing on the summit - just visible in the picture below (click it for a larger version):

The section of the Calfpasture I paddled on today was very short and didn't allow for much more than playing around in the small riffles. On the positive side, because you must cross the river on this road by driving through the river, access to the water required no carrying at all. Just drive up to the water, and drop the boat in.

However, this really was a very short section of flatwater. I spent about 20 minutes on the water paddling between riffles that were perhaps 25 yards apart, which is barely enough space and time to get your boat turned around in the current.

Paddling in this section was confined to one side of the river, as water levels were too shallow on the point bar side of the river. Access required a short walk into the water before I was able to sit in the boat and paddle. The water here permits a crystal clear view of the Calfpasture's rock bottom.

For trippers headed down the Calfpasture to Goshen, this would be a convenient put in spot.

View this location in Google Maps by clicking here.

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