Monday, October 10, 2011

Maury River south of Buena Vista, October 2011

Two locations along River Road, south of Buena Vista, Virginia, offer paddlers public access to the Maury River. I visited these spots on a clear October afternoon to check out paddling opportunities for the lone paddler. While used mostly for Maury River trippers, it is possible to put a boat in the water in these locations for a short paddle. The first location offers limited parking for maybe 2-3 vehicles and rather steep access to the water. I was able to work my 14' Heritage Sea Dart kayak down the rocky bank and into the water, but it was a little bit of a bump and run scenario. The location itself offers about 50 yards or so of flatwater paddling between riffles, with maybe enough water to provide 30 minutes of paddling.

I would recommend this location as a put in or take out spot for Maury River trippers, but it doesn't really offer much flatwater for the casual afternoon paddler.

The second location is a little farther south on River Road. This location offers more in the way of parking plus easier access to the river itself.

For the lone paddler, the location offers much more in the way of flatwater than the first spot. A couple hundred yards of flat water is available, some of it through an interesting rock garden, all tucked between two Class I riffles.

The only downside to this location is its proximity to an active limestone quarry, just across the river. So expect lots of noise from CATs and other equipment during your paddle, although the quarry itself is not really visible from the river.

This location made for a pleasant 45 minute paddle, despite the noise. Two women were fishing off one of the banks, and I spent time unsnagging one of their lines from a boulder during my cruise. Otherwise, I had both River Road locations to myself, as is typical during a weekday afternoon.

I wouldn't recommend traveling far to put in at either of these locations. However, the second location has more to offer for a local paddler looking for a short cruise.

View the first location in Google Maps by clicking here and the second location by clicking here.