TAKEN FROM "VIRGINIA WHITE WATER"
By ROGER CORBETT
BLANKENBAKERS FARM (1 MILE BELOW THE JUNCTION) TO MOTTS RUN - 7 MILES
PUT-IN is a private access one mile off route 620 in Spotsylvania Co. Past a white farm house and thru Mrs. Blankenbakers yard.
TRIP DESCRIPTION: Truly the ideal trip for children, beginners or a one day float/fishing trip. Pus it's do-able even in extreme low water periods. There are several sets of riffles and two short sets of rapids that are easily negotiated. The first being the remains of Scoots Dam and the second is the remains of Ballards Dam. Remnants of the canal and locks can be found by exploring the banks on both sides of the river. HAZARDS: None.
ELEY'S FORD (BRIDGE) TO MOTTS RUN LANDING
PUT-IN is a public access at a two lane concrete bridge on route 610 on the Spotsylvania & Culpeper Co. line.
TRIP DESCRIPTION: Below Eley's Bridge, the Rapidan has an increased gradient and is more interesting to whitewater paddler and the serious float fisherman. It has one good ledge about three miles below Eley's Ford Bridge, following two small rapids, all in a stretch of 200 yards; this was the location of Todd's Ford, a colonial crossing. There is a riffle about one mile below the put-in bridge that appears to be the remains of an old dam with a lock on the left bank; at the entrance to the last rapid before joining the Rappahannock, there appears to be the remains of an old dam with a bypass on the right. The longest rapid in this section occurs just before the Rapidan joins the Rappahannock, a steady Class 2 rock garden for about 1/2 mi. Immediately upon joining the Rappahannock, there is a 400 yard long Class 2 rock garden (the remains of Rapidan Dam)
This is the nicest section of the lower Rapidan River, as it has nice scenery, it has a good current, and it has nice rapids. The bottom is mostly sand; the banks are very high (10-12 ft) near the put-in; and there are convenient, scenic lunch stops. After reaching the Rappahannock, a stop to inspect the canal and locks on the right is imperative. Don't miss this engineering masterpiece. After this continuous mile or so of rapids & rock gardens thru the confluence of the two rivers, the remainder of your trip will be on the Rappahannock. The action will slow down fro about a mile, before encountering the remains of Scotts Dam (Class 1-2). There are several sets of riffles as well as a Class 2 rapid at the ramins of Ballards Dam, appx. 3 miles from your take out. HAZARDS: None
KELLY'S FORD BRIDGE TO MOTTS RUN LANDING (CLORE BROS )
PUT-IN is a public access at a two lane stone bridge. Route 620 on the Culpeper and Fauquier Co. line.
WE WILL NO LONGER OFFER THE KELLYS FORD TRIP
The trip description is left here for your convenience.
TRIP DESCRIPTION: It is 16 miles from Kelly's Ford Bridge to the Rapidan River and 8..5 miles from the Rapidan River junction to Motts' Run Landing (Clore Bros.) . Definitely an overnight canoe trip. Once the trip is started at the Kelly's Ford Bridge, there are no bridges or public landings until one arrives at the Motts Run Landing. There are very few houses that can be seen from the river and there are few signs of civilization in this section. Be prepared to go the entire distance once you start, unless you know the area real well. There are numerous remote spots for camping along the river, but they are on private property, so do not abuse the property.
The Rappahannok is a beautiful river, and this is a beautiful section. It begins with light riffles below the put-in and it continues with occasional rock garden rapids (Class 1-2). There are numerous sand bars and occasional rock formations that are ideal for lunch stops and swim calls. Many of the rapids are the remains of old canal dams, which were built at intervals of two miles or less. There are the remains of old locks and bypass canals at many of these dams, and there are fords below most of the old dam sites. The rapids/riffles, the sandy bottom, the clear/clear water, the remoteness of the area, and the absence of litter make this an ideal float trip. There is a 1/2 mile rock garden rapid (Class 2) just before the Rappahannock River joins the Rapidan River. There is a 1/2 mile rock garden rapid (Class) just below the confluence; this rapid is the remains of the Rapidan Dam, part of the canal system, and it was the largest dam in the entire system. On the right bank, there is the bypass canal that has stone locks, the entrance to a gold mine (U.S. Mine), and stone walls. About three miles below the Rapidan, there is a Class 2 rapid that is there is a Class 2 rapid that is the remains of Ballard's Dam. HAZARDS: None.