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Virginia whitewater, Powell River - South Fork

Wise county, South Fork Gorge section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS V+     4 miles
 
I've been recording climate data in this area for 2 decades.The South Fork of the Powell River Gorge is one of the deepest chasms in all of Virginia, being 2000 vertical feet deep. It drains the highcountry southwest of the Big Cherry Basin of the High Knob massif...the greatest landform of far southwestern Virginia that sprawls across southern Wise County, northern Scott County, and into the extreme northeastern end of Lee County. This
    is a high precipitation area; although, 2007 has been the driest on record with 40-46'' across the upper elevations ( if you will check that is still above the annual average of many places in Virginia ). Says Wayne Browning

This section of Powell River - South Fork in Wise County is 4 miles long and has been rated as a class V+ section by American Whitewater. The starting point is not too far from Kingsport-Bristol, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. This stretch has has enough mileage, it's good length for a morning trip. If you're a camper you can camp at one of the great campgrounds nearby. Some people prefer whitewater rafting  
and some kayaking, either way this is an area with plenty of spots for that. The South Fork Gorge section is one of many paddling sections in this river system. There are many good hotels to choose from, but do book a room before you come because it is a very popular destination. The river winds through the Cumberland Plateau Mountains and you get great scenery. The natural beauty of Wise County and the beautiful way the water current moves down the stream are reasons enough to come here and paddle. The average Virginia whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit easier to master than those in other states, so if you're not from around here don't forget that many of the sections in this state are safe for beginners.

Powell River - South Fork, South Fork Gorge road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
map
Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Powell River - South Fork.
 Whitewater Near Powell River - South Fork:
Powell River - South Fork, Wise County, 0 miles away
      Class V+ - 4 miles long (South Fork Gorge)
Cove Creek, Scott County, 2 miles away
      Class IV-V+ - 2 miles long (Cove Creek Gorge to Stinking Creek confluence)
Big Stony - Devil's Fork, Scott County, 4 miles away
      Class III+(IV) - 1.5 miles long (Straight Fork Confluence to Big Stony Takeout)
Stock Creek, Scott County, 4 miles away
      Class III-IV+(V) - 1.5 miles long (Upper Gorge)
Powell River, Wise/ Lee County, 5 miles away
      Class I-II - 12 miles long (Big Stone Gap to Dryden)
Powell River, Wise County, 7 miles away
      Class II-IV - 3 miles long (Appalachia to Big Stone Gap)
Big Stony Creek, Scott County, 7 miles away
      Class III - 4 miles long (Chimney Rock Fork to Route 653 Bridge)
Stock Creek, Scott County, 8 miles away
      Class II-III - 1.8 miles long (Natural Tunnel State Park)
Clear Creek, Wise County, 8 miles away
      Class IV+ - 0.75 miles long (Clear Creek Gorge)
Big Stony - Mountain Fork, Scott County, 10 miles away
      Class V+ - 4 miles long (Mountain Fork to Chimney Rock Fork)
 Ski Areas Near Powell River - South Fork:
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 51 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Ski Beech, North Carolina , 68 miles away, 830 foot drop, 10 lifts, 15 runs
Sugar Mountain, North Carolina , 71 miles away, 1200 foot drop, 8 lifts, 20 runs
Hawksnest, North Carolina , 72 miles away, 619 foot drop, 4 lifts, 12 runs
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 75 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Appalachian Mountain, North Carolina , 81 miles away, 365 foot drop, 5 lifts, 9 runs
Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee , 86 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 8 runs
 Hotels Near Powell River - South Fork:
Comfort Inn Big Stone Gap, Big Stone Gap , 3 miles away
Holiday Inn NORTON, Norton , 7 miles away
Days Inn Norton VA, Norton , 9 miles away
Super 8 Norton VA, Norton , 9 miles away
Quality Inn & Suites Norton, Norton , 9 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Powell River - South Fork:
Jessie Lea Recreational Vehicle Park-Campground, Big Stone Gap, 6 miles away
High Knob, Norton, 6 miles away
Bark Campground, Scott County, 12 miles away
 Public Lands Near Powell River - South Fork:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville - NC , 69 miles away
Natural Tunnel State Park, Virginia , 8 miles away
Kingdom Come State Park, Kentucky , 21 miles away
Warriors Path State Park, Tennessee , 24 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Powell River - South Fork:
Lonesome Pine Country Club, Big Stone Gap , 3 miles away
Scott County, Gate City , 14 miles away
Scott County Park & Golf Course, Gate City , 15 miles away
 Lakes Near Powell River - South Fork
Big Cherry Reservoir, Wise , 2 miles away
Fishpond Lake, Letcher , 18 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.