US Whitewater > Virginia > Jackson River



Virginia whitewater, Jackson River

Alleghany county, Gathright Dam to James River section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS I-II     42.5 miles
One note to remember; if boating from the Grathright Dam to the James River section is the Covington paper mill. You must get out above the mill call the mill guard,(there is a phone at the fire training building)and the mill will provide transportation around the mill's property. Once below the mill you are going to be in what we call the ''Dirty'', because the mill's waste treatment process stains the water and the river bottom. Fishing
    is still great with a lot of Hugh trout. Not many people fish the ''Dirty'' as the the ''Clean''. The further you travel down stream the less the trout as the water starts to warm. The river is colder closer to the dam as
the water is released from the lower depth of the dam's intake tower making the river's temperature low.

Fishing the warmer part of the river you will catch many other species. I use four pound test line, 3/0 split shot, swivel, #6 bait holder hook with the barb smashed down for easy removal from fish and half a night crawler threaded on hook not in a knot on the hook to fish all parts of the river. Says M.L.Humphries

I spend
Sunday evenings canoeing and fishing from the Indian Draft public access to Covington above the paper mill. Last Sunday,(7-11-10)I landed 20+ rainbow and browns, I kept 3 legals for dinner. There were many people floating and enjoying the day. I only met 2 guys fishing from intertube rigs. The river was mine for fishing! That is about a 6.5 hour tour when fishing the hot holes. Says M.L.Humphries

I'm looking for a good two-night float on the Jackson, trout fishing along the way.  Should I look above or below the dam?  Thanks!  Says Matthew Steilberg

The sections for whitewater rafting and kayaking here in Virginia are often more forgiving than in other states, so if you're not from around here don't forget that a lot of the rivers in this state are suitable for beginners.

Jackson River, Gathright Dam to James River road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Jackson River.
 Whitewater Near Jackson River:
Wilson Creek, Alleghany County, 5 miles away
      Class II-III - 7.5 miles long (Douthat Park Dam to Jackson River)
Jackson River, Alleghany County, 8 miles away
      Class I-II - 42.5 miles long (Gathright Dam to James River)
Roaring Run, Botetourt County, 9 miles away
      Class V+ - 1.2 miles long (County line to Recreation Area)
Cowpasture River, Botetourt County, 9 miles away
      Class I-II - 13.5 miles long (Griffith to James River)
James River, Botetourt County, 13 miles away
      Class I-II - 16.5 miles long (Route 43 to Route 630)
Simpson Creek, Alleghany County, 15 miles away
      Class II-III - 6.5 miles long (Truckstop to Route 60)
Ogle Creek, Alleghany County, 17 miles away
      Class II-III - 5.7 miles long (Route 661 to Dunlap Creek)
Back Creek - Jackson Tributary, Bath County, 19 miles away
      Class I-III - 17.5 miles long (Bath County Pumped Storage Facility to Jackson River)
Anthony Creek, Greenbrier County, 19 miles away
      Class I-II - 10 miles long (Neola to Blue Bend Recreation Area)
Colliers Creek, Rockbridge County, 19 miles away
      Class II-III - 4 miles long (Collierstown to Buffalo Creek)
 Ski Areas Near Jackson River:
The Homestead, Virginia , 5 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 9 runs
Snowshoe, West Virginia , 31 miles away, 1500 foot drop, 14 lifts, 57 runs
Wintergreen, Virginia , 64 miles away, 1003 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Canaan Valley, West Virginia , 69 miles away, 850 foot drop, 4 lifts, 34 runs
Timberline, West Virginia , 72 miles away, 1000 foot drop, 4 lifts, 37 runs
Massanutten, Virginia , 82 miles away, 1110 foot drop, 8 lifts, 14 runs
Winterplace, West Virginia , 88 miles away, 603 foot drop, 9 lifts, 27 runs
Bryce Resort, Virginia , 92 miles away, 500 foot drop, 5 lifts, 8 runs
Wisp, Maryland , 99 miles away, 700 foot drop, 12 lifts, 32 runs
 Hotels Near Jackson River:
Oak Tree Inn Low Moor, Low Moor , 4 miles away
The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs , 8 miles away
Americas Best Value Inn Covington, Covington , 8 miles away
Magnuson Hotel Mountain View, Covington , 9 miles away
Hampton Inn Covington VA, Covington , 9 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Jackson River:
Douthat State Park - Whispering Pines Horse Camp, Clifton Forge, 3 miles away
The Buckhorne Family Campground, Clifton Forge, 4 miles away
Buckhorn Store And Campground, Clifton Forge, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Jackson River:
Sandy Gap Trail, Bath , 3 miles away
Stony Run Trail, Bath , 4 miles away
Blue Suck Trail, Bath , 4 miles away
Pine Tree Trail, Bath , 4 miles away
Tobacco House Ridge Trail, Bath , 4 miles away
 Public Lands Near Jackson River:
Booker T Washington National Monument, Hardy - VA , 39 miles away
Douthat State Park, Virginia , 4 miles away
Jefferson National Forest, Virginia , 22 miles away
Watoga State Park, West Virginia , 23 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Jackson River:
Alleghany Country Club, Covington , 5 miles away
Lower Cascades Golf Club, Hot Springs , 6 miles away
Cliff View Golf Club & Inn, Covington , 8 miles away
 Lakes Near Jackson River
Pike Pond, Alleghany , 4 miles away
Lake Moomaw, Alleghany , 8 miles away

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