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Virginia whitewater, Thornton River

Rappahannock county, Sperryville to Rock Mills section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     7 miles
  This stretch of Thornton River in Rappahannock County is 7 miles long and it is classified as a class II-III section by American Whitewater. If you've been whitewater rafting and kayaking outside this state you might find the rivers here a bit more forgiving, so don't forget that a lot of the rivers in this state are suitable for beginners. The wonderful Virginia scenery and the cool fresh water will make you feel great. The starting location
    is a short drive from Winchester, as you can see on the road map further down. Since you're on this site you are probably into whitewater rafting or kayaking, either way in this general area you'll find lots of paddling
rivers. This stretch is mid length, you can easily run it on an afternoon. There are some good stretches to paddle in this river system, the Sperryville to Rock Mills stretch is one of them. Great exercise and just being out on the river for a while have a lot of people coming here. There arenít any hotels right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem and if you make reservations in advance you're all set.  
The campgrounds here at Thornton River are pretty good.

Briefly about the general area:
A visit to Shenandoah River Andy Guest State Park when you're here at Thornton River is never a bad idea, and lots of folks from Woodville come here. Hiking along the Big Devils Stairs Trail is good fun, and Thornton River is right by the The Peak Trail. This river is a great place to visit. The amount of rain that falls at Thornton River is close to the national average. Throughout the month of July you get the most rain around here, and February is the month with the least moisture. Through the long summer days at Thornton River temperatures are typically in the 80's.

Thornton River, Sperryville to Rock Mills 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 Thornton River.
 Whitewater Near Thornton River:
Covington River, Rapphannock County, 1 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.5 miles long (Rappahannock School to Rush River)
Thornton River, Rappahannock County, 2 miles away
      Class II-III - 7 miles long (Sperryville to Rock Mills)
Rush River, Rapahannock County, 4 miles away
      Class II-III - 6 miles long (Washington to Rock Mills)
Hughes River and Hazel River, Rappahannock/Culpepper County, 7 miles away
      Class II - 9.5 miles long (SR 603 to Route 522 Bridge)
Happy Creek, Warren County, 11 miles away
      Class III+ - 4.3 miles long (Route 671 to Happy Cr. Road)
Gooney Run, Warren County, 11 miles away
      Class III-IV+ - 4.1 miles long (Browntown to Karo Landing)
Rappahannock River, Fauquier/ Culpeper County, 11 miles away
      Class I-II - 13.5 miles long (Route 647 to Route 211)
Robinson River, Madison County, 14 miles away
      Class II+ - 19 miles long (Syria to Locust Dale)
Rose River, Madison County, 15 miles away
      Class III - 2 miles long (Two miles to Robinson River)
White Oak Run, Madison County, 17 miles away
      Class V+ - 3 miles long (White Oak Fire Road to Lower White Oak Canyon Parking Lot)
 Ski Areas Near Thornton River:
Bryce Resort, Virginia , 42 miles away, 500 foot drop, 5 lifts, 8 runs
Massanutten, Virginia , 43 miles away, 1110 foot drop, 8 lifts, 14 runs
Wintergreen, Virginia , 67 miles away, 1003 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Ski Liberty, Pennsylvania , 81 miles away, 620 foot drop, 8 lifts, 16 runs
Timberline, West Virginia , 87 miles away, 1000 foot drop, 4 lifts, 37 runs
Canaan Valley, West Virginia , 89 miles away, 850 foot drop, 4 lifts, 34 runs
Blue Knob, Pennsylvania , 93 miles away, 1072 foot drop, 7 lifts, 34 runs
Wisp, Maryland , 96 miles away, 700 foot drop, 12 lifts, 32 runs
 Hotels Near Thornton River:
Super 8 Front Royal, Front Royal , 14 miles away
Quality Inn Skyline Drive, Front Royal , 14 miles away
Red Roof Inn Culpeper, Culpeper , 15 miles away
Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham Culpeper, Culpeper , 15 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites CULPEPER, Culpeper , 15 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Thornton River:
Gravel Springs Hut - Appalachian Trail, Bentonville, 8 miles away
Pass Mt Hut - Appalachian Trail, Sperryville, 10 miles away
Byrds Nest 3 Shelter - Appalachian Trail, Etlan, 11 miles away
 Trails Near Thornton River:
The Peak Trail, Rappahannock , 6 miles away
Big Devils Stairs Trail, Rappahannock , 6 miles away
Bluff Trail, Rappahannock , 7 miles away
White Rocks Trail, Rappahannock , 7 miles away
Gravel Springs Trail, Rappahannock , 7 miles away
 Public Lands Near Thornton River:
Shenandoah National Park, Luray - VA , 19 miles away
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Harpers Ferry - WV , 46 miles away
Shenandoah River Andy Guest State Park, Virginia , 14 miles away
Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia , 23 miles away
Lake Anna State Park, Virginia , 37 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Thornton River:
Golf Course, Culpeper , 14 miles away
Culpeper Country Club, Culpeper , 14 miles away
Jackson's Chase Golf Club, Front Royal , 15 miles away
 Lakes Near Thornton River
Lake Pelham, Culpeper , 14 miles away
Lake Arrowhead, Page , 15 miles away

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