63ºF

Floating with Brooke: Cowpasture River

With temperatures in the 90's for 19 days straight, it's time to hit the river

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – Every Saturday, we usually hike. But with temperatures in the 90′s for 19 days straight, it was time to hit the river.

We decided we were going to float a section of the Cowpasture River just outside Clifton Forge. We put in on a friend’s property and pulled out at a friend’s house, but there are plenty of public entries.

All of us had different vessels, I opted for the tube route, but we also had kayaks and a canoe. It was a gorgeous day. The water wasn’t cold at all and the sun felt great.

The first 10 minutes or so was a little shallow. The kayaks seemed to do fine but us tubers had to keep out hips up so we didn’t drag.

After about 20 minutes or so we stopped at a swimming hole. There was a little tree to climb to jump into a deep section of the river, but I didn’t want any part of that.

We headed downriver a little longer, then pulled off again to get some sunshine and chill in the water. You can fish in this river with a fishing license, and clearly there’s lot of variety to catch. Just make sure to release them when you’re done.

We floated on for another 30 mintues or so and hit some rapids. This was definitely the biggest struggle for everyone, but if the water was a little higher it wouldn’t be too bad.

By now we had all found different vessels to ride in and I ended up in the canoe. We paddled on a beautiful stretch of river, then I tried my hand at some fishing. But due to my lack of patience, I gave up pretty quickly.

The last half hour or so was pretty slow moving as the sun sank lower in the sky. And of course it’s not a complete trip on the river if you don’t lose something. In this case, we had a tube pop.

Finally after about 6 hours, we made it back. Of course, the timing depends on how fast or slow the river is moving. In this case, the river was very slow and was moving slow. It was a fun way to spend the hot day, and this stretch of river was easy, safe, and anyone can do it.


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