Low Water Packrafting – Catoctin Creek to the Potomac Confluence

At low levels, the Catoctin Creek in Northern Virginia is probably only navigable in a packraft. Shoals and rocks expose themselves as the bare river meanders its way down to the Potomac. The creek’s numerous rapids and standing waves still carry a surprising amount of energy to make them worthy of a challenge. The lower section of the river is also flanked by the forested hills of Furnace Mountain and agricultural land. This makes for a scenic, mild whitewater run in surveilling proximity to blue herons, beavers and creek-crossing deer.
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Roadside Packrafting – The Fall Line Rapids of the Rappahannock River

Since the removal of the Embrey Dam in 2004, the Rappahannock is now the longest free-flowing river in the East Coast. It is actually possible to paddle down from the head of the river to it’s mouth without having to portage even once, if one can withstand the long pools of slow-moving water. The fall line rapids near Fredericksburg, VA offer the biggest whitewater for packrafters. It also makes for a quick, technical run that can be done simply from the roadside. The rock garden at the fall line provides plenty of lines to choose from, all of varying difficulty.
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Appalachia By Train and Raft

Nestled in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains are some of the wildest and most popular rivers on the east. Although it may be hard to imagine coordinating packraft trips by train today, one benefit to the region’s past industrialization lies in the vast network of railroad tracks left in its wake. Today these tracks serve as major passenger railways and allow intrepid adventurers unencumbered access to a number of wild places.
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Packrafting Mather Gorge – Rock Scramble in and Paddle out

After a steep descent down Great Falls roughly 35,000 years ago, the Potomac River cut a slit into surrounding bedrock on its way to the sea. Mather Gorge today is a 100-foot-wide gap carved into a nested series of metamorphic and stratified rock layers. Due to channel constriction at the base of the falls, this stretch of river holds a high volume of water with significant undercurrent effects. Rugged terrain on the steep cliff faces reminds one to be respectful of the river because there is nowhere else to go but up.
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Packrafting the Big Gunpowder Falls – Descent Down the Fall Line

The Lower Gunpowder river offers a quick whitewater run down the historic East Coast fall line, a division separating upland rivers from the coastal plain. Before reaching it’s tidal limit near the Chesapeake Bay, the river first marks a steep descent down a series of rocks and ledges, reasserting it’s authority for one final act. Packrafting the river allows one to see it the way many early explorers did, utilizing the flow of it’s moving water for navigation instead of harnessing for power.
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