Whitewater
General
note Dan River putins / takeouts & Kibler Valley River Run
Forum: BoaterTalk
rowashredder
likes 4
Ah. One of my favorite rivers for summertime paddling. Water is nice and cold.

The power plant will let you pull into the facility and unload right beside the powerhouse / outflow tubes. From there it is about 20 feet to the river. There is also a separate brick building right beside the parking area that has a bathroom for use. However, you are not allowed to park there in their lot other than to unload boats. You must park your car/truck outside the gate. There is grass alongside the road that is wide enough to park.

The traditional takeout is at the white church that you will pass on the right on your way to the powerhouse. Except for Sunday AM, they will let you park in their lot. Be sure to walk down to the river so that you will recognize it from the river. Its not the easiest takeout to find from the river. There is a narrow trail from the river with tall bushes / trees on either side. NOTE: if you miss the takeout at the church, there is a large field that is the traditional takeout for the Kibler Valley River Run in July (third Sat in July). This field is NOT available for general access at any other time during the year. If you end up taking out there and carrying your boat back to the church lot, be very contrite and apologetic and do NOT linger. Total run is about 4 miles.

There are also several alternate takeouts that have been in use over time. I think that the one that used to be used alot has been blocked, but that may have changed. I didn't get there last summer at all. I think that use of the alternate takeouts is what has led to conflicts with the local landowners - which many of them are weekend homes.

Hope this helps. This is a fun river. Very tight and congested, but nothing over a class III+. In the summer when the temps hit 90's, you used to be able to almost guarantee a fun evening paddle, because the powerhouse was generating power for Danville. Now those criteria have changed and I don't know if that still applies. The people in the powerhouse are very paddler / fishermen friendly and if you call them, they will tell you if it is running. Please remember that they are generating in kilowatts. Recreational release in summer (starts first weekend in July) is 7500 kw. Race release for the Kibler Valley River Run is 9000 kw. Those used to correspond to about 275 cfs and 325 cfs on the Danville at Francisco gauge. The problem with the USGS gauge is that it is 10 hrs downstream from the powerhouse and cannot be used other than as a historical marker for river flows.

I'll also tell you that 275 cfs is doable, but very little is padded and it is hard on your boats. 325 cfs is better, but it is only a little more padded. If you can hit it after a rainy spell when there is over 400 cfs in the river, it is a real blast.

One further warning. WATCH FOR STRAINERS! This river picks up strainers like nobody's business. There is usually someone who goes down in May/June to clear strainers before the recreational releases. Not sure who that is.

Additional note. The Kibler Valley River Run (third Sat in July) has been running continuously since the 1980s. It is not well known, other than by local paddlers in southside VA, southwest VA, and NC near Greensboro, but it is well supported by local paddlers. The race is run by the local Ruritan Club and is also highly supported by locals. DO NOTHING TO DAMAGE THIS RELATIONSHIP such as nudity, drinking, recreational drugs, etc. I am hoping that this warning is not needed but I will say it anyway. Please understand that it is not directed at you personally.

The Kibler Valley River Run starts at the powerhouse and runs down to the field that I mentioned above. The owner of the field lets the Ruritan Club use it for parking. The Ruritan Club provides shuttles to the powerhouse starting about 9 - 9:30 am and ends about 4 pm. For $20 (I think), you can ride the shuttle all day long. I know people who have gotten as many as 3 trips on the river on race day. However, that's paddling pretty hard. The powerhouse releases 7500 kw in the am until noon, when it ramps up to 9000 kw until 4 pm when they shut it down. The race itself starts at noon and they let racers start two minutes apart, I believe, so you are racing yourself. Its not a downriver crash party. If you decide that you aren't racing and just want to paddle, you can still use the shuttles and park in the field as long as you pay the $20 entry fee. Its really rude to take advantage of the race release, if you do not pay to paddle. These funds are used to help the elderly and shutins that live in the southside area and this race is the major fundraiser for the year for them. The Ruritan club will also have hot dogs and hamburgers and baked goods available for sale at the takeout. So you can gas yourself up before you leave at the end of the day. Please patronize the bake table and take something home with you.

Once again, I hope this helps.

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