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steelbridge-launch2Located on Lake Gaston at the US-1 Steel Bridge.

The facility is designed for handicap paddlers as well as able bodied paddlers and serves as the takeout for paddlers launching at the Tailrace.

We have just completed the installation of our final leg (for now) of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. This accessible trail extends from Buggs Island at the John H. Kerr Dam to Beechwood Flats at the Historic US-1 Steel Bridge Landing in Virginia. It marks one of the first fully accessible water trails in the nation on the east coast. Paddlers of all abilities can explore the scenic 5.3 mile float to the Steel Bridge where they can take-out, or try the one of several loop trails through Beechwood Flats or Cotton Creek by beginning and ending at the Steel Bridge launch.



Banister Launch

Soon to be complete, the King's Bridge Gateway on the Banister River. This new river launch site will make paddling the Banister River that much easier and more enjoyable. Located at the new VA 360 Bridge replacement project the launch overlooks the historic King's Bridge stone pylons, navigation sluice and "line of rocks". An easy paddle upstream to the dam is worth the effort and then a scenic float downstream 6 miles to Terry's Bridge (US 360). The take-out is a scramble up the sandy slope under the bridge but easy-moderate as far as primitive access goes. Definitely a trip wrth taking and lots of well preserved navigational sluices and fish traps along the way.

Our many thanks go to Carl Espy Town Manger, Rodney and Carl of Watts Construction, Don Mosley and Harman of Harman Saunders Construction for all the extra effort in making htis become a reality.

a helping hand

The Kerr Dam Tailrace launch is now complete. Designed to assist paddlers (disabled, or struggling) to enter the water safely using the pull-out board on the transfer bench. The 50' long kayak chute is often partly submerged by water but remains useful at all "normal stages" of power generation (water release). Paddlers can enjoy paddling the loop trail around Buggs Island at times of no current or can continue down to the US-1/Steel Bridge for take-out (5.3 miles). We are scheduled to install a similar launch at the Steel Bridge Fall 2013, enhancing access to over 25 miles of beautiful, diverse water trails. Unassisted take-out at the Kerr Tailrace is possible for those with more stamina by pulling onself up the chute but is made easier with a helping hand.

We are working with others on power assisted devices to make this easier but this is yet to come. Please submit you ideas. Programs such as Vets-On-A-Roll, Wounded Warriors and the three regional VA Hospitals will be able to promote recreational therapy usign these facilities.

Our thanks to the many supporters but especially to Bill & Wilma Poole for the use of the shop and Bill's time and expertise, Aluma-Dock for the donation of the IPE hardwood (this stuff is like gold), Vulcan Materials for all the stone, and Row-Boat Dock and Dredge for the silt-curtain donation. Thanks also to EZ Dock for the idea. A very special thank you to all our volunteers who gave their time and labor generously.

The trail from Buggs Island to Beechwood Flats stretches for 5.3 miles from point to point. Side trips up Allen's Creek and around Buggs Island can more than double that distance and offer those with more endurance the chance to explore the upper reaches. For shorter trips try launching at the Steel Bridge Landing or Miles Creek and explore Beechwood Flats, Miles and Flat Creek or paddle up to Cotton Creek. Explore the hidden cut-through between Beechwood Flats and Miles Creek.

Early Paddle lowresMaria  TommyUR launch 18Beechwood Flats  01

The current at the Steel Bridge to Cotton Creek is seldom more than 1-2 mph and is easy to paddle against. Upstream below the dam it can be 3-5 mph during releases and needs to be considered when planning your route. At the present the Buggs Island launch site offers all the amenities one could need including the Tanner Environmental Education Center, Camping and nearby restaurants. Explore miles of hiking Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area or the shorter Liberty Hill Nature Trail.

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US-1 Steel Bridge Launch

Handicap accessible! The launch serves as the takeout for paddlers launching at the Tailrace. Read More