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Trip Planning

Planning a successful canoe or kayak trip involves more than just tying a boat on top of the car and heading out. The paddler needs to consider many things such as weather and water conditions, what to wear, food and water requirements, emergency preparation and communications, and transportation to and from the put in and take out.

Below are links to some web sites that should help you understand planning and logistics necessary for an enjoyable and uneventful field trip. We have included links to the US Geological Service water level stations because water level plays an important part in whether or not a section of river is navigable and how long a trip may take. Some of the following trip reports suggest optimal water levels.
A Couple Trip Reports for Some of Our Favorite Trips (just to get you going)

Check our Photos Page for snapshots of the trip you plan to take .

Appomattox River Rtes 609 to 608

Links to Planning web sites

American Canoe Association - Planning

National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

Buffalo Creek at Hampden Syndey
Appomattox at Farmville
Appomattox at Mattoax

Links to USGS Waterway Conditions

Holiday Lake Dam
Buffalo Creek near Hampden Sydney
Appomattox River at Farmville
Appomattox River at Mattaox

Reference Materials

Virginia Whitewater-A paddler's guide to the rivers of Virginia
by H. Roger Corbett
Seneca Press, 1988

Classic Virginia Rivers-A paddler's guide to premier whitewater and scenic float trips in the Old Dominion
by Ed Grove,
Howling Wolf Publications, 1992

DeLorme Atlas & Gazetter - Virginia
DeLorme, 2009
This gets updated and reprinted about every ten years as new roads are built

A well-seasoned paddler recommends Corbett's book over Grove's book. To paraphrase him, both books cover similar stream and bank descriptions, water data (flow rate, etc.), and maps, etc., but the Corbett book only uses line sketches in diagrams so it may be more user friendly for the beginner. The Grove book has a section on safe paddling advice, emergency signaling, and uses printed maps that the other book omits. You really have to look at both books to see that you need both. Nevertheless, a beginner might be less intimidated by examining the Corbett book first.