Sunday, July 1, 2007

Howardsville to Scottsville by Canoe

From the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:

    "Howardsville to Scottsville
    Distance: 9.8 miles

    The ramp at Howardsville provides the starting point for this relatively long trip. A concrete ramp at Scottsville (reached by following the signs from Rt. 6) is located downstream of the Rt. 20 bridge, and is suitable for most boats. The river is generally wide and shallow throughout this section with many small islands. This is an easy float, but will take some time when the river is low. Smallmouth bass, redbreast sunfish, channel catfish, and longnose gar will provide most of the fishing action."
The river is so shallow you can see the bottom for most of the trip. For this reason, larger boats are absent leaving fishermen and tubers to populate this stretch of river. Since tubing on a slow moving river really isn't that engaging when sober, the revelers bring beer, the cooler getting its own tube. A couple of companies cater to the carousing caravans. A large outfit is based in Scottsville.
About half way down is Hatton Ferry, one of the two remaining poled ferries in the U.S. By adjusting its direction in the current, it is powered across.

Scottsville initially prospered as a transportation center for the movement of tobacco to markets and warehouses in Richmond. For a time the tobacco was transported by bateaux. The James River and Kanawha Canal eased this transport. Now the canal is gone. An earthen berm to protect Scottsville from future floods has erased the place where it used to be. For most of the canal's length, traintracks were placed along the its footpath, helping to mark the former waterway. Where the Scottsville Canal turning basin was is a park that no one goes to.

1 comment:

Tommy John said...

thanks for the review, will have to give this a try.