Maury River Water Trail
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: This water trail runs from Cedar Grove down to the James River along 34 of the Maury's 42 mile length. One of the most beautiful whitewater rivers in Virginia, the Maury has rock walls along many stretches and boulder fields that are rearranged during high water flows.

A number of wayside parks along the river offer views and access. The River is also bordered by a number of mills or mill ruins from the 1700s, well-preserved canal works from the 19th century, and one of the oldest surviving camelback bridges in the Shennandoah Valley.

Please note that canoeing, kayaking and other activities on rivers can be dangerous, particularly on a whitewater river like the Maury. Do not use any river without adequate preparations, knowledge of local river conditions, and necessary skill levels. Follow all safety precautions.

Location / Directions:

Many of the access points are located along Route 39 and Rt. 60 not far from Lexington, Virginia. Advance trip planning is a necessity for a safe experience on the Maury. For directions, information on river access and outfitters contact:

Jean Clark
Rockbridge Regional Tourism Office
106 East Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450

Mailing Address: Maury River Water Trail
Rockbridge Regional Tourism Office
106 E Washington Street
Lexington, VA 24450
Visitor Phone: (540) 463-3777

Canoeing, kayaking, tubing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Public access points for canoeing the river are listed in many of the guide books, but don't enter the Maury without adequate skill, preparation and knowledge of current conditions of the stretch of river you plan to run. Sections of the Maury are suitable for canoeists or kayakers experienced in whitewater (class I-IV), while other sections are floatable in an inner tube. Check the water levels and what they mean for the safety and enjoyment of your activity on the river. During high flow periods, the river can be dangerous.

The Maury River at Goshen Pass is included in the state's "put-n-take" trout program and provides excellent trout fishing. Smallmouth bass and rock bass (redeye bass) also provide some opportunity for anglers. The Maury is excellent for float fishing from Rockbridge Baths downstream to Glasgow. There's a ramp at Buena Vista under old U.S. Route 60 and a new one at Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista. Along the river are parks and historic features, including old mills and ruins described in a publication available at Virginia Canals and Navigations Society Information about the area adjacent to the River on the Chessie trail is available through Rappahannock Area Conservation Council

Fishing Canoeing / Kayaking

Visitor Facilities:

The Ben Salem Wayside on Rt. 60 between Lexington and Buena Vista has picnic areas on the river and good birdwatching from the shore.

Also along the river is the Chessie Nature Trail, which follows a route along an old railroad grade between Lexington and Buena Vista, passing several locks and historic sites. This seven mile trail has cliffs, pastures and woodlands which provide good wildlife watching. Other access areas are described in the Rockbridge Outdoors guide available from the Rockbridge Regional Tourism Office (540) 463-3777.

Length: 34 miles / 55 kilometers
Trail Map & Guide:

A Maury River Water Trail map and guide has not yet been produced.

The Rockbridge Regional Tourism Office Outdoor Recreation Guide provides basic information for trip planning, but does not contain detailed information for canoeing or kayaking the river.

Experienced canoiests can consult published whitewater guides, but these may not be up to date. For those venturing on the Maury or white water for the first time, a trip with an outfitter is advised. The Rockbridge Regional Tourism Office can supply the names and numbers of area outfitters.

Safety Info: Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, the National Park Service and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. [View a list of water safety tips]
River Classification: Up to and including Class III. Occassionally boaters may encounter Class IV rapids. Read more about the different levels of River Classifications.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY