South River - Maps & Access
Constitution Park to North Park or Basic Park
Paddlers can put in at Constitution Park near the Main Street bridge, and float one mile to North Park Map or 1.7 miles to Basic Park Map. This float is characterized by an urban setting with homes and industry lining the banks. Trout fishing is good through this reach, though, so be sure to carry your trout license with you from October 1 - June 15.
Basic Park to Crimora ParkMap
This is a long float of 7.5 miles, characterized by gentle riffles and rolling farmland. Stray trout can be caught (no trout license needed here), as well as smallmouth bass, rock bass, and redbreast sunfish. Some beautiful rock outcrops begin to show up in the river loop around the Department of Forestry's tree farm.
Crimora Park to Grand CavernsMap
This is a very long float around 10 miles long. The trip can be broken up by taking out at the Harriston Bridge (Route 778), but this is not an official public access. The river winds through a beautiful reach of forested riverbanks and farms, with very good fishing opportunities. Smallmouth bass fishing gets better in this river reach due to excellent habitat and good water quality.
Grand Caverns to Grottoes Town ParkMap
A short evening float of 2.1 miles, this is also one of the more challenging pieces of South River. As the paddler approaches Grottoes, large upright thrusts of limestone create some Class 2 rapids. For the skilled canoeist, there are a series of these towering outcrops within the Town of Grottoes itself. The Department stocks trout from Grand Caverns to Grottoes, so a trout license is needed when floating this reach. Some quality largemouth bass and large carp can be caught in this section. The Town of Grottoes has developed a beautiful park on river right, complete with a DGIF boat landing.
Grottoes to Port RepublicMap
This is also a short float of 2 miles, so it can be combined with the Grand Caverns float to make a longer fishing trip. This is an easy paddle, with great bass and sunfish angling. Take out is at the DGIF boat landing on river right as South River joins North River to form the South Fork Shenandoah River.