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The Guide to Floating Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek

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Water Level

First things first - you have to check the water level before making any plans. The Westham Gauge will tell you the water level. This route is ideal to float when the river is between 4.5′ and 6.5′ and will take about 3-4 hours to float. Life jackets are required when the river is at 5’.

Parking: Two Vehicles Needed

REEDY CREEK - go here first and park a vehicle then drive up to Pony Pasture
Reedy Creek Trail Parking Lot, 4190 Riverside Dr, Richmond, VA 23225

When you float from Pony Pasture down to Reedy Creek, you will need a vehicle at Reedy Creek in order to get back up to Pony Pasture. Park at Reedy Creek and stock that car with water, towels, a change of clothes and shoes (your water shoes will be wet/muddy), trash bags, etc. Anything you might want or need after 3-4 hours of floating the river. Then jump in the second car and head up to Pony Pasture.

PONY PASTURE - park second vehicle here
Pony Pasture Parking Area, 7310 Riverside Dr, Richmond, VA 23225
The car parked at Pony Pasture should contain any supplies you need to start your float (packing list included below).

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Pony Pasture Launch Ramp

Pony Pasture Launch Ramp

Floating Route

Launching: You will launch your floats from Pony Pasture. There are four sets of Class II whitewater rapids during this trip. The first is at Pony Pasture shortly after you launch. Be prepared to paddle your float to avoid big rocks and navigate the rapids.

On the trip: Willow Oaks Country Club and golf course takes up a good portion of your view while floating between Pony Pasture and the first bridge. You will float under three bridges. The Powhite Bridge, the CSX Train Bridge, and lastly the Boulevard/Nikel Bridge. As you go around the bend after the third bridge, the downtown Richmond skyline will come into view. This means you are close to the end.

Exiting: After the third bridge, you will go through your last whitewater rapid which will keep you to the left/middle of the river. You need to exit right so pay attention here and be ready to paddle a bit. There is a white, square sign that says “TAKE OUT”. Float that way and into the small canal. You’ll float the little canal for about 10 minutes and then you’ll see the exit ramp on your right.

You’ll carry your tubes and supplies up the ramp and then cross over the train tracks and the parking lot will be straight ahead.

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On Monday of Memorial Day the river level was 5.25’. We departed from Pony Pasture at 11am. We floated past Willow Oaks Country Club and under the Powhite Bridge. We stopped to hang on some rocks for about 30 minutes between the Powhite Bridge & CSX Bridge and then continued on, went under the Boulevard "Nickel" Bridge and arrived at Reedy Creek around 3:30pm. 

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Packing List

Bathing suit
Water shoes
Waterproof sunblock
Cooler with ice - the tube we link below has a built-in cooler
Water
Beverage of choice
Snacks (trail mix, granola bars, etc)
Coozies
Trash Bags
Waterproof bag/case for cell phone in case of emergency and for music
Waterproof speaker
Tubes - we ordered these ones from Amazon
Electric air pump to fill tubes
Extra tube in case one dies
Rope to tie tubes together
Bug Spray
Hat
Sunglasses
NO GLASS
Towels
Change of shoes (water shoes will be wet/muddy at end of trip).

Safety

  • Don’t stand up in moving current

  • Nose & toes to the sky, feet downstream

  • Avoid logs, bridge pillers, and rocks

  • Don’t bring glass!!

  • Wear a life jacket when the river is 5’ or above