Tag Archives: stand up paddle boarding blue ridge mountains

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on James River near Snowden

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

Near the community of Snowden, Virginia, deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains, a road crosses over the James River. Alongside the roadway, the CSX railroad tracks run parallel to the river and then traverse the James on their way south to Lynchburg. See Map.James 826A few thousand feet from the Route 501 bridge is where the Appalachian Trail foot bridge crosses the James River high above the waters of the Cushaw Dam reservoir. At this place is the convergence of four modes of transportation: truck, train, foot, and stand up paddle board (SUP).

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on James River near Snowden

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

Near the community of Snowden, Virginia, deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains, a road crosses over the James River. Alongside the roadway, the CSX railroad tracks run parallel to the river and then traverse the James on their way south to Lynchburg. See Map.James 826A few thousand feet from the Route 501 bridge is where the Appalachian Trail foot bridge crosses the James River high above the waters of the Cushaw Dam reservoir. At this place is the convergence of four modes of transportation: truck, train, foot, and stand up paddle board (SUP).

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on the Rivanna Reservoir, Charlottesville

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

The September day was sunny and warm as I launched my stand up paddle board (SUP) in the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir (see map) just outside  Charlottesville.

rivanna river reservoir 09

The dam, built five decades ago, held back the water of the 450-acre reservoir that was busy  with canoes, kayaks, and anglers. The lake offered miles of tree-lined shore to explore along with many coves and inlets.

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on Sherando Lake

By Kurt Michaelwk0a_Photo_8-12-14

From the shoreline of Sherando Lake (See Map), I placed my stand up paddle board (SUP) into the water, jumped on, and was off. Traveling at a relaxed pace through occasional patches of underwater vegetation, I propelled myself through the deep forest green water toward the other side of lake. Looking down at my watch, I had reached my destination in a little over five minutes.  It appeared that the 24-acre lake, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Waynesboro, was somewhat small for the 12’6″ touring SUP designed for long-distance paddling. But there I was at the far northeast corner of the lake staring at a dam.

Kurt Sherando 6

Void of any warning signs, I figured it must be safe to paddle in closer. As I cautiously approached the dam, in the back of my mind I envisioned a strong current pulling me over the edge and plunging me to my death. My fears were unfounded when I realized it was only a four-foot drop. After paddling along the brim, I turned back toward the open lake and set my bearing for the island located in the middle of Sherando. The island has been a popular attraction for generations of beach goers who made the swim from the lake’s beach area to the island and back again.

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