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Trip length: 3.0 miles
This is a great stretch of river to do in just a few hours. Because of our proximity to Pony Pasture, we can pack up, drop off, run the trip and be home in a little over 3 hours. It has enough tame rapids in a short stretch to spend a Sunday afternoon playing around and getting a feel for how your boat handles. This wasn't our first time through this section, it was just the first time we went and took pictures. Plus Michael came with us again, instantly making it more noteworthy. We took the shorter boats because there are a lot of turns to be made on this stretch of river, and some of them need to be made quickly. There's only one stretch where you have to put much effort into paddling, the stretch below Pony Pasture until you get to Powhite ledges. The rest of the trip is a fun little trip with lots of rocks and islands and places to explore and play, and little rapids to keep your interest. Definitely one of our favorite stretches of the James, and a great quick trip most any time of year. One of the things that makes this stretch so interesting is how close together everything is. In this 3 miles, you pass under 3 bridges, are forced to cross back and forth across the river in order to follow the main channel, encounter low-lying dams, several fun rapids, water deep enough for jumping off of old railroad bridge pylons, are very likely to see bald eagles, herons and snakes, views of historic buildings, and plenty of rocks to stop and fish off of or to sunbathe. One could probably paddle through this stretch a dozen times picking your way through the various channels and not go the exact same way twice. Everything great about the river condensed into one 3-mile stretch.