Rivers

Franklin County Blueways are an exciting way for beginners and experts to experience the beauty of nature in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The county features four rivers, each with their own unique traits and beauty.


Pigg River Blueway

The Pigg River Blueway is a relaxing 8-mile float which takes you through some of Franklin County’s beautiful wooded landscapes and farmlands. The float takes about four to five hours to complete, making it the perfect river activity.  The historic waterway from Waid Recreation Area to Lynch Riverside Park was a transportation lane for Franklin County’s iron industry in the 18th century.

The Pigg River is also home to the annual Pigg River Ramble, part of Ramble Weekend held in May.

Blackwater River Blueway

The Blackwater Blueway offers a pleasant 8-mile float from Brubaker Park (Intersection of Coles Creek Road and Hickman Road) to the intersection of Jamestown Road and Blue Bend Road, and a 34-mile float from Brubaker Park to Smith Mountain Lake. From the Blue Ridge to the lake, this float offers excellent opportunities to view wildlife, drift, fish and swim while enjoying the beauty of Franklin County.

The Blackwater River is home to the annual Blackwater Blackout and Breakfast on the Blackwater, both part of Ramble Weekend held in May.

Philpott Lake Blueway

The Philpott Lake Blueway is a system of water trails easily accessible from surrounding parks, boat launches and campgrounds with put-in location in Franklin, Henry and Patrick Counties.

Covering parts of Henry, Franklin and Patrick Counties, the Blueway explores points of interest stretching over 25 miles. The individual water trails range from 1.5 miles to 9 miles in length.

Smith River Blueway

The Smith River gives life to Philpott Lake. It is a cold water release float from Philpott Dam to Bassett with put-in locations in Franklin and Henry Counties.

Located at the base of Philpott Dam, the Smith River has strong and challenging currents during water releasing times.

Roanoke River Blueway

The Roanoke River Blueway flows through the eastern border of Franklin County to Smith Mountain Lake, offering a unique combination of urban, front country, and back country recreation opportunities in the upper Roanoke River watershed.

Click here for Blueway maps