The following are CCA Access Committee suggestions to the Loudoun County Planning group for improvements along Goose Creek in their ten-year plan to improve their parks.
- Signage - telling boaters at put-in how far the next landing is and what the difficulties are in between. Warning them of high water danger - alerting them of how to access the Leesburg USGS gauge to find water height & volume - cut-off points.
Some Suggestions for Access Points for Paddlecraft along Lower Goose Creek
Signs - We could help with signs about paddling at the various launching points. - For each point to tell paddlers and others where to go – how far it is – And depending on water levels: what could be dangerous and what could be too shallow.
Brochure – Similar to those available at Banshee Reeks Park, to inform boaters hoe to use the water trail safely and responsibly. The CCA could furnish ideas.
Listing of Access Points from Downstream working Upstream
Boaters refer to “river right, river left” according to the direction of downstream travel. In general, people paddle the Goose downstream. Sections that are paddled upstream are: from the mouth to Kephart Bridge Landing, from Keep Loudoun Beautiful Park to Cooks Dam, and on the reservoir from Fairfax Dam to Francis Dam and up to Evergreen Mills.
- Kephart Bridge Landing -This is an ideal launch – to go across the Potomac to Edwards Ferry or downstream to Elizabeth Mills & Bles Park. Mostly we use it to set our take-out cars, then drive to Sycolin Road to park and put boats into the reservoir for a three-hour paddle down the Goose.
- Keep Loudoun Beautiful Park – We appreciate the new boat-launch at KLB Park - good, simple design. Equally, the removal of the old Route 7 bridge piers eliminated a hazard that picked up dangerous timbers. Suggest removing the No Parking signs on either side of the Golf Club Road cul-de-sac. Add a Port-a-Potty as at Kephart Landing Park.
- at KLB Park - suggest access to the Tuscarora Creek pebble beach - 100 yds across the bottom of the parking lot. This beach used by fishers and for kayaks heading upstream to surf in and run Golfcourse /Cooks Mill Rapid.
- Cooks Mill Rapid – assure ability of boaters to use the left shore to pull kayaks up to re-launch and run the rapid (the most significant one on the Goose) This would be a good Rest Stop.
- Sycolin Creek/W&OD Landing - First put-in for those unwilling to portage the Fairfax Dam. Steep drop into Sycolin Creek.
- Fairfax Dam – Descent – Boaters have been bypassing this 20-foot high structure since it was built in 1961. Until 9/11/2001 it was the standard put-in place. Boaters currently let their boats down by rope on the steep trail on the right side. Steps might also be built for those preferring that method. Below the dam at the water’s edge a put in is needed. Wood trunks tend to wash up here, so continued attention is needed. (Boaters can email park authorities when such trunks are encountered).
- Fairfax Dam – Reservoir – A formal landing is needed ca 100 yards from the top of the dam. Currently it is mud, and a gravel base would be preferable. Signs pointing boaters up the parking lot to the right wing of the dam, where one connects to the steep trail down to the creek would be helpful.
NB: There is little danger here – the large orange buoys keep paddlers far from the lip. We know of no boater accidents having occurred here over the past fifty years. Signs should warn the ignorant of the danger during high water. There is a prominent river stage gauge on the dam, which should be marked in standard green/yellow/red to warn boaters of proceeding downstream.
- Fairfax Dam Launch – Access from Belmont Ridge Road down Hearford Lane – as before 9/11 – should be restored. Many whitewater lovers do not enjoy paddling down the reservoir to get to the flowing water. Parking for ca 30 cars – more than anywhere else along the Creek. Port-a-Potty as at Kephart Landing.
- Trap Rock Launch – This launch on reservoir left just downstream from Dulles Greenway comes down from the Trap Rock Water Treatment facility. There is major construction, but it may be Loudoun Water, not the Parks.
- Goose Creek Overlook Proffer – This launch on reservoir right at Sycolin Road is part of the just-approved Overlook housing project but will not be available for another three years. (to 2024)
- Sycolin Bridge Launch – This informal launch spot into a tiny creek on reservoir left (across from the Outlook) should be protected until the Overlook site is opened.
- Beaverdam Launch or Rest Spot This is on river right at the foot of Beaverdam Reservoir just upstream from the big “S” turn. Needs more research as to feasibility.
- Francis Lock & Dam – Establish picnic rest spot immediately downstream on river-left. A sluice through the dam might be established to facilitate running this broken-out rubble dam in low-water conditions.
- Evergreen Mills Launch – Evergreen Mills Rd (SR 621) is a 2-laner with no pull-out near the bridge. The USGS Leesburg gauge is on river left above the bridge, (332 square miles of catchment). A launch spot might be placed on river left below the bridge. This piece of land is relatively flat and allows boats to be launched into the very top of the flatwater behind Francis Dam.
- Launch at US 15/Oatlands – Best launch area appears at river left above the bridge, on the inside of a left-tending bend in the creek.
- Launch at Crooked Bridge Road – Just off Lime Kiln Rd (SR 711) one mile up from US 15, there is parking for six cars on both sides. Launch spot is over a small beach on river right just downstream from the bridge.
[We have no suggestions for access points further upstream until Middleburg, though we would be pleased to do so when the time is right.]
- Middleburg, St. Louis Rd / SR 611 Bridge – A landing area could be improved on river left opposite the USGS gauge. Roadside Parking
- Battle of Upperville/Goose Creek Stone Bridge / SR 734 – The river bank just downstream from the old (1810) bridge could be improved for launching paddlecraft. Northern Virginia Parks has parking for about 10 vehicles.
Canoe Cruisers Association – 20 March 2021