Gathright Dam – Jackson River Float Trip

Important Notices

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Elevation: 1620 ft.

Gathright Dam provides access to both the southern end of Lake Moomaw and the beginnings of a float trip down the Jackson River. Before getting on the river, scan the lower reaches of Lake Moomaw for waterfowl and bald eagles, but don’t neglect the woods around the dam – white-tailed deer could be just a glimpse away. Access to the Jackson River to float downstream via canoe or kayak is available just below the dam. This is one of the most relaxing ways of watching wildlife along the river. As you float downstream, search the banks for great blue and green herons or perhaps families of wood duck. In the early morning or at dusk, beaver and muskrat become more active and may catch your eye as you float downstream.

Site MAH02 Johnson Springs – Jackson River Float Trip


From US 220 in Covington travel north 4.3 miles to Rt. 687. Turn left and go 8.2 miles along Rt. 687 to Rt. 638/Natural Well Road. Turn left and go 0.7 miles to Rt. 605. Turn right and follow Rt. 605 for 3.4 miles. After 0.4 miles, Rt. 605 veers to the right; continue 3.0 miles to the dam.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 962-2214
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Accessible
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Phone
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms