The Nelson Area Paddlers
Nelson County Recreation
The Nelson Downriver
Canoe and Kayak Race

Food, Awards, Fun
Table of Contents
  • HOME
  • Events
  • Instructions
  • Directions
  • The Rules
  • AWA Safety Code
  • Other Notes
  • Maps
  • Weather and Gages
  • Photos
  • Results
  • Race Classes

  • Contact Info. Phil Welker 434-277-8023 or email
    Fee: $10 per person ($20 with T-Shirt). Add $5.00 for a second race.
    Price includes picnic after race. Paddlers are encouraged to bring a veggie dish or dessert where practicable.
    $5.00 fee for those who wish to picnic only.

    The Nelson Downriver Race is intended for anyone interested in canoe or kayak racing - from novices to national champions. Our goal is to promote recreation, conservation and sportsmanship through paddling rivers and lakes in and around Nelson County, Virginia.
    The Nelson Area Paddlers

    Important Notice: Depending upon water conditions some rapids on this section of the Tye River can approach class III. Beginners should not attempt this run.
    Main Events
    Downriver Race
    A beautiful run through Class I to Class II+ rapids on the Tye River's cool, clear mountain water.
    Registration: 9:00 - 11:00 AM
    Start: Rt. 662 along side the Tye River, 11:00 AM
    Finish: Confluence of Tye River and Rucker's Run
    Distance: 8 miles
    1. Safety boaters, those who wish to race early or those who wish to race twice will race at 7:30 AM. The 7:30 AM run is intended for experienced racers as there will be no safety boat support on this run.

    2. In the event of low water the race will be moved downriver. The put-in will be just upstream from the confluence of the Tye River and Rucker's Run and the take-out will be at the DGIF boat landing at Wingina.

    Picnic and Awards Ceremony
    About 1:30 PM at the take-out: The race registration fee includes a main course, drinks, etc. for a picnic after the race. Paddlers are encouraged to bring a veggie dish or dessert where practicable. There is a $5.00 fee for those who wish to picnic only (i.e., those who do not pay the race registration fee).

    Camping for the Night

    James River State Park has a variety of camping arrangements including primitive camping alongside the river.

    Proceed to put-in on Rt. 662 alongside Tye River, two miles from intersection with Rt. 739 and Tye River bridge (see map and directions below).

    Register for race and leave boat(s). If you do not wish to race but only want to float the river please let the registrars know this and you will not be placed into a race class. Please note that safety boaters and picnic food will not necessarily wait for those who come after the last racer so please try to put-in early if you are not racing.

    Proceed to take-out. Leave vehicle and shuttle back to put-in. Paddlers are reponsible for arranging their own shuttles. Most paddlers are able to arrange a shuttle with other paddlers. If you cannot arrange a shuttle back to the put-in from the take-out then you may leave your vehicle at the put-in. You will be able to get a ride back to the put-in after the awards ceremony.

    Notify race official when you are ready to begin race. You will be given a race number so please be ready to put in when your number is called. We will begin launching boats at 11:00 AM (possibly earlier for paddlers who are ready earlier). You should be ready to race at 11:00 AM

    Directions to Events
  • Take Rt. 29 South from Charlottesville or North from Lynchburg to Rt. 739 in Nelson County just North of the Tye River Bridge.

  • Turn East onto Rt. 739 and follow 739 for about 1 mile into the town of Tye River Depot.

  • Just before the Bridge over the Tye River turn left onto Rt. 662.

  • Rt. 662 follows the Tye River. Follow 662 for about 2 miles to a point where the road leaves the river.

  • This is the put-in for the downriver race.

    1. All participants must wear Coast Guard approved life vests.
    2. All participants are required to give aid to any boater in danger.
    3. Paddlers are strongly encouraged to wear whitewater helmets for their protection.
    4. Paddlers are encouraged to run the race course sometime before the actual race as there are a few 2+ & 3- rapids. You may also wish to consult Roger Corbett or Ed Grove's book for information on the lower Tye.
    5. Race classes are determined by the race officials. Where there is inadequate participation in a class it may be combined with a class of similar character.
    6. Paddlers may make appeals to race officials but, in all cases, the decision of race officials is final and binding.
    (I mean, come on, it IS just a race :-)

    1. Consider Camping and Picnicing at James River State Park (1-800-933-PARK ).
    2. Race time is at 11:00 AM. However, those who wish to race early or those who wish to race twice may race at 7:15 AM.
    3. After the race on Saturday there will be a get-together/cook-out for paddlers and their families at the takeout. Hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks will be supplied. You are encouraged to bring other food to consume or share as desired.
    4. Connect to for more information about accomodations and sites to see in Nelson County.

    MAPS - detailed on-line maps of the Nelson Co. area are located at

    A detailed shuttle map is located here.

    A detailed river map is located here.

    Nelson County Area

    Saturday - Downriver Race - Getting there is half the fun!

    James River State Park

    Nelson Co. Weather, Rain Gages, Rainfall
    Lovingston, Lynchburg and Charlottesville Weather

    Nelson Co. Rain Gages

    Tye River Stream Gage

    Piney River Stream Gage

    Rockfish River Stream Gage

    All Virginia Stream Gages

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