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Johnson Springs – Jackson River Float Trip


Elevation: 1286 ft.

Johnson Springs provides access to a serene mirror calm stretch of the Jackson River. Massive sycamores stretch out over the river along the bank, hosting chickadee and titmouse flocks as they travel the river in search of food. These assemblies can also include less common species such as worm-eating warbler and white-eyed vireo. The scrubby fields next to the stream support open country species such as indigo bunting, American goldfinch, and song sparrow. Watch along the bank for congregations of butterflies concentrated in moist areas of sand. These include eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails, eastern tailed-blue and pearl crescent. The shadier edges of the river also host the glittering ebony jewelwing dragonfly.


  • The US Army Corps of Engineers releases water from Gathright Dam on a regular basis, but also as needed. Check the COE’s website before heading out.


Physical Address: 209 Natural Well Rd, Alleghany, VA 24426

From Covington, head north on US-220 N/Hot Springs Rd, turn left onto VA-687/Jackson River Rd, turn left onto SR-641/Indian Draft Rd, turn right onto SR-666/E Morris Hill Rd, turn right onto SR-638/Natural Well Rd, make the first right after crossing the Jackson River, and follow that to the parking area.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

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

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Parking
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch