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Petticoat Junction – Jackson River Float Trip


Elevation: 1285 ft.

Petticoat Junction is the last pull out before floating down into Covington. This area holds a variety of habitats from open fields to woodland. These surroundings support anticipated birds such as indigo buntings and song sparrows. Along forest edges these birds can be heard singing from prominent points and popping out of denser patches of scrub and grass. The woods ring with the familiar calls of Carolina wren, northern cardinal and northern flicker, while the river hosts great blue and green herons, wood duck and belted kingfisher. Butterflies such as eastern tiger swallowtail and red-spotted purple float between cardinal flowers and black-eyed Susans. The glittering ebony jewelwing sticks to shady sections along the stream, often sharing their perch with eastern painted turtles.


  • 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: 194 Mays Ln, Covington, VA 24426

From Covington, head north on US-220 N/Hot Springs Rd, turn left onto VA-687/Jackson River Rd, turn left onto Mays Ln, and follow the signs to the parking area.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

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

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Parking
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch