If it's 3.7 or so, you'll have strong flow. For the main drop, if you run top to bottom on the MD side, you're looking at a fast ride. There's the steep wave/hole at the top, sort of river left, and then after that Meat Cleaver on your right. Keeping to the MD side, you'll have a big wave train near the bottom and some curler waves coming laterally from the rocks. Those can knock you over.
I don't know if the top of the VA side is open, but I think you can get to VA from the slides, after catching the top (middle) eddy behind the center-ish rock. Or you can run from MD to VA above Meat Cleaver--but getting there takes some definite skill, good lines, and a fairly fast boat. That's a serious move because of Meat Cleaver and the hole on the right side. Depending on the tide situation, that hole can get/look pretty ugly. The ferry move involves some boogie water and punching some pushy cross-currents.
You'd probably want to go with someone who has run it a few times, and you should scout. The difference between summer levels (2.6 and below) and 3.4 and above is pretty huge. Definitely scout -- And, you may wish to check out the AW page to get a better sense:
From: Peter Bross <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, June 7,[masked]:25 PM
Subject: [dckayakers] Little Falls @ 3.7'
>What skill level is Little Falls - I'm new to the area
Depends on the level - it willl be about 3.7' tomorrow
I would call the river 3+ but to get to Lock 5 at rush hour may involve some class 4+ maneuvering on the Clara Barton.
Beaver slide will be fun, MD side will be some big waves and on the VA side you will have to contend with the room of doom.
I really prefer Little Falls at low summer levels - around 2.6'
At 3.7' I would go to Angler's or the Gorge or ODeck but at least there should not be a shuttle problem.
Also people may be practicing at the Feeder gates for the race on Sunday.
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