The most popular and prominent waterway in Rockbridge County
is the Maury River – the carver of Goshen Pass, a water sports highway, an outstanding
fishery, and a thriving habitat. Goshen Pass is also a popular destination for kayaking, swimming, sightseeing, and exploring.
Once called “the North Fork of the James,” the Maury River runs from its headwaters above Goshen Pass through Lexington and down to the confluence with the James River in Glasgow.
The upper portion of the river in Goshen is considered world-class whitewater for kayaking and rafting, and supports smallmouth bass and stocked trout. The thrilling six-mile stretch through the gorge at Goshen Pass has two Class IV rapids – Devils Kitchen and Corner Rapid. This seasonal run, which ends at Rockbridge Baths, is Virginia's most challenging whitewater. It's typically runnable from March to June.
Trout are stocked at Goshen five times a year and anglers may harvest six fish over 7” per day. Several smaller streams, such as Guy’s Run, flow into the Maury at Goshen, and these streams support wild rainbow and brook trout. Farther down river in Lexington and beyond, the Maury holds plentiful smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, carp, bluegill, and rock bass.
From the Lexington Visitor Center, drive west on Washington Street to a right onto Main Street (US-11 Business). Continue driving north on US-11 for approximately two miles. Turn left onto VA-39 W/ Maury River Road. You will arrive to Goshen Pass after 11.7 miles.
- The ease of access to the Maury River makes it the most kid-friendly fishing opportunity in Rockbridge County.
- Goshen Pass is also a popular destination for swimming, sightseeing, and exploring.
- A roadside marker at the Goshen Pass Wayside honors former Virginia Military Institute professor Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maury was a 19th-century oceanographer and mapmaker whose research revolutionized maritime navigation.
- There are picnic areas at Goshen Pass. Source your lunch locally with freshly prepared to-go options at Legendary Eats in Lexington or visit BG’s 2 in Goshen for drinks, snacks, hardware items and gasoline.