Welcome to the confluence, where the Rapidan and the Rappahannock rivers meet.
This is one of the many picturesque and remote parcels of the watershed property owned by the City of Fredericksburg. There are numerous outdoor activities for all age groups that can be enjoyed at the confluence. The confluence is located twelve miles upriver from the I-95 Bridge. Because of the sheer volume of the two rivers converging, at the confluence the Rappahannock is at its widest and rockiest point in the non-tidal region.
What makes the confluence so magnificent?
Well, there are so many things. The number-one thing I love to do is stand at the very end tip of the land pointing downstream, turn and face west, and see the two great rivers flowing toward me. While doing this, I’m saddened because the beautiful Rapidan River ends. However, its flow of life is passed on to the Rappahannock River, which allows it to continue its journey downstream to the Chesapeake Bay.
There are two ways to reach the confluence. One way is to take a light, one-mile hike in from Richards Ferry Road in Culpeper (Online maps will show a Richard’s Ferry Road in Stafford County which takes you to private property. Please ensure that you have the correct Richard’s Ferry Road in Culpeper County). The second way is by canoe or kayak from upstream on either river. The second way is easier for campers, because they do not have to carry the gear, they can pack more into a canoe. This area has some of the best camping, hiking, birding, fishing, swimming, animal watching, sleeping (sounds of water passing over rocks), star gazing, pawpaw picking,…etc.
The area is very safe for family camping, but it’s up to you to take the first step. I challenge you: take the time one day and walk that mile to the confluence. Have you ever seen two major rivers meet? The drive is just 30 minutes from Fredericksburg. Make sure to take kids, because they can run wild. It’s up to you to check it out! Seeing + smelling + touching = believing! Please let me know what you think by making an entry in the journal book at the kiosk. I hope to see you out there!
By Officer Lee Sillitoe, Watershed Property Manager