The last access point I visited on the Jackson prior to heading over to Second Creek was Petticoat Junction. I was optimistic that the closer I got to Covington, the farther away from the Kings Grant and the associated landowner issues I would get. Based on the positive experience of Indian Gap where no “posted” signs were in evidence, I was hopeful that condition would continue downstream.
As I cruised down the narrow dirt road leading to the parking area, I was pleased to see a broad and well-developed access point that included plenty of parking as well as wooden stairs with a canoe slide leading down to the river’s edge. The same kiosk with the same cautions mentioned in the Smith Bridge post exists at the entrance to the river.
As I poked my head out onto the river, I was relieved to see that there were no “posted” signs anywhere in sight. Since the water was milky, I didn’t intend to stay here for a long, but decided to walk a little way downstream to see check the bottom structure and test the wadeability.
It was reasonably shallow with a shelf that stretched out and ended on a deeper channel that carved its way into the bank on river right. The shelf came to a quick end a few yards downstream at the southern boundary of the public property (a fact marked by a small white forest service sign) where it got deeper. As I peered around the corner, I did not see any posted signs downstream but know that the river ran close to some houses I could see as I drove into the parking lot.
Satisfied that there was potential downstream, I waded back to the access point and looked upstream. Good news — the river was clear of posted signs in that direction as well. While I did not walk in upstream to test whether it was wadeable or not, I had the sense that it was.
And the bottom? It continued to be rocky — just like Indian Gap — perfect for fish happiness.
Bottom line: This is well worth another visit. In fact, Petticoat Junction is so close to Indian Gap they you can fish both on the same day. In fact, if you take a bike with you, you can use it to shuttle between the two access points and leverage a canoe for transportation from wading spot to wading spot.
Getting There: Take exit 16A for US-60W/US-220N from I64. Follow it to the left onto Jackson River Road (Rt 687). Follow Jackson River road and you will see the turn to Petticoat on the left before you go over the bridge.
Google Local Coordinates:37.841911,-79.989567
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
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Upstream from the access
Downstream from the access
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore