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Rappahannock/Fredericksburg Quarry - Fredericksburg VA


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Rappahannock/Fredericksburg Quarry is a shore accessible fresh water dive site, located in Fredericksburg, VA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.14 out of 5 from 7 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 36-40ft/11-12m. The average visibility is 11-15ft/3-5m. Training platforms are available.

This quarry is closed to the general public, but is accessible to scuba divers under very specific conditions.
It is managed by the Virginia Outdoor Center (VOC; 540-371-5085), and is used for kayak, canoe, and paddleboard training. Dive shops interested in using the quarry for dive training must coordinate with the VOC.
You will need to contact, and be approved by, Bill Micks of the VOC in order to get a quarry pass if you want to scuba dive in the quarry.
Mr. Micks will only allow diving if you are a dive instructor, are part of a government or private dive team, or are an individual with a dive business. You must also have dive insurance.
As of June 5 2019, Zach Santulli is the primary go-to for quarry access. There are several new policies and requirements in place due to VDOT construction occurring on Quarry Road.
For your diving convenience, The Scuba Shack (540-373-1030), a local dive shop, is located about 2 miles from the quarry. Mad About Diving (540-424-4973) is a new shop that recently opened in downtown Fredericksburg. Patriot Scuba (703-490-1175) is another shop that frequently visits the quarry. There are a couple of others also authorized to use it.
If you would like to scuba dive in the quarry, call the shops mentioned here to find out if they will allow you to tag along for "fun dives." If so, you’ll probably be required to fill out a waiver.
The quarry itself has training platforms, and several submerged objects. See the dive map for a complete list.
Fauna includes bass, bluegill, painted turtles, freshwater jellyfish, freshwater eel, and channel catfish.
Visibility varies greatly depending on weather and human traffic, but averages between 10’ to 20’. The thermocline temp stays a steady 44-49 degrees year round.
Horizontally-suspended silt clouds can be observed in most places and give the underwater environment a ghostly appearance. Large stones and huge boulders are scattered throughout, but the southeast area has most of the larger ones. They are packed close together, creating cave-like crevices that provide shelter and protection for fish and eels.
The quarry walls offer spectacular views.
For divers willing to take the challenge, the south and southwest areas of the quarry have many large submerged trees and branches that offer the opportunity of practicing buoyancy control and tight-space maneuvering. Slowly weaving through the natural "obstacle course" helps develop patience and alertness. Make sure to carry a dive tool that has a serrated edge and knife combination in case of entanglement. In that kind of environment, slow is fast!
Be sure to check out the photos associated with the quarry. There are also a couple of Youtube videos that will give you a general idea of what you might see and experience.
Here are some links:
youtube.com/watch?v=wiCFsr50nxI
youtu.be/uRhxnqd-x7U

Dive Site Map

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Comments

Airworks - 15 days 20 hours ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWnPPkci_DA>

Did a solo yesterday and stumbled upon what I think is the deepest area of the quarry. I had heard it was around 40’, but wasn’t sure where.
Airworks - 9/28/2019 2:26 PM
youtu.be/uRhxnqd-x7U

Took another journey around the perimeter of the quarry. This time, however, the sun was out and bright and the water was unusually clear.
Check out the YouTube link.
ScubaEarth - 9/27/2019 10:34 PM
Rating Added: 3
Finished my cert here
Airworks - 8/29/2019 4:54 PM
Did another solo dive at the Rappahannock Quarry to test a new GoPro Hero7 Black, and the original turned out great. Nice and sharp colors and edges. But the upload to YouTube distorted it slightly, though it’s still viewable.

Here’s the link: youtube.com/watch?v=wiCFsr50nxI
Airworks - 7/21/2019 12:25 PM
Just finished a solo "night" (4 am) dive searching for the elusive monster catfish Ralph told me about. I looked around an area along the south west side of the quarry where small catfish have been observed, but no luck. I did find a dead 2’ largemouth bass that appeared to have died within a couple days. He was completely intact and stiff, with small amounts of mucus emanating from it. Shoved it under about 1’ of bottom muck. Also saw five large eels.
Airworks - 5/19/2019 3:15 PM
Have done about 12 solo’s here since March, and have found 5 kayak paddles belonging to the VOC, 4 dive masks, 2 tank valve caps, 3 snorkels, and a single dive glove. My buoyancy control and tight-space maneuvering ability has greatly improved since spending considerable time at the south end of the quarry where there are many submerged large trees and branches.
The visibility has been outstanding for the most part.
Barnabysdad - 3/23/2019 4:42 PM
1-1-2019. Completed a dive with Scuba Shack. Had a good time. Vis averaged 10-15’. The average temperature was 46. The max depth that my group hit was 32’. I did not see any fish or other critters.
Airworks - 10/15/2018 3:09 PM
youtube.com/watch?v=T_8Qhd444qk&t=492s

Here’s a link to see what the quarry perimeter looks like.
The video was the first time I’ve used a hand-held camera, so please excuse the slight shaking. Will definitely need to get an extension.
Airworks - 10/15/2018 3:27 AM
My dive buddy and I did a couple of "night" (very early morning) dives in the quarry, and saw several medium-sized catfish for the first time. We didn’t even know the quarry had them. They appeared to be Channel cats, though possibly Brown Bullheads. Will take a closer look next time.
The viz was excellent, particularly from the surface to about 20’ deep.
Ambient temp was about 44 degrees, but the water felt very comfortable, even warm in comparison.
Airworks - 10/01/2018 6:27 AM
After finally getting a quarry pass from Bill Micks, I’ve been able to dive the quarry several times since August.
The visibility has been unusually good (between 15’ and 30’) from the surface to about 25’.
There are schools of bluegill and largemouth bass, some of which are very large. You’ll also see striped bass, freshwater jellyfish, and eels galore.
The south end of the quarry has many submerged trees and branches, and is a great area to practice tight space maneuvering and buoyancy control.
Milcopk9 - 9/20/2016 10:37 AM
Rating Added: 3
Good Training
Airworks - 5/14/2016 6:11 AM
Three local dive shops participated in a Dive Against Debris event at the Rappahannock Quarry on Saturday, May 7. I joined in and was able to collect and extract 10 lbs of trash. Among the items were a diver’s mask, a decayed flotation device, and an arrow with its 15" shaft protruding vertically in the muck bottom.
The viz was unusually good at around 25’. There are several beautiful rock formations toward the middle of the quarry that I had never seen before. Water temp at 35’ was 47f.
Korps - 5/18/2016 1:59 PM
Glad to heare you were able to join. I’m an AI for Patriot Scuba, one of the shops who sponsored the Dive Against Debris. I was at the Rapp both days this past weekend and continue to find more stuff, usually left by the kids and hikers/runners who pass though. Patriot Scuba has adopted the Rappahannock Quarry for Dive Against Debris and will be doing more dives to clean it up.
InterstateDiveGuide - 5/11/2016 12:44 PM
Rating Added: 3
It’s cold with a distinct thermocline, but it’s a great location for training open water divers. Vis is just good enough to see a full open water class, and the bottom is not too silty.
Airworks - 1/29/2016 7:49 AM
Generally good diving. Gets pretty cold (44 degrees F) at the thermocline, and the viz is unpredictable. If you find the bus, there’s a mannequin with dive gear lying flat on the bottom right at the door. Can be a shocker for the unprepared.
The quarry is surrounded by large trees, and over time several branches and limbs have broken off, fallen into the water, and sunk to the bottom. They form ghostly and cool images underwater, but present potential entanglement hazards.
The cliff walls and granite rock formations are spectacular.
nomad-diver - 9/04/2015 11:34 PM
City of Fredericksburg controls access ... you can dive here working through Patriot Scuba (patriotscuba.com/) and the Scuba Shack (scubashackva.com/). Two gates to get in, you must be with one of the dive shops. Dirt trail down to the water ... if you drive a compact car you won’t make it. Viz varies widely, 5-30’ depending on weather and season. Lots of artifacts sunk in the quarry (eg, platforms, boats, cars, and a bus) and good rock walls almost all the way around. Entry point is a rock and sand ramp from beach level down to 20’. Quarry is shallow, not more than 50’ at the deepest point. Lots of gills and sunfish. Great place to just swim and look around.
TamVA - 8/13/2015 1:44 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/13/2015.
Love this shop. Nice dive, un-prepared for conditions, dive cut short. Will go back.
Korps - 8/18/2013 4:30 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/5/2013. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Started my AOW here.