About Peak Creek

Peak Creek has a drainage area of over 60 square miles and meanders over 26 miles from its source in Jefferson National Forest into Claytor Lake. Gatewood Dam was completed in 1958 on Peak Creek in Pulaski County west of the Town of Pulaski resulting in Gatewood Reservoir, a 162 water-acre water supply impoundment owned by the Town.

When the area that is now downtown Pulaski, Virginia was acquired for development by the Pulaski Land and Improvement Company in the 1880s, Peak Creek meandered through the area to be developed. The company re-channeled the creek to a straight course through the area and constructed walls of native limestone to contain the creek. These walls have stood for 130+ years and are local historic landmarks.

The creek flows through forest, farmland, and urban areas and eventually goes into Claytor Lake which is a major component of the New River. Flowing north, the New River ultimately enters the Kanawa Watershed in northern West Virginia and Southern Ohio. What happens to and in Peak Creek in our part of the world affects a far greater area than can be imagined.

Peak Creek is a stocked trout stream in two sites: just below Gatewood Dam and within the Town of Pulaski from the low water dam to the Route 99 bridge. It is a Class B designated trout stream and stocking is conducted five times annually by the VA Dept. of Wildlife Resources.  Go to Trout Info to find out more.

The Peak Creek Restoration Plan

Friends of Peak Creek, the Town of Pulaski, and Friends of Claytor Lake demonstrated a willingness to invest in the health of Peak Creek for the community by working collectively to develop the Pulaski Peak Creek Restoration Plan (PCRP), a prioritized list of restoration needs. The PCRP became a common agenda amongst the stakeholders concerned about the health of Peak Creek. 

The New River Conservancy served as the backbone support organization stewarding the PCRP and ensuring stakeholder engagement. The goal of the PCRP was to produce a comprehensive restoration plan that quantified and prioritized the holistic restoration needs on Peak Creek. A successful product would help galvanize support from funding sources and agencies who would financially support the restorative implementation projects. 

The first step was understanding the scope of restoration needed to restore the health of Peak Creek in a 2.2-mile length of the Creek located in the Town of Pulaski limits. The PCRP was to map land use and erosive creek banks throughout the designated section, identify the known hazards, Doodle Dust, etc. and prioritize potential restoration needs based on many factors, including creek bank instability, land ownership, expense, and potential effectiveness. 

The report was completed in December 2020.