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AW in the MidAtlantic

American Whitewater has a long history of working in the Mid-Atlantic. Our regional conservation and access program is directed towards securing recreational releases from dams and securing public access points to rivers, which would otherwise be lost due to development. Our work on securing releases on the Gauley and Yough (both Upper and Lower) have proven integral to developing regional rural economic strategies and building sustainable commercial markets for eco-tourism opportunities. We are lucky that West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have fairly strong navigability and public access laws; however we are vigilant for any legislation that would reduce the public right to float. We are also increasingly concerned about the state of water quality in the Mid-Atlantic and the effect of surface mining and extractive mountain top mining removal in which unusable dross is simply pushed into sensitive headwaters streams and creeks.

First Descender Bill Bickham Returns to the Upper Yough after 55 Years

posted September 7, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 3
Bill Bickham, a seven-time national whitewater canoe champion who made the first descent of the Youghiogheny River in May of 1959, returned to Friendsville this past Saturday for a valedictory trip with Precision Rafting Expeditions. Once considered an extreme expedition, the "Upper Yough" between Sang Run and Friendsville now plays host to hundreds of skilled kayakers every summer weekend and supports an vibrant commercial rafting trip business. Bickham, now 77, was one of the strongest paddlers of his era.He and his friends ran the Upper Yough in aluminum canoes at very low water levels. At a party afterwards Bickham met several people who played an important role in making the Upper Yough accessible to the paddling public. For more information, click the link:

Adventuresport Institute Completes Successful Savage River Release Season

posted September 7, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 3

American Whitewater congratulates the Garrett College Adventuresport Institute for managing another successful season of Savage River whitewater releases. The river, which hosted the 1989 World Slalom and Whitewater Championships, offers five miles of very continuous Class III-IV whitewater that's a joy to paddle. Program Director Mike Mike Logsden and other Garrett College personnel arranged parking, shuttle service, put-in and take-out access, release of liability for the stake-holders, and the removal of dangerous river debris. Takeout procedures this year were re-designed to avoid a dangerous road crossing. Expenses related to the shuttle service and strainer removal was paid by donations from participating boaters. If you enjoyed yourself, send a brief thank you to michael.logsdon@garrettcollege.edu

Gauley River (WV) Open Letter to Boaters 2014

posted August 15, 2014
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

Gauley season is just around the corner and in preparation for fall releases American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area informing boaters of planning efforts for this season.

Join us at the Deerfield Fest on July 12th in Charlemont (MA)

posted July 9, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 3

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. The festival is an opportunity to come together with your paddling friends and listen to live music, check out the festival vendors, and maybe win a boat and other gear at the silent auction.

April Volunteer of the Month Presented by Kokatat

posted April 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

American Whitewater is pleased to announce our April Volunteer of the Month, Jess Whittemore. For his leadership in securing additional boater access at the Upper Yough (MD) takeout Jess will be receiving a custom Kokatat Woolcore Shirt!

Annual West River Release Bittersweet (VT)

posted October 3, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 2

Paddlers from throughout New England converged on Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont last weekend for the annual release on the West River. The annual one day release, held the last weekend in September, is the only remaining scheduled release by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Ball Mountain Dam. Spirits were running high as approximately 800 boaters and an additional 300 commercial rafters enjoyed the warm fall day. In past years when there were two day releases, the number paddlers coming up to the West Fest was double the number who come out for single day release. AW is continuing its efforts to restore releases to the West River.

AW Completes Purchase, Donation of Contoocook River Access (NH)

posted October 3, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 2

American Whitewater, with the help of Merrimack Valley Paddlers and local boaters, has completed its effort to acquire, protect and donate property along the Contoocook River. AW has long been involved with the Contoocook and was active in the sucessful effort in 2004 that resulted in the removal of a dam that extended the whitewater section of the river near the takeout.  The recent acquisition of land at the put-in will assure that paddlers will continue to have access to the Class III/IV section of the river which is a popular run in southern New Hampsire for paddlers throughout New England.



Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

November 2014

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:00 am -4:00 pm est
1000 cfs

Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
500 cfs

2
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
700 cfs

3
4
5
6
7
8
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
500 cfs

9
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
700 cfs

10
11
12
13
14
15
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
500 cfs

16
Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:30 am -3:00 pm est
700 cfs

17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6

Events
Potomac, North Branch Release Luke,MD runs 08/26/06 - 05/18/14
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Upper Yough Release Friendsville,MD runs 04/15/05 - 10/15/12
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Stonycreek River Releases Johnstown,PA runs 06/02/12 - 10/21/12
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Lehigh River Release White Haven,PA runs 05/10/08 - 09/01/13
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Summersville,WV runs 09/14/12 - 09/15/12
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Tohickon Creek Point Pleasant,PA runs 05/20/06 - 03/18/12
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Gauley River (WV) Releases Summersville,WV runs 11/01/03 - 11/16/14, next 11/01/14
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Presented by Subaru Summersville,WV runs 09/20/13 - 09/21/13
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Savage River Release Savage River Dam,MD runs 09/09/07 - 07/06/14
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Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/20/13
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  (iCal)  

Related Groups

Volunteer Opportunities / Activities

Associated Projects

  • Gauley River (WV)
    For many years AW has worked on the protection of this river and advocated for public access.
  • Lehigh River (PA)
    AW has worked with local paddling clubs to improve the recreational value of dam releases on the Lehigh
  • Upper Yough Access (MD)
    AW collaboratively manages the put in for the Upper Youghiogheny River in Western Maryland.
  • Upper Yough Releases (MD)
    American Whitewater worked closely with local paddlers and other stakeholders to negotiate an improved flow regime on the Upper Yough.
  • Virginia Access
    Virginia has some superb rivers and river access laws among the worst in the Nation. American Whitewater is working to assure the basic right to float down a stream in Virginia.