Meadow, West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||39 fpm|
|Max Gradient||39 fpm|
|MEADOW RIVER NEAR MT. LOOKOUT, WV|
|usgs-03190400||500 - 2000 cfs||III-IV||14d15h11m||595 cfs (running)|
You can avoid a bit of flat water by opting to put in about 1 mile above the Wilderness PSD water plant instead of going all the way up to the Route 41 bridge at Nallen. The locals call the mile above the water plant the "Miracle Mile". It is almost continuous class II/III+ rapids with lots of play spots. This section often collects trees and debris so watch out for strainers. It's also a good idea to choose your lines carefully and watch out for undercuts - they are everywhere.
There is a potentially deadly pinning spot (especially a levels below 1000 cfs) in the second major rapid. This rapid can be identified from upstream by a large boulder in the center near the top of the rapid and a house sized boulder on river right at the bottom of the rapid (with numerous trees growning on top). The majority of the water flows to the right of the center rock and over a 3' ledge. Just below the ledge is a flat rock that is barely under water at 650 cfs. This rock creates the pinning situation (or a very sore back caused by boofing onto the flat rock). There is a small slot to the left of the center boulder that is a better line if it is not blocked by strainers and another line around the ledge along the far right side of the river. The photo "Terminal Hole in Miracle Mile" shows the ledge and the flat rock. You can also see the flow around the far side of the center rock (the riover left line). The far right line brings the boater back to the center of the river just above the slanting rock at the front of the raft.
The Miracle Mile is a good section for checking out the boating skills of the group while you still have a chance to easily get off the river. Once you pass the water plant, Route 41 veers away from the river and there is no easy way to take off the river (although an abandonded railroad line runs along river left if you really need to get off).
Whatever you do, make sure you don't miss the takeout under the Route 19 bridge. If you do you will be in for a surprise on the Lower Meadow!
Putin: Route 41 bridge at Nallen or 1 mile above Wilderness PSD water plant
Takeout: Route 19 Bridge