Elk River - 2. Elk Springs(fish hatchery) to Bergoo


Elk River, West Virginia, US

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2. Elk Springs(fish hatchery) to Bergoo

Usual Difficulty II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 11.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 40 fpm
Max Gradient 40 fpm

Whitaker Falls


Whitaker Falls
Photo of Matt Schafer by Jessica Gaskins taken 07/15/02 @ 4.6 feet

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
ELK RIVER BELOW WEBSTER SPRINGS, WV
usgs-03194700 5.40 - 7.00 ft II-III+(IV) 03h02m 4.49 ft (too low)


River Description

This section includes Whitaker Falls. It is easy to scout from roadside while running shuttle.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2003-11-04 22:07:49

Editors


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments


2009-04-09 03:43:03 (2021 days ago)
x (1)
Robert Farmer---Hi, I did this on April 4, 2009. The level was about 6.6/2500 on the
telemetric/internet gauge at Webster Springs, which I've been told is 3 feet higher than the visual
gauge on the right side of the island in WS. I found it to be mostly Class 2, with perhaps a spot
of 3. I put in at Slatyfork, about 0.25 mile off of Route 219 immediately upstream of the
confluence of Slaty Fork and Old Field Fork, and downhill of a lumber yard. The trip to the first
road/trailhead took 1.0 hour exactly. After running alongside a road for a little bit, a ledge of
about 4 feet appeared, which I scouted on the right. Below here I was pleasantly surprised to find
a delightful Class 4 boulder garden that went on for a half-mile or so. (Elk Springs is probably
somewhere downstream of this boulder garden, but I'm not sure.) A few other rapids are scattered in
between easy sections, although the current was always moving nicely; in fact, the water soon
started feeling a bit pushy, even though it was usually fairly shallow---odd. Soon, Whitaker Falls
appeared, which I had previously scouted while driving up alongside the river, as it is right next
to the road. There is an approach ledge that I ran about 1/3 from the left shore through a break,
and I ran the final 8-ft-or-so drop tight left, about 20-30 feet from the left bank---Class 4, I'd
say. The river here is about 120 feet wide, I'd guess---rather unusual for a whitewater river. You
should scout this on your shuttle drive. Beware: the middle part looked like a drowning machine.
Although the guidebook recommends the right side, the ledge is pretty irregular over there, and the
hole looked somewhat stronger than on the left. I was happy with my decision. Below here is another
ledge of about 4-5 feet which I ran on the right, although center would have been good if I had
remembered the line there better. Below here the rapids come more slowly, with good rapids every
mile or so down to Bergoo, which is where the road makes a 90-degree turn at a one-lane bridge, a
fishing shop, and a small community. The best rapids always seem to be out of sight of the road. A
good approach for someone who wanted to cherry-pick the hardest section would be to drive up Bergoo
Road (CR 26 or 28?) from Webster Springs and make the right turn at around the 21 mile point (CR
80?), and put in from the trailhead up that way. This would avoid about 10 miles of Class 2; or, if
you want the Class 2 bits only, set your takeout here. (I didn't have time to drive this section of
road, as I for-some-reason connected back to Route 15 instead.) Then drive down as far as you want,
probably a couple of miles or so below Whitaker Falls. Upstream of Bergoo, the road is on river
right and is very high up for a while. Below Bergoo, the road is on river left for a while before
crossing back to the right. In summation, this section was quite enjoyable and
better-than-expected. And most of it is roadside, which makes the shuttle and road-scouting a
breeze. You should do it sometime. (Final note: I don't know where Elk Springs is; the guidebook
lists only one section from Slatyfork to Bergoo, of about 20 miles, so that is what I described
here. Also, I encountered no trees/strainers or portages.)

2009-03-28 12:18:37 (2033 days ago)
x (1)
I've run this section at many different levels, it is a fun easy run with a shortened run from just
about 3-4 waves above Whitaker to tressel bridge that crosses the road about 2-3 miles down. Not
sure exact mileage but there looks to be a fun wave to play at tressel bridge when water is a
little on the bhigher side of things.

2009-03-18 02:45:24 (2043 days ago)
x (1)
Between the ball field and the rail road tressel there is a tree across the river that almost all
the water goes under it!!!!!!!! caution

2004-04-09 11:45:41 (3847 days ago)
Fritz CrytzerDetails
4 April 2004. Put on just below Whitaker Falls and took out past Bergoo, below Cherry Falls. Water
level around 5.8 feet or so. Good run, just a litle scrapy at spots. Class II-III all the way.
Cherry Falls was fun, with many trout fishermen as spectators! River was generally open, with only
one fallen tree to carry around just below Bergoo. Also looked at the Gorge above the fish
hatchery, but was too low to run. Good water, cold weather. Didn't run the next day due to a total
accumulation of 8 inches of snow at our campsite just below Whitaker Falls. Fishing was lousy, with
only three trout caught on 3 April by my friend Greg.
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