Difficulty I
Length 10.9 Miles
Flow Range 3.50 - 8.99 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 7.99 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/11/2019 4:51 pm

River Description

If putting in at the Oldtown bridge, the canal is watered down to the Town Creek Aqueduct, permitting a 10 mile circuit.  The Potomac Forks  C&O hiker/biker campground is about 2.0 miles downstream from Oldtown.  Although this 11 mile run begins at Oldtown MD (the confluence of the North and South Branches of the Potomac), a good alternate put-in resulting in an 8 mile run starts at the Town Creek Aqueduct river access (MD side) a few miles downstream.   Putting in here, it is a Class I moving water run, with a few riffles to surf here and there, depending upon levels.  The Town Creek C&O hiker/biker campgound is about a half a mile below the Town Creek Aqueduct.  The Little Cacapon comes in from the West Virginia side about 7.5 miles below Oldtown (roughly 3.75 miles below the Town Creek put-in).   The take out can be at the Paw Paw WV river access, just after the Paw Paw WV bridge on the West Virginia side, or the Paw Paw Tunnel park on the Maryland side.  

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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article main photo

Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

Charles Walbridge

After two years of intense negotiations an agreement reached to protect endangered species in the Cheat River Canyon. Allegheny Wood Products acquired roughly 5,000 acres in the Cheat Canyon below Albright, WV in 2003 for $9.75 million. When they began building roads and cutting trees the following year the government took no steps to enforce the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed in 2005 by Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Cheat Lake Environmental and Recreational Association. Although American Whitewater was not a party to the litigation we are gratified that an agreement was reached and commend both parties for their efforts.

Tony Allred Jr


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213829 10/25/19 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1213830 10/25/19 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1213844 10/31/19 Tony Allred Jr updated image position
1210007 07/10/18 Tony Allred Jr n/a
1213996 12/11/19 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1213995 12/11/19 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1210692 12/14/18 Tony Allred Jr 12-15-2018 - added WV with MD listing
1210008 07/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-10-2018 - added reach