Note: most of this run is actually on Little Sandy Creek (PA); the putin is on Fike Run, though, and the Natl Atlas has the whole thing listed as Little Sandy Creek.
This is a popular steep and narrow creek run when everything's been inundated by rain.
Gordon Dalton points out: It should be noted that there is one very dangerous ("unrunnable") drop on Fikes. (Ben Badger points out that this rapid is probably best known as "Hubbard's Cupboard", but Kevin Williams calls it "Chump's Choice." It probably has other names.) The approach looks good but the final part ends in a chute with a skewering log in it. You can scrape down a high-water passage to the FAR left, around a rocky island and WAY away from the log or just carry it. (2001)
Kevin Williams 2003-06-09 shared: "Chump's Choice" ("unrunnable") or whatever it's called, can be anticipated right after the first pool-flat water section. Look for a large flat boulder on RL in the flow and a triangle shaped boulder farther downstream. It looks like it would be easy to stumble into so be careful! The problem is a large clamshell rock blocking all but 5' of flow on the RR and all but 10' on RL- if you go down there at lower flows you will get pinned. I don't know what "skewering log" the above guide is talking about, the rock will get you first, although there currently is wood below it if you happened to make it that far--Possibly passable at higher flow but you'd better look! I've scraped down the left passage even at low water but it takes a toll on plastic- there is an insidiously silly slot over there that catches people broached up-stream frequently, leaving them flailing until someone wades over and extricates them.
Dang fun run with one easy but really steep section (boof pool, boof pool for 200 meters). One of the prettiest runs I've seen.
If you want a longer run with some easy warmup rapids--still pretty, and this is an easier putin.
This is the one that people typically walk or sneak. Gordon Dalton points out: The approach looks good but the final part ends in a chute with a skewering log in it. You can scrape down a high-water passage to the FAR left, around a rocky island and WAY away from the log or just carry it.
Lat/long coords verified by GPS (thanks, Jeff Macklin!) Distance is approximate.
Popular put-in = N39.73813 W79.56246 ...
Hike upstream a few hundred yards for more warm-up ...
Parking for popular put-in = N39.73449 W79.56598 ...
Follow trail strait down the hill...///
Bridge near upper put-in = N39.72694 W79.54057 ...
Parking for upper put-in = N39.72784 W79.53866 ...
Beautiful pines and rhododendron, but much flat water & downed wood...///
Fike Run, take-out = N39.73862 W79.59236 ...
Parking for take-out = N39.73805 W79.59198 ... ///
Hubbard's Cupboard = N39.74160 W79.56670
Robert Farmer---Generally, you need at least 7.0 at Rockville on Big Sandy Creek, WV, although the other day it was 7.2 and Fikes was only 0.8 at Dinner Bell Road. Later, when the Sandy came up to 12.0, Fikes was around 3.5 at the time when I came by. It might have been higher earlier.
Paddled Fikes 12-10-2007 at one inch over the baseball rock. There is a log near the bottom of the first series, before the confluence with the Sandy. We were able to paddle over it but lower water could be different. Other than that the run was clean and lots of fun.
I wouldn't call this Class 3-5; I call it Class 4-5, with 2 rapids that are usually snuck or portaged. There is a gauge at Dinner Bell Road; 1.0 is approx. minimum, while 2.0 is cranking. At 2.0, it's non-stop action, solid Class 5. I like to put on at McCracken School Road, just upstream from the gauge; I find that I spend less time falling painfully on my ass and sliding down the muddy hill, that way. Plus, there are a few good rapids up there, although they might not be good enough for the truly manic paddlers. To avoid the first death slot, keep an eye out for a large, alpine-shaped rock on the left with a small semi-eddy at its top. It turns out that this rock separates two channels, and if you're not anticipating it fully, you are screwed. Once, I got washed backwards out of this eddy when I wasn't showing it the proper respect. Hoo-ee, that was embarrassing!
Check large flat rock river right @ the takeout bridge for level. Kevin Williams shared: Gauge is up Dinner Bell Road from the put-in about a mile, painted on bridge. 1' is supposedly min but I found 1.2' to be pretty dang low. 2' is nice.
Robert Farmer added:
Generally, you need at least 7.0 at Rockville on Big Sandy Creek, WV, although the other day it was 7.2 and Fikes was only 0.8 at Dinner Bell Road. Later, when the Sandy came up to 12.0, Fikes was around 3.5 at the time when I came by. It might have been higher earlier.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Lat/longitude coords verified by GPS. (Thanks, Jeff Macklin!)
For the longer run: http://tinyurl.com/FikeShuttle
Sieve just upsteam of Room of Doom
Entrance View to Hubbard's Cupboard
Hubbard's Cupboard, Looking Upstream
Hubbard's Cupboard, looking downstream
Entering the Room
Room of Doom entry, just another view
exit of Room of Doom
Left of the first island
Fikes one more time
Another fikes rapid
Fikes Unrunnable Drop from the bottom
Kurt in the "Room"
out flow of Hubbard's Cupboard
gauge at takeout
ledge on Fike
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