Cacapon, West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||10 fpm|
|Max Gradient||15 fpm|
|Cacapon Rt 127 Virtual Gauge|
|virtual-226254||1.75 - 7.60 ft||II||00h48m||2.91 ft (running)|
|N F SHENANDOAH RIVER AT COOTES STORE, VA|
|usgs-01632000||3.00 - 6.60 ft||II||01h01m||5.1 ft (running)|
|CACAPON RIVER NEAR GREAT CACAPON, WV|
|usgs-01611500||2.50 - 8.20 ft||II||00h46m||3.5 ft (running)|
|S F SOUTH BRANCH POTOMAC RIVER NR MOOREFIELD, WV|
|usgs-01608000||2.50 - 6.96 ft||II||01h01m||3.85 ft (running)|
This is a beautiful run on the upper reaches of the Cacapon. The major rapids are riverwide ledges and fastwater in sharp bends. Usually up in the winter and spring, the Cacapon features unusual rock formations, including Caudy's Castle, Chapel Rock, Trickling Springs and Ice Mountain.
After closure of the Cold Stream access in 2003, regional paddling groups were working to secure reliable access four miles upstream at the Hwy 50 bridge in Capon Bridge, WV. Word is there may be a small use fee associated with the parking there and it is hoped the access will be available by April, 2004. Takeout at WV127 bridge on river right downstream of bridge. (NOTE: When running a shuttle via Rt. 15 and Rt. 45/20, be sure to go to the second bridge as you head east on Hwy. 127. The first bridge is over the North River, a tributary of the Cacapon.
For most paddlers, the Edwards Run/Cold Spring, WV put-in is the preferred put-in for the popular section of river down to the Rt. 127 take-out (Edwards Run - WV 127, 7.7 miles). It is located about 3.7 miles downstream (north) of Capon Bridge and avoids a section of mostly flatwater. The launch lies on the property of Mr. Sine who owns the land on both sides of the road in this location. The put-in is 200 yards upstream of his large brick house. Drive into the gravel and dirt driveway on the river side opposite a burned out house.
The river access is 0.6 miles upstream of the Edwards Run W.M.A. Go to Mr. Sine’s house, the big redbrick house 200 years downstream from the gravel & dirt river access driveway. Mr. Sine accepts a modest fee (currently $3.00 per boat) for the privilege granted to us to park on his property.
To get to the Edwards Run/Cold Spring, WV put-in from the WV 127 take-out, take WV 127 west for 1.4 miles. WV 29 comes in from the right and the road becomes WV 29, but you continue straight. Stay on WV 29 for 4.9 additional miles (at total of 6.4), at the town of Slainsville, turn left onto Cold Stream Lane, go 8.7 miles until the road parallels the Cacapon (you cross the North River on the way -- don't confuse the rivers), go about 0.3 miles further to Mr. Sine's brick house.
There are three ledges, with the third perhaps warranting a Class II+ rating because it can be sticky. The first ledge can be snuck on the far right. The second has a clean line on the left and the last is usually cleanest in the center right. The remaining rapids are Class I-II rock gardens, gravel bars and fastwater in sharp bends.
Posted by Ron on May 21, 2004 at 17:17:01:
In Reply to: Paddler's Access Notices posted by Ron Ray on May 21, 2004 at 17:13:39:
PAN Access Advisory Cacapon River at Capon Bridge (Rte 50) by Bing Garthright, 301-330-1225, April 22, 2004
Putting in at the Rte 50 bridge over the Cacapon River, in the town of Capon Bridge, adds about 4 miles to the more usual float from Edwards Run/Cold Spring down to Rte 127, the Forks of Cacapon. This firm-ground parking spot and long, sloping bank is especially attractive during high water levels. Thanks to the kind toleration of Mr. Donald Wolford of Capon Bridge, Paddlers' Access Network (PAN) has found a new, very good access at the bridge. Mr. Wolford owns the Red Rooster store (undergoing restoration in April 2004), the building immediately west of the bridge on the north side of Rte 50. He is willing for us to turn downstream (north) immediately at the western end of the bridge, drive down the gravel driveway, and park any vehicles that we leave there off to the right of the driveway, along the river bank—not against the side of the store. The put-in is about 25 yards downstream from the bridge on the left bank, down a well-grassed slope with a gently sloping bank at the bottom.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: (1) We must call Mr. Wolford at least one day before paddling and let him know the trip leader's name/telephone number and the number of cars that will end up being parked at his store while we paddle down the Cacapon. Mr. Wolford's phone number is 304-856-2832. If we reach his answering machine, it will be enough to leave the information on the machine. He is not giving permission, but rather just trying to keep informed about what cars are doing parked on the property. (2) Parking space is probably limited to three vehicles, but parking for a few minutes while unloading could be done by about 8 vehicles. (3) Mr. Wolford has had problems with other paddlers leaving trash at this put-in. Please bag and remove any trash you find there before putting in.
THANKS TO: Don Wolford’s kindness; Zeth Zajac’s extensive scouting, and a tip from Dick Gramm.
PLEASE NOTE: Private owners and organizations never invite paddlers to use their land. Most are kind enough to tolerate it. Just as we paddle at our own risk, we use advisories, parking spaces, and access sites at our own risk.