Cheat, West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||25 fpm|
|Max Gradient||40 fpm|
|CHEAT RIVER AT ALBRIGHT, WV|
|usgs-03070260||11.00 - 15.00 ft||III-IV||70h29m||12.76 ft (running)|
|Corresponds roughly to 2.25-3.25' at the Bridge. Gauge has been fixed|
The Cheat is a local favorite, with 10 miles of wilderness paddling, impressive rock formations, and more than a handful of III-IV rapids with great play at many levels.
Every year, on the Friday of Cheat Fest (the first weekend in May), this river is host to the "Cheat River Mass-Occurrence," a truly legendary race. With a mass start of as many as 150 paddlers, this race begins with chaos and ends with a phenomenal party.
Put-in - 1 mi north of Albright. From Interstate 68, head South on Route 26. After about ten miles, take a sharp Right into Teter's Campground. Drive through Teter's campground to land owned by Friends of the Cheat. This is an AW paddlers' easement. Or you can put in at the bridge on Rte. 26 (where the paddlers' gauge is located) at Albright.
Take-out - Jenkinsburg Bridge, at the confluence of the Cheat and Big Sandy. Look for the turn-off to Hudson Road (WV 15), about 6 miles South of I-68; take it west for about 7 miles to Jenkinsburg.
Charlie Walbridge adds:
Mountain Streams and Trails, the new owner of the Jenkinsburg Access, asks that private paddlers running the Cheat and Big Sandy use the Upper Parking Lot during Cheat Fest Weekend. The Lower Parking Lot should be kept clear for outfitter trucks and buses. Vehicles parked there make maneuvering these big rigs difficult or impossible. So please park where you're supposed to and give a big THANK YOU to any MS&T employees you see on--or off--the river.
Take-out - On river right side just below Jenkinsburg bridge.
Lat/Longitude coords verified by GPS.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|7.2||Pete Morgan - Lower Coliseum||IV|
|8.0||Boulder Line Rapid|
|8.5||Fossil Falls (Mouth of Connor Run)|
This first rapid is a series of offset holes. If you have much trouble here, you can make the Decision to hike back upstream to the putin.