Cherry - Richwood Inn to Gauley River

Cherry, West Virginia, US


Richwood Inn to Gauley River

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 9 Miles
Avg. Gradient 30 fpm
Max Gradient 30 fpm

Ender at Riley's

Ender at Riley's
Photo of Don Beyer by Bob Anderson taken 06/06/04 @ 14 feet

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03189100 11.50 - 17.00 ft II-III 00h55m 10.67 ft (too low)

River Description

The Cherry is an excellent novice/intermediate run with many places to practice basic paddling skills (eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, surfing, etc.). Routes 39 runs along the river for the first 3 miles from Richwood Inn to Fenwick. Then Routes 20/55 follow the river down to the confluence with the Gauley. This allows the paddler to choose to run 3, 6, or all 9 miles.

The gradient is fairly constant at about 30 feet/mile, making this almost continuous rock gardens. The rapid just upstream of the Fenwick Bridge signals the point where Laurel Creek adds its volume to what has been coming down the Cherry. Watch out for the hole in the center of this rapid, especially at high water. About two miles downriver from Fenwick the river curves to the right and a long rapid appears. The bottom of this rapid includes a slide into a wave train with a couple of good size waves. The river left eddy at the bottom of the slide provides an easy way to get onto the waves. The second wave has a little curler on the river right side that can flip the unwary paddler.

About 3/4 mile below the Holcomb bridge (where Route 20/55 crosses the Cherry) is series of rapids ending with the last major rapid before Rhododendron Park. At high water the unsuspecting paddler can encounter a couple of good sized holes at the bottom/center of this rapid.

The action continues below the park and all the way to the takeout. Hopefully you still have enough energy to enjoy these last 3 miles.

Putin: River right across from the Richwood Inn

Takeout: Curtin Bridge (Route 20) at the confluence of the Cherry and Gauley Rivers

Alternate putin/takeout points: Fenwick (3 miles) and Rhododendron Park on Rt. 20/55 (6 miles)

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-11-10 21:47:10


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.

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