Cranberry, West Virginia, US
AA (Upper): Above Cranberry Rec. Area to Cranberry Rec. Area
||I-III (for normal flows)
A Beautiful Mountain Stream
A Beautiful Mountain StreamPhoto by John Petretich taken 05/01/05 @ 4.8'
Putin: FS 102 (carry in from the locked gate)
Takeout: FS 76 at Cranberry Rec Area
This is a beautiful section of river that begins high in the Monongahela National Forest. After
parking your car at the end of FS 102 (there is a locked gate stopping motorized traffic),
you'll need to shoulder your boat and continue a half mile or so down the road until you see
the river on the right. You could access a very small river in about 0.3 mi/les by turning
right, onto the Cow Pasture Trail, but you'll find a somewhat bigger river about 50 yards
right of FS102 about 3/4 mile from the gate, where the Little Branch joins from river right.
Either way, you'll be putting in on the South Fork of the Cranberry. For the first few miles
of the run the small stream meanders through brush and over beaver dams. There are beautiful
mountain vistas in all directions. The South Fork of the Cranberry drains the Cranberry Glades,
which is a sparsely forested alpine marsh famous for it's flora and fauna that are usually
found at far northern lattitudes. Keep in mind when running this section that it is always much
colder up here than you think it's going to be, so dress accordingly. Eventually the river
picks up steam as it enters the forest, and the gradient remains consistent for the remainder of
the run. The stream is busy but not threatning, and there was one Class III rapid that is
obviously run on the right. An old railroad grade follows the river for the entirety of the run.
Chances are you'll see numerous fly fishermen throughout the course of the day. Keep an eye
out for trees and enjoy the remarkable scenery of this wilderness run. The climate along with the
flora and fauna change drastically from start to finish as you make your way from the high alpine
swamp into a beautiful hardwood forest. The river mellows out for the last couple miles of the
run and you'll notice a parking lot on the right that serves as a takeout.
If you want to add some spice to your life continue downstream and run the six mile middle
section of the Cranberry. If the river was high enough for you to navigate the upper section,
then the middle should be BEEFY and approaching Class V. The two sections combine to form a 21
mile stretch of river that takes around five hours to float.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-09-10 03:42:46