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Difficulty V
Length 6 Miles
Flow Range 8 - 11 FT
Flow Rate as of: 29 minutes ago 4.81 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 03/18/2006 10:57 am

River Description

To try to describe this creek in detail would almost be an impossible task. But here is a brief outline just to let you know what you're getting yourself into. Daugherty is a steep low-volume creek run that flows down off the mountain and into the Cheat River just upstream of the Power Plant in Albright, WV. ItÂs a busy little puppy with an average gradient of 203 feet per mile! The rapids are back to back and range from steep and technical to wide-open slides. Some of the slides go on for 10 to 20 yards, sometimes leading one into another. Throw in a couple of nice 4- to 6-foot ledge drops into the mix and you got the nature of the ÂDogÂ-erty! It reminds me of its nearby neighbor Fike Run  perhaps on Acid!

Gradient (in Feet), Mile by Mile: 130,250,260,250,230,200.


To get to the Take-Out; turn off of RT. 26 in Albright,WV and onto CR7-12). ItÂs just before or after (depending on the direction you're going) where RT. 26 crosses over the Cheat River. Continue on for about 2 miles (you will see the Albright Power Plant on your right) until you come to the first small bridge. This is the Take-Out. There is plenty of room to park on the river left side of the bridge. I suggest you change and load boats here before heading up to the Put-In. Parking at the Put-In is VERY limited.

To get to the Put-In; head back across the bridge and make your first right turn onto CR45-1. Follow this for approximately 4 to 5 miles, always bearing to your right. Then turn right onto CR3-12. According to the Topo map it should be your first right turn. (There is a old School House on the left corner.) This road is rough but passable, to a point, in a two-wheel-drive vehicle. About a mile down there is a clearing for a underground Pipeline that comes down off the hill on your left, goes across the road and cuts down to the creek on your right. This is where I put in. There are a few places to park at the clearing. Make sure NOT to block the road.

If you want to put in higher up, first take a good look at your vehicle: determine if it's a four wheel drive or if you just like to drive it like one. Continue down the road to where it gets narrow and rough. It eventually parallels the creek. I donÂt know of a designated place to park and put-in so you will just have to go up the road until you find a good spot. Again parking is very limited. Also there are numerous NO TRESPASSING signs lining both sides of the road. So you have to cross over some private property to get to the creek, do yourself a favor - Be inconspicuous! And try not to make a big deal of the shuttle. Lately there has been a lot of trouble with some locals at Elzey Run, just a mile away.


Big Sandy Creek, WV
Muddy Creek, WV
Roaring Creek, WV
Morgan Run, WV
Little Sandy Creek, WV
Cheat Canyon WV
Elzey Run


Teter's Campground (Great PLace!)
Rt. 26 Albright, WV
(304) 329-3626
Gauge Readings, Hot Showers, Ice, Firewood
Owners: Ralph and Cathy Teter

Rapid Descriptions


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Robert Farmer
13 years ago

The first major drop involves a blind slot on the right to a pool with no place to stop to scout. A lot of water goes left, under an enormous undercut that can beat you up, but should let you go. Stay right.

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Karl Whipp
15 years ago

This creek is small. Like 15' wide on average and maybe 30' at its widest small. Its steep, blind and very technical. We put in at the pipeline. You put in on a small pool, the creek looks like little more than a ditch, you turn right and start crankin because 5' downstream (litlerally) is the first boof. Its on...right away. Zero warm-up and it only get harder. Putting more than one boat in an eddy, most of the time is, is not an option, so know your groups signals.

There are some VERY nice slides on this run...many are back to back. The slots average 4' wide...many are boofs. The last drop is a phat launcher onto a suprisingly soft landing slide.

We ran it at about 2" over the bridge footer at the take-out. There were plenty of eddies and it wasnt very pushy. We also never went more than about 50' without banging a rock just under the surface (except on the slides of course). We had multiple broaches throughout the day, but none were serious due to such low flows and plenty of rocks to use your hands on and free yourself. The slides were a little sticky (grabby). I would have liked to have seen about another 3". Put much more water into it than that and Im sure it would turn into a real bobsled run with very few eddies.

As of this past weekend, it was pretty log infested. We made 3 carries and a few spooky limbo moves. We didnt have a guide, so we scouted quite a few times (6-8 maybe) and still did this run in just over 3 hours. Most of the scouts were because we couldnt see what was around the corner and there were no eddies before going around that corner. Scouting can be tough with the thick rhododendron.

It really is a great run. I highly recommend it. But dont be fooled...class V skills are certainly required.

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10 years ago

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10 years ago

The seive in the seive drop after the wooden bridge is currently full of wood, some water still goes through it, so stay right. There are currently 2 bad logs on the run, if you see orange ribbon on the trees, get out and scout. The rest of the wood you can get by with some finesse. This creek is awesome! Goofy smiles abound;)

Summary of Gauge Readings

This typically runs after a heavy local rain. Like most small creeks there is no online gauge on the creek. The cited gauge (Big Sandy Creek at Rockville) should provide a good indication of runnability. You can also call the Pittsburgh River Office at (412)262-5290.

The boater's gauge (the only way to find out for sure about runnability) is looking at the "OLD" Bridge footer just upstream of the take-out. The bridge footer is a cement ledge that sticks out on the river left downstream side. Consider the top of the ledge to be the absolute minimum level. I found that 3” to 6” above the footer is a good run. While I’m sure it could be run much higher I would be careful! At high levels certain areas of the creek could be a flush. Daugherty tends to fall fast, so if you get there and it seems too high just come back in a couple of hours.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
AW Gauge Info
4.81 ft ℹ️ 00h29m n/a

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.


No Accident Reports




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Tow Tether Danger Highlighted by Recent Accident

2019-02-25 19:53:07-05
Charlie Walbridge

Nancy Kell, a very experienced Mid-States kayaker, died on February 24th after flipping in a Class II rapid on West Virginia's Red Creek. There were a number of strainers in the vicinity above and below the water. One of them snagged her tow tether, pulled her out of her boat, and held her under water. She was with a very experienced crew but they could not reach her quickly enough. Equipment snags are a real risk. In the light of this accident I strongly urge anyone using a cowtail, pigtail, or tow tether to recheck your setup, and to consider whether wearing a tow tether makes sense. Be certain that your tether releases cleanly at both ends. Do not attach the front carabiner to a non-releasable point, like a pocket or strap. Ms. Kell did this, and it may have been a contributing factor. Apparently many current rescue PFD designs to not feature a front release point! Do not attach a tether to the rear of your PFD with a non-locking carabiner, as that may inadvertently clip into a rope. The tether should fit very snugly, without sagging, but as the photo shows Ms. Kell did that, and it did not protect her! The harness release should be quick and foolproof. Practice harness releases under pressure before using it on the river. Finally, remember that any additional strap is a potential snag hazard. Ask yourself if the usefulness of a tow tether is worth the risk, especially on small, strainer infrested creeks. Carry it in a PFD pocket or dry bag if necessary. Click for a link to the report in the AW Accident Database. (Jeff Macklin Photo)


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Gauley Fest - September 13-16, 2018 - Summersville, WV

2018-09-04 07:58:00-04
Mark Singleton

Get your groove on baby! This year Gauley Fest is a 60’s themed event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. To memorialize that historic event we are flashing back to another era for a 60’s throwdown. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.

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2018 Letter To Gauley Boaters From The NPS (WV)

2018-08-21 10:07:00-04
Mark Singleton

American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River. Enjoy your paddling season on this classic whitewater river. As in past years, American Whitewater has leased the field above Masons Branch, also known as the Legg field, for overflow parking.

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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

2007-02-13 00:00:00-05
Charles Walbridge

After two years of intense negotiations an agreement reached to protect endangered species in the Cheat River Canyon. Allegheny Wood Products acquired roughly 5,000 acres in the Cheat Canyon below Albright, WV in 2003 for $9.75 million. When they began building roads and cutting trees the following year the government took no steps to enforce the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed in 2005 by Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Cheat Lake Environmental and Recreational Association. Although American Whitewater was not a party to the litigation we are gratified that an agreement was reached and commend both parties for their efforts.

Richard Grape