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Difficulty V
Length 6 Miles
Flow Range 8.00 - 11.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 23 minutes ago 2.98 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/12/2019 3:45 pm

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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11 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;)

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Robert Farmer
14 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
17 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.

Gage Descriptions

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 3Â to 6Â above the footer is a good run. While IÂm 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.

***update 8/12/19***

There is now a proper stick gauge on the bridge abutment described above, courtesy of The Officer.  0.3' is a reasonable scrapey minimum.  It is certainly possible to bump down the creek lower than that, but most paddlers will find it to be less than ideal.  0.5-0.8' is probably optimal.  Folks that are pushing their limits tend to get overwhelmed fast by the continuous nature of this creek when it is toward the higher end of that range, especially if they aren't familiar with the run.  It is certainly possible to run the creek at or above 1.0', but it becomes very fast and pushy with large holes at the bases of the slides and ledges, and it should only be attempted at these higher levels by solid class-V paddlers (be honest with yourself) and when it is relatively free of wood (note: it's rarely free of wood).   

Muddy Creek Stream Gauge Project:

Friends of the Cheat (FOC) has installed an OTT RLS Stream Gauge near the mouth of Muddy Creek, close to the Cheat Fest Site.  The stream gauge is similar to ones used by the USGS throughout the state, however it is maintained and managed by FOC.  It measures stream stage (water level), as well as the following water quality parameters; pH, conductivity, DO and temperature.  Eventually, the stream stage will be embedded in this page in place of the Big Sandy correlation that is currently used.  For now, in order to view this gauge, follow this link:  * click “Muddy Creek” on the left side of the page, and then click “RLS Level (ft)” in the resulting drop down menu.  This link will also provide the opportunity to download an app.  If you have any trouble accessing this gauge via mobile phone, some users may find it helpful to first access the link via wifi and download the app.

If you’d like to contribute to the development of runnability correlations, please e-mail your observations of runnable flows in Muddy Creek or other nearby creeks to, and/or leave this feedback as a comment here.  Please be sure to include date and time, as well as your interpretation of the flow, being as objective as possible. 

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




article main photo

Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

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.

Friends of the Cheat


Richard Grape


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213486 08/12/19 Friends of the Cheat updated description
1192160 03/18/06 Richard Grape n/a