Laurel Creek (Cherry trib), West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||III+(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||75 fpm|
|LAUREL CREEK NEAR FENWICK, WV|
|usgs-03188900||180 - 450 cfs||III+(V)||00h50m||141 cfs (too low)|
This creek is small with tight turns and continuous action. The biggest rapids (named Rockpile 1,
Rockpile 2, and Rockpile 3) are in the sections where the creek does not run along the road. As
you go down the creek try to figure out when you are going through one of these rapids. Watch out
for strainers during the whole trip.
The section below the bridge on Saxman Road appears to be several braided channels and it's not clear if any one channel has enough water to make it runnable. If you make it through this section and want to extend the trip another 3 miles you can use Rhododendron Park on the Cherry as an alternate takeout.
When there is enough water to run Laurel Creek, the Cherry is usually running pretty high. It's interesting going from the tight, technical confines of Laurel Creek onto the wider and more open Cherry River.
There was a report on January 22, 2011 of a couple of river wide strainers that the paddlers were able to avoid with alternative channels.
Putin: Where Saxman Road (39-14) crosses Laurel Creek for the second time about 5 miles from Route 39.
Takeout: On river right by the bridge on Saxman Road (CR 39-14) unless you think you can continue down to the confluence with the Cherry. Then you can take out on river left on the Cherry just below the Route 39 bridge.