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Difficulty III-IV
Length 4.8 Miles
Flow Range 6.00 - 9.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 24 minutes ago 3.16 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/03/2018 4:51 pm

River Description

While the distance of the Little Sandy from WV 26 to the Upper Big Sandy is 2.7 miles, there is no access at the confluence.  So the run continues for an additional 2.1 miles on the Upper Big Sandy, to the next river access at the Rockville bridge, for a total of 4.8 miles.

This very pretty run is a good option for those who don't feel up to the Lower Big Sandy, or those who want a longer run could keep going for the additional 5.3 miles of the Lower Big Sandy. It's mostly a ledgy run, mostly boat-scoutable. The best play is probably at the Upper Big Sandy confluence, where there are plenty of ledges and holes. As noted in the Upper Big Sandy description, the last mile or so above the Rockville bridge is the toughest.

Take I-68 to Bruceton Mills. Head South on WV 26. Put in at the bridge crossing the creek, just before Little Sandy Creek Road.
To the Rockville takeout: hang a right onto Little Sandy Creek Road. Follow the road for a couple of miles, and hang a right onto a rutty dirt road just after a triangular grassy parking area. The Rockville takeout is at the bridge. Parking is limited at Rockville, as the Lower Big Sandy is getting more popular each year.

Rapid Descriptions


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9 years ago

If you make it through the little sandy fine, then run on the Big Sandy to rockville wont be a problem. The first part of the Little Sandy is about 1.5 miles of flat water, then you hit about 3 ledges (first is biggest I think). Then there is one tough slide that pushes you toward a rock on the right, while there is another troublesome rock on the left. Run off the pillow coming off the rock on the right and punch through the holes. If you flip watch your head. At the very bottom of the creek, before reaching the Big Sandy there is a long rapid all the way to the confluence they can be tricky. The first part has a few offset holes that may cause problems, but after that Its mainly just a lot of waves. The whole run down to rockville took about 2 hours at a fairly easy pace.

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Robert Farmer
13 years ago

Some of the ledge holes can be sticky, so be aware. Also, there is one (obvious) ledge that is often portaged.

Gage Descriptions

Gauge is on Big Sandy Creek. This is an approximate correlation, as half the flow comes from the Big Sandy upstream of the confluence with the Little Sandy.

Runnable when the Big Sandy is high, >6.0' at Rockville.

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.

Matt Muir


Tony Allred Jr


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192195 03/18/05 n/a 3-4-2018 - broke range into low/medium/high
1210555 12/03/18 Tony Allred Jr 11-30-2018 - cleanup
1210556 12/03/18 Tony Allred Jr 11-30-2018 - cleanup