Little Sandy Creek - 2. Rt 26 to Big Sandy Creek

Little Sandy Creek, West Virginia, US


2. Rt 26 to Big Sandy Creek

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 4.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 31 fpm
Max Gradient 80 fpm

First Slide on the Little Sandy (small version)

First Slide on the Little Sandy (small version)
Photo of Milt Aitken by Brad Roberts taken 05/15/02 @ 6.9' at Rockville

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03070500 6.00 - 9.00 ft III-IV 00h19m 7.64 ft (running)

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.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-12-03 16:51:51

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 14 2017 (670 days ago)
andrewfroom (158854)
Some movement on strainers from recent rains. One large tree blocking right side and middle that
can be passed on the left. This is located after the first ledge and before the first slide.
Recently ran on 2/12/17 when Big Sandy crested at 7.8 ft. A lot more water than normal was in
Little Sandy from the 3/4" rain event on 2/12. 6.00-7.00 ft on Big Sandy gauge at Rockville would
be a low runnable to runnable range. (III) 7.00-8.00 ft Runnable and pushy with larger holes
(III/IV) 8.00-9.00 ft High runnable, very pushy, small eddies, fast moving/flushy creek, swims
become long and difficult (IV)
May 20 2011 (2767 days ago)
Jkfallin (152844)
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
March 18 2007 (4291 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
Some of the ledge holes can be sticky, so be aware. Also, there is one (obvious) ledge that is
often portaged.

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