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.Directions:
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.
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.
Some of the ledge holes can be sticky, so be aware. Also, there is one (obvious) ledge that is often portaged.
2 years ago
by Andrew Froom
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.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Biggest Drop on Little Sandy
Bob Stevens on the Lil' Sandy
First Slide on the Little Sandy (small version)
First Slide on the Little Sandy
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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.
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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