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Difficulty III-IV+(V)
Length 15 Miles
Flow Range 700 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 58 minutes ago 771 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/21/2007 8:36 am

River Description

8 miles of flat water, 4 miles of "The Rapid", and 3 miles of relatively flat water.
Putin: From US 60 in Rainelle drive north on CR 60/1 for about 3 miles. To cut out the flat water and put in about 1/2 mile below the trestle follow the dirt road from the takeout on river right. Keep taking right turns (3 of them) until you see the river.
Takeout: Just above the bridge on Nutterwood Road which is just off WV 41.

Rapid Descriptions


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Paul Schulte
5 years ago

Paddled the Upper Meadow today with 764 cfs on the Nallen gauge. It was comparable to about 850-900 cfs on the old Mt. Lookout gauge, which is in the ballpark of the USGS data that states the Nallen gauge is about 80% of the old Mt. Lookout gauge. Mid-700's was getting scrapey. I'd say mid to low 700's on the Nallen gauge is the low end of good. The road to the put-in is in very good condition. It's been graded, and most of it has new gravel on it. Unless there's snow on the ground, I'd drive a two-wheel-drive car on it.

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David Greenwald
5 years ago

The Mt. Lookout gauge (USGS site 03190400) appears to no longer be available. However the Nallen gauge (USGS site 03190000) is available and is closer to this section. A reduction of the USGS data for 4/1/2013 to 3/30/2014 shows the flow at Nallen was 80.0 % of the Mt Lookout flow when mt Lookout was between 1000 and 2000 cfs.

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Robert Farmer
13 years ago

In Corrine Walter's posting, I meant to say, "drive west" for 1/4 mile to Corliss Rd. Oops! Also, at good levels, I consider this to be the ultimate Class 4---great fun!!!

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Corrine Pierce
15 years ago

A good put-in: from takeout bridge, head east for a quarter mile; turn left up Corliss Rd. Turn left at top of hill. Go left at T. Veer right, through Corliss. Follow road over hill to a tiny creek down by the river. Hike ~1/2 mi to Meadow. This cuts out ~6 miles of flatwater, and allows ~one mile of warm-up. ---Robert Farmer

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trey coleman
15 years ago

I would say the ideal level is 800 - 1000cfs as its real technical and not too pushy. I've heard at 2000+ it gets pretty big, but it has some great, low-stress, technical elements that you lose at higher flows. If everything else is too high, this is a great fall-back and you won't be bored. The shuttle is pretty tricky if your trying to cut out the flatwater though as it is miles of a dirt road through clear-cut land.

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Dan Mirolli
18 years ago

I've done the Upper meadow twice. The first time at about 1250 cfs and the second over about 2200 and rising. At the first level, I'd say the river was class III- lower class IV.
At the higher level it was very difficult and I'd say it was in the solid class IV - lower class V range. A swim would have really been a bad idea at higher water.
A fantastic run at 1200 cfs+ though.

Gage Descriptions

Anything below 1000 and the run becomes a good run for someone getting into creeking. At the higher levels the holes become house sized with little to no eddys. BAD place to swim.

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.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2016-06-24 n/a Near Miss/Rescue Other Read More



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.

Bryan Tudor


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192199 04/21/07 Bryan Tudor n/a