Meadow - 2. Nallen to Route 19 Bridge

Meadow, West Virginia, US


2. Nallen to Route 19 Bridge (Middle Meadow)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 39 fpm
Max Gradient 39 fpm

Miracle Mile - Middle Meadow

Miracle Mile - Middle Meadow
Photo of Kevin McCloud by Jaime Stratton

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Meadow at Mt Lookout WV
wvcoe-mtmm7 500 - 2000 cfs III-IV 4y229d00h09m 1757 cfs (running)
usgs-03190000 500 - 2000 cfs III-IV 00h24m 391 cfs (too low)

River Description

You can avoid a bit of flat water by opting to put in about 1 mile above the Wilderness PSD water plant instead of going all the way up to the Route 41 bridge at Nallen. The locals call the mile above the water plant the "Miracle Mile". It is almost continuous class II/III+ rapids with lots of play spots. This section often collects trees and debris so watch out for strainers. It's also a good idea to choose your lines carefully and watch out for undercuts - they are everywhere.

There is a potentially deadly pinning spot (especially a levels below 1000 cfs) in the second major rapid. This rapid can be identified from upstream by a large boulder in the center near the top of the rapid and a house sized boulder on river right at the bottom of the rapid (with numerous trees growning on top). The majority of the water flows to the right of the center rock and over a 3' ledge. Just below the ledge is a flat rock that is barely under water at 650 cfs. This rock creates the pinning situation (or a very sore back caused by boofing onto the flat rock). There is a small slot to the left of the center boulder that is a better line if it is not blocked by strainers and another line around the ledge along the far right side of the river. The photo "Terminal Hole in Miracle Mile" shows the ledge and the flat rock. You can also see the flow around the far side of the center rock (the riover left line). The far right line brings the boater back to the center of the river just above the slanting rock at the front of the raft.

The Miracle Mile is a good section for checking out the boating skills of the group while you still have a chance to easily get off the river. Once you pass the water plant, Route 41 veers away from the river and there is no easy way to take off the river (although an abandonded railroad line runs along river left if you really need to get off).

Whatever you do, make sure you don't miss the takeout under the Route 19 bridge. If you do you will be in for a surprise on the Lower Meadow!

Putin: Route 41 bridge at Nallen or 1 mile above Wilderness PSD water plant

Takeout: Route 19 Bridge

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-03-11 19:13:24

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.
April 20 2016 (966 days ago)
peril12 (154195)
Warning! About half-way down this section there is a large (14" diameter?) tree trunk (bole)
obstructing the left, easier route around a huge (15'?) boulder that divides the bulk of the flow,
that runs mostly down river left here. At a low medium river level (?), my class 4 kayaker buddy
tried to get to the right of the boulder but couldn't, struggled to shore, got out next to boulders
on the river shore, climbed over the bole, and pushed his boat through beneath! Still upriver, I
boat scouted toward river right and discovered a nice, easy, looping chute next to the shore! It's
easier to get to the sooner you get right. HIgher flows are probably less forgiving! April 15, 2016
January 12 2007 (4352 days ago)
Tom MonnigDetails
Access points: ------------------------- Rt 41 Put-in: N38.12482 W80.88574 Miracle Mile Take-out:
N38.13738 W80.88533 Rt 19 Take-out: N38.15344 W80.92337 Hope this helps.
April 30 2006 (4609 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
4/26/06 For years, I would look upstream from the lower meadow, or downstream from the upper
meadow, and think that that is a section of river that I will never do. But let me tell you, this
is a great section of river! It is very beautiful, with numerous large boulders, 50 feet high and
up to 100 feet long, vertical and overhanging on all sides, one of which broke and has a
50-foot-high, symmetrical, V-shaped crack; many of these boulders are moss-and-tree covered, making
this perhaps the most beautiful section of river in WV (top 4, at least). HOWEVER, while admiring
the beauty of these gorgeous boulders, don't get sucked underneath them, because they are all table
rocks, with plenty of space underneath to trap errant paddlers and boats!! I just ran it at an
estimated 1200 cfs, and I'd give it a Class 5- rating above perhaps 900 cfs, but that's just a
guess. There were numerous narrow lines between blind, keeper ledge holes and pushy currents
slamming into undercut table rocks, occasionally cluttered with boulders. Reading the river safely
and accurately took pretty much all of the skill that I could muster, because it is often quite
subtle. This section seems to have more undercuts than even the dreaded lower meadow, excepting the
big Class 5's on that section, and that's saying something!

Also, I found that the Class 6-ish rapid discussed below is actually the third rapid in the miracle
mile, although I guess it depends on how one defines "major." Anyway, stay alert there; I snuck it
on the right, past several disconcerting sieves; at that level, there was no way that I was going
to try to scout the left side, and I didn't see anything over there from the bottom that I liked,
anyway! A portage would be more prudent.

I scouted twice in the miracle mile, and twice in the section downstream of the last road, after
putting on a mile below Nallen. The first and third scouts were difficult, but worth it. The second
and fourth were easy, and worth it.

Don't go expecting beautiful, high sandstone cliffs; there is only one that I saw, toward the end,
on the right. But this is still much, much better than the flat water paddle that I was for many
years led to believe that this was. It may well be fun Class 3-4 at lower levels, but approach with
caution, because at 1200 cfs (well below the "maximum" of 2000), I felt fully engaged, and I've got
quite a few Class 5's behind me, so I want to caution any Class 3 boaters from jumping on this with
too much water.

It is steep enough and fast enough that I never took a paddle stroke downstream---only for control.
It is as good as the upper meadow, which is the quintessential fun, Class 4 river at high water,
but the upper is much safer than the middle, so you should be solid on the upper or its equivalent
before coming here. But definitely put this on your list!
March 27 2004 (5373 days ago)
Rody WalterDetails
While boating the middle meadow today we had a near terminal pin. In the second main drop of the
Miracle Mile you will see a river right, house sized boulder, with numerous trees growning on top
(there is a yellow knotted rope on the backside that people climb up from). The rapid consits of a
eight foot wide shoot, between a left center boulder and a center right slanting rock, that the
majority of the current flows through. A green tongue drops over a 3' ledge and into a moderate
foam pile with outflow moving easily down stream. At the level today, 800 cfs, there is no
indication of any obstruction in this drop; definitive boil line, roostertail, etc. <br
<br />
When running the chute I went deep into the hole and my bow hit an obstruction and put me into a
side surf with the tongue of water pouring on my side. I flipped upstream and was pushed upstream
into a depression under the drop. All I could feel was rock to my upstream side and head/back. My
paddle lodged between the depression and the downstream rock. I hand rolled up, surfed a bit with
my downstream side bashing into the obstruction, flipped again, rolled, flipped, then I pulled the
cord. Exiting the boat the cockpit was facing downstream and temporarily trapped one leg between it
and the obstruction. Not good for anybody. I swam free but the boat pushed under water and pinned.
<br />
<br />
Examining the drop as the water level went down throughout the day, the main drop is formed by a
three foot ledge that contains an upstream cave. About a foot under water, four feet downstream is
an undercut rock, facing upstream, sitting perpindicular to the flow. I believe the shape allows it
to act as a sieve. I have never heard of this hazard's presence before and has not been an issue at
higher water. Be wary running this chute at levels less than 1000cfs...I feel very lucky to have
exited this spot alive.

UPDATE - 3-27-04

Boat and paddle above.

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating