Meadow - 3. Route 19 Bridge to confluence with the Gauley River

Meadow, West Virginia, US


3. Route 19 Bridge to confluence with the Gauley River (Lower Meadow)

Usual Difficulty IV-V+ (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 92 fpm
Max Gradient 150 fpm

Oh Snap!

Oh Snap!
Photo of Big Pimpin' aka Justin Burd by Bryan Tudor taken 09/15/04 @ @1600cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Meadow at Mt Lookout WV
wvcoe-mtmm7 420 - 1500 cfs IV-V+ 3y232d18h37m 1757 cfs (too high)
usgs-03190000 420 - 1500 cfs IV-V+ 00h53m 70.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

Gradient, mile by mile: 60, 150, 110, 70, and 50 (in the last 0.8 mile).

That might not sound too impressive, but the creek is populated by terrible undercuts. Three fatalities, all excellent boaters, are listed in the Accident Database. The Lower Meadow has a scary reputation for a reason!

Listed below are some of the major rapids. There is much "boogie" water that ranges in the IV to IV+ range. Do NOT try this run without a guide that has made many, many trips down this river. There is not much room for error.

Directions to th put in: Coming from Fayetteville, go north on rt19 untill you drive over the Meadow River. Right after the bridge there will be a place in the median to bust a u-turn. After making that u-turn park next to gaurd rail on the well worn strip. From Summersville just take rt 19 south and stop and park before going over the Meadow River.

Directions to the takeout: The good thing about paddling the Lower Meadow is that you get the Upper Gauley thrown in at no extra charge. You will end up in the big pool above Lost Paddle. For more information on rapids, great directions and important info, click over the Upper G page here.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-12-24 01:14:35


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Put inIII+Putin
0.2Rites of PassageIV+Hazard Photo
0.5Hells Gates5.2Portage Hazard Photo
0.8Brink of Disaster5.0Portage Hazard Photo
0.9Coming Home Sweet Jesus5.3Portage Hazard Photo
1.2Sieve City5.0Hazard Photo
1.7Heavy WaterIVHazard Photo
2.2Lets Make a DealIV+Hazard
3.0First and Second Island5.0Hazard
3.8Sliding BoardIV+Hazard Photo
4.2Double Undercut5.1Hazard Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Put in (Class III+)
A walk down a steep old 4-WD trail. Rocks are slippery. Once at the bottom you must bush-whack to the river. Once to the river you will see a calm flowing stream, but do not let that fool you. Around the first bend is the first class IV+.

Rites of Passage (Class IV+, Mile 0.2)

Rites of Passage - from the bridge

Rites of Passage - from the bridge
Photo by John Petretich taken 09/15/04 @ 700 cfs

The lines are different depending on the water level. At most flows there is a boof on the right then dodgin' holes. At lower levels some run next to the HUGE undercut on the left, not for the faint of heart. Any trouble here, it is advised to take out on the right and walk back to your car. It only gets harder from here!

Hells Gates (Class 5.2, Mile 0.5)

Hells Gates

Hells Gates
Photo of Justin Burd by Eric Allman taken 10/08/03 @ 750cfs

After some boogie water, you will come up on this monster. Scout and set safety on the right. This is a deadly rapid. The clean line is easy to see, just don't mess up. You can start walking on the right and follow thr trail all the way past Comming Home. The trail stops there and goes down a steep hill to the top of Sieve City. Eazy and short walk.

Brink of Disaster (Class 5.0, Mile 0.8)

Running the crack

Running the crack
Photo of Brian Rahall by Logan taken 11/04/06 @ 580cfs

A short but powerful rapid, critical to run clean. This rapid rates a V due to what is below. Only about 100 yards down stream is Comming Home. You must not swim. There is a small f-me hole at the top, boof to avoid. If you flip, the rock at the bottom is waiting for you. There have been many close encounters with this rock. It tends to hold you there upside-down and not want to let go. Catch the eddy on the right immediately after running this drop to portage Comming Home.

Coming Home Sweet Jesus (Class 5.3, Mile 0.9)

Coming Home

Coming Home
Photo of Justin Burd by Eric Allman taken 10/08/03 @ 750cfs

This one now really rates a VI rating since the flood in late 2003. This is one sick rapid. Terrible to look at and even more terrible to run. Local boaters do fire up the line on the left but there is NO room for ANY type of mistake. Walk on the right.

Sieve City (Class 5.0, Mile 1.2)

Sieve City

Sieve City
Photo of Justin Burd by Eric Allman taken 10/08/03 @ 750cfs

Just as the name says, sieves! There is an terrible undercut rock at the bottom and the main flow goes right toward it.

Heavy Water (Class IV, Mile 1.7)

Undercut Rocks

Undercut Rocks
Photo by Bryan Tudor taken 03/02/04

The norm, undercut rock abound!

Lets Make a Deal (Class IV+, Mile 2.2)
Has a nasty eddy above the the main drop that tends to hold you as you look at the sieves downstream.

First and Second Island (Class 5.0, Mile 3.0)
This is another deadly rapid, hit your boofs to avoid a head-down pin.

Sliding Board (Class IV+, Mile 3.8)

Sliding Board

Sliding Board
Photo of Bryan Tudor by Eric Allman taken 10/08/03 @ 750cfs

Narrow slide with a nasty hole on the right and a nasty undercut rock straight ahead.

Double Undercut (Class 5.1, Mile 4.2)

Double Undercut

Double Undercut
Photo of John Geoppinger by Bryan Tudor taken 10/08/03 @ 750cfs

Once again, just as the name says. There is a 8ft boof next to the first undercut then you must dodge holes and keep from getting surfed into the second undercut.

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