Piney Creek - Beckley to the New River at McCreery

Piney Creek, West Virginia, US


Beckley to the New River at McCreery

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 12 Miles
Avg. Gradient 80 fpm
Max Gradient 80 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03185000 2.30 - 3.30 ft III-V 00h22m 2.43 ft (running)

River Description

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.

From Chris Gorman, 2003-09-22 22:37:49
One thing about the river is the water quality is not great. It runs right past a sewage treatment plant that dumps into the river. It is a cool run though, it starts with about a mile of boogy water then there is a 5' drop onto a slide and some more boogy water (about 10' if you run the left). Then the pace picks up and it gets fairly steep and continuous. There were a couple slides into huge holes with undercut/sieves on the left side. Then there is one 8-foot waterfall that has a huge undercut on the left. There are some other cool rapids but everything is scoutable. The one drawback of this river is the length; it runs right into the confluence with the New and is some 3-miles of tiring rock dodging at the end. Railroad tracks run the entire length of the river.

Mark D'Agostino adds (2003-09-23 20:50:08):
We ran Piney on 9/20/03. It is indeed one of the nastiest smelling creeks I've been on, but still fun. At 2.6' on the USGS gage, the run was a solid medium level to me. The extended boogie sections are covered well enough to not detroy your boat. The short steeper stretches at the top (ending in big rock falls) and after the coal mine (flusher) packed some punch. Not the best run in the area but still worth a trip.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-01-05 20:39:19

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.
May 15 2016 (939 days ago)
beswickmike (153285)
Ran Piney on May 14, 2016, 166 cfs, or 2.9 on the gauge. Plenty of water at this level, as is
evidenced by the photos on this site. I think this creek has been unfairly maligned, there was no
odor , the water was relatively clear, and there was no discharge apparent from the sanitation
plant. Hardly any slack water on the entire run, we did it in under 3 hours, stopping to look at
the big ledge, and the old mill ledge. While there is an approximately 1 mile pretty steep section,
the whole run requires paying attention, and starts to feel a little fatiguing towards the end.
Easy shuttle, remote canyon and great rapids, I'd recommend strong boaters put this " hidden" gem
on their list
December 11 2011 (2556 days ago)
Paul SchulteDetails
Ran Piney on 10 Dec 2011. Gauge was 3.1 (~240 cfs). This is about the low end of good. 3.0 may be
the minimum. The rapids are good, however, the pools are very shallow at 3.1. Fallen trees are
prevalent, especially in the last third of the run. We portaged at least five times due to fallen
trees. Be on the lookout for trees!
May 25 2010 (3121 days ago)
chad lesterDetails
2.9 is as low as you can run Piney now . Any lower and you will do alot of dragging .
May 21 2010 (3125 days ago)
Trevyn LeightonDetails
Had a good run at 3.7. Lots of river level scouring from the flood. Still tons of evidence from
downed trees and log jams. Most of the major rapids were the same, but the boogie made from small
boulders will be different. Portaged 3 times for wood either completely across the river or in bad
places, as well as twice more 1 person got out to clear wood out of the way. River is tons of fun
at higher water, but there are some good sized holes.
March 27 2010 (3180 days ago)
chad lesterDetails
Piney has changed alot after the flood . Below the steep section the creek has rerouted in several
different places . And there is tons of wood , becareful . rnkc
April 14 2009 (3527 days ago)
x (1)
Friend almost died at an undercut rock probably six or seven miles into the run on the left side.
There's a very small step section that leads straight into a broach on this wide partially
submerged rock. (It was possible to scrape over with the level at about 2.88, but he still got
pulled under) Just be careful; I couldn't find it again if I tried, but there are hazards to be
found on this creek. He dropped his back edge scraping over it and that was all she wrote. It
flipped him in and under, then he washed out two minutes later on the bottom side. His boat came
under a few minutes later. It's in the boogie water after the first class IV (V) rapids.
January 14 2009 (3617 days ago)
x (1)
A large group of us ran this last weekend and the water did not seem TOO bad though the smell near
the doo doo plant was still strong. Good fun - many in the group compared it to Glade Creek.
January 28 2006 (4699 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
The water may smell bad, but I drank some and was ok--although I can't recommend that. This is a
great run! Constant gradient with big drops interspersed. I think of it as a scaled-down Lower Big
Sandy, which is pretty much as good as it gets! I put on at 3:30 one day when the 8:00am level
(Raleigh) was 2.75 and dropping. When I got to the put-in, the level was an absolute
minimum---abusive at the top, but good farther downstream. At the put-in, the riverbed is smooth,
solid bedrock, giving the appearance of there being more water than what it really has. More fun
than Glade Creek, and definitely worth doing!

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