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Difficulty III-V
Length 12 Miles
Flow Range 2.30 - 3.30 FT
Flow Rate as of: 21 minutes ago 2.37 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 01/05/2006 8:39 pm

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.

Rapid Descriptions


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mike Beswick
4 years ago

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

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Paul Schulte
8 years ago

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!

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chad lester
10 years ago

2.9 is as low as you can run Piney now . Any lower and you will do alot of dragging .

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Trevyn Leighton
10 years ago

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.

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11 years ago

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.

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Robert Farmer
14 years ago

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!

Gage Descriptions

Min & Max are some not so educated guesses. If you have better info, please add it via the comments section below.

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.

No Accident Reports




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.

Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192219 01/05/06 n/a n/a