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Difficulty I-II
Length 11 Miles
Flow Range 1.60 - 10.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 30 minutes ago 1.8 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 02/27/2018 7:56 pm

River Description

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.

The following information from John Duke
Access points:
Put-in at the public access parking lot at the Route 220 bridge
Take-out at the public river access near the Trough General store

River Description:
Although not a true whitewater run this is a beautiful stretch of river! I highly recommend this run when the upper canyons (Hopeville, Smokehole, and Moorefield)are too low.

The first five miles are rolling farmland until a railroad bridge bridge is passed. Then 1000 foot walls converge to form "THE TROUGH" for the next 6 miles.

There are many primative campsites on river right inside the trough, but get there early the best get taken FAST.

Accommodations: Many Motels in Moorefield and Romney

Fishing: Great fishing for bass,catfish and carp..

E-mail me! with any questions

Rapid Descriptions


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Christopher M Duran
1 month ago

This is a gorgeous run. One note is that although nothing is above class II, at lower levels the gravel bars offer long stretches of tricky maneuvering that have tossed maybe a third of the people I've brought along with me, all in hard shell kayaks.

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Colin Abernethy
9 years ago

Ran the trough for the first time on 05/29/2011 at 4.25' on the Springfield, WV gauge and you couldn't have asked for better water conditions. The whitewater between the Rte. 220 bridge in Old Fields and the railroad bridge was a ton of fun despite being a straight-forward affair. As to the (3 year old) comment below about tubing, you could easily tube from Old Fields down to the un-official put-in/take-out at the RR bridge at lower water levels, there were quite a few people putting in on tubes pool rafts at Old Fields as we embarked. The ledge just before the RR bridge looks like it would make a nice park-n-play spot for those with sportier kayaks than our 10' rec boats at a 4' or above river level. Absolutely beautiful scenery once you're in the trough itself. Saw countless butterflies, tons of birds, and even two bald eagles.

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11 years ago

was on the river this weekend it was a very nice trip.i think everyone should try this one for the veiw and great fishing.small lures works great for small mouth and rock bass.....good luck

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11 years ago

I was just wondering if it was possible to tube this section of the river, for having just a float trip?---Answer: I would think that that should be possible, when the water is not too high, but it might be a very long day.--RF

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12 years ago

Robert Farmer---This is a very pretty section of wild river. Okay, so "the Trough" doesn't sound so spectacular, but it's a sarcastic term of endearment, I guess, like the way that some rock climbers refer to Yosemite valley as "the Ditch." I paddled it May 31-June 1, 2008 at a level of 2.5 at Moorefield. I highly recommend putting on from underneath the Route 220 bridge if you're putting in during a torrential rain storm, as I did. Otherwise, the first few miles have little scenic value, but perhaps some wildlife. It's popular with fishermen. There is an alternative put-in downstream on river right, which is more-or-less right at the top of the Trough. However, I put on at the 220 bridge, and my total time on the water was only 3 1/4 hours, so it's a short trip if you don't do the whole thing. I saw about 3 eagles, or one eagle 3 times, or some combination thereof. There were about 16 vultures soaring, a cardinal, a bat who flew directly over me and scared the insects away, a tourist train that watched me run some waves, and a very nice campsite. The water was a beautiful clear green until the rain washed some dirty brown farmers' fields into the river, and then the river stunk of manure and fertilizer. I think the erosion made it harder for the eagles to catch fish, due to the muddy water. They were calling repeatedly from the tree directly above my camp, and I sensed that they didn't appreciate the disgusting brown water and were expressing their displeasure. There were also several nice rock formations. There are no tributaries for filling one's water bottle, so bring plenty to drink. Apparently, the torrential rain for the first hour or so was a blessing, because otherwise the river might have been crowded on the weekend. The Trough General Store rents canoes and runs shuttles, so I guess it can get pretty crazy at times. People often drift it in rowboats, apparently. Despite the fact that this was the easiest river trip that I've done, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I recommend it highly.

Gage Descriptions

1.8 is what I consider a bare this level you will have to push your boat through a few shallows!

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.

John Duke


Tony Allred Jr


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192227 10/01/03 John Duke 1-12-2018 - Split flows into low/medium/high
1209011 02/27/18 Tony Allred Jr 3-30-2018 - cleanup