Stony River - 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River


Stony River, West Virginia, US

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2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River (Lower Stony)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 6.7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 72 fpm
Max Gradient 90 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
STONY RIVER NEAR MOUNT STORM, WV
usgs-01595200 450 - 1000 cfs III-IV 8y35d23h20m 5 cfs (too low)


River Description




The Stoney is a pleasant little technical stream with some fairly complex rapids scattered through the run especially towards the end. Just before it dumps you into the meat of the N Br. Potomac, Kitzmiller Section, kinda like a version of the Middle Fork / Tygart run.


OTHER NEARBY RIVERS:
Abram Creek, WV
Difficult Creek, WV


Gradient, mile-by-mile: 40, 70, 70, 80, 70, 90, and 60 in the last 0.7 mile.







StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-08-28 16:01:59

Editors



Long Class 4 Rapid 2

Detail Trip Report  Long Class 4 Rapid 2  Stony River, WV(119.77KB .jpeg)

Class 3 Ledge

Detail Trip Report  Class 3 Ledge  Stony River, WV(124.72KB .jpeg)

Class 3 Action

Detail Trip Report  Class 3 Action  Stony River, WV(102.38KB .jpeg)

Early Class 4

Detail Trip Report  Early Class 4  Stony River, WV(115.25KB .jpeg)

Ledge Drop and Strainer

Detail Trip Report  Ledge Drop and Strainer  Stony River, WV(132.47KB .jpeg)

Large Slide

Detail Trip Report  Large Slide  Stony River, WV(116.97KB .jpeg)

Long Class 4 Rapid

Detail Trip Report  Long Class 4 Rapid  Stony River, WV(139.36KB .jpeg)

Sawmill Ledge

Detail Trip Report  Sawmill Ledge  Stony River, WV(107.81KB .jpeg)

Sawmill Ledge2

Detail Trip Report  Sawmill Ledge2  Stony River, WV(99.49KB .jpeg)

Last Big Slide

Detail Trip Report  Last Big Slide  Stony River, WV(107.82KB .jpeg)

Big Class 4

Detail Trip Report  Big Class 4  Stony River, WV(131.41KB .jpeg)

1st Strainer - 06/06/09

Detail Trip Report  1st Strainer - 06/06/09  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(46.98KB .jpeg)

Photo#50424

Detail Trip Report    @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(49.91KB .jpeg)

View of 2nd Strainer from Above

Detail Trip Report  View of 2nd Strainer from Above  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(48.22KB .jpeg)

River Level View of Strainer

Detail Trip Report  River Level View of Strainer  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(49.91KB .jpeg)

River Level View of Strainer

Detail Trip Report  River Level View of Strainer  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(49.91KB .jpeg)

View of 2nd Strainer from Above

Detail Trip Report  View of 2nd Strainer from Above  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(48.22KB .jpeg)

River Level View of Strainer

Detail Trip Report  River Level View of Strainer  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(49.91KB .jpeg)

View of 2nd Strainer from Above

Detail Trip Report  View of 2nd Strainer from Above  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(48.22KB .jpeg)

River Level View of Strainer

Detail Trip Report  River Level View of Strainer  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(49.91KB .jpeg)

View of 2nd Strainer from Above

Detail Trip Report  View of 2nd Strainer from Above  @Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, WV(48.22KB .jpeg)


Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

The Gauge is located at the begining of the "Upper" section of the Creek, some 7 miles up stream. Consider using the North Branch of the Potomac Gauge as a guide before driving there. Make sure it's on the rise and running 5 feet or better! The Stony relies on releases from Vepco Dam in Mount Storm - BUT! Heavy rains and Spring run off will add ample flow on this section without the release.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
STONY RIVER NEAR MOUNT STORM, WV
usgs-01595200 450 - 1000 cfs III-IV 8y35d23h20m 5 cfs (too low)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
0 - 450 cfs extremely Low-barely Low III-IV
450 -1000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III-IV

Report - Reports of Stony River 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

Reports

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
9y164d23h00m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 2nd Strainer - 06/06/09 n/a Doug Koschalk
9y164d23h05m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 2nd Strainer - 06/06/09 n/a Doug Koschalk
9y164d23h10m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 2nd Strainer - 06/06/09 n/a Doug Koschalk
9y164d23h26m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 1st Strainer - 06/06/09 n/a Doug Koschalk
9y164d23h45m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 1st Strainer n/a 0
9y167d00h19m Stony River2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River [WV] 2nd Strainer - 06/06/09 n/a Doug Koschalk
> 10 years Stony River [WV] Last Big Slide 900 cfs Mt. Storm Jonathan Mayhew

WXPort

News





User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 24 2013 (2034 days ago)
HENRYHERRMANN (155318)
As of 4/20/13 there was LOTS of wood on the Stoney. We only had to portage 3 times, although many
limbos, sneak arounds, and at least one more portage would be advisable. Still probably worth it.
April 25 2011 (2764 days ago)
Ernie LemmertDetails
As of 4/23/2011, Stony is free of wood from Rt 50 down to the North Branch of the Potomac.
June 8 2009 (3450 days ago)
x (1)
Robert Farmer---I paddled this 6/6/09 with some other people. The level was higher and better than
the other 2 times that I ran it, although the gauge was reading 360-390 (below the official
minimum). This was a very good level. In reference to the 2 strainers, the first log is obvious;
the second one is at the lower end of an island where we went down the right side, the left side
being much smaller. A small tributary waterfall is on the right, opposite the island. When you see
this waterfall, the next rapid has the hidden log. I was boat-scouting very carefully and did not
see the log until I was committed. I warned the group to stop, but one boater ran it anyway and got
pinned. For a brief while, we thought he was dead---very scary! We will try to post pictures of the
strainers on this site. I did manage to slide under the first strainer by flipping on river right,
but portaging is the safer choice. At the second log, I slid over it tight to the right side. A
group behind us said that some of them ran over the log deliberately, but that would be an
unusually bad idea, although with more water, that would seem less stupid. It was a delightful run,
other than this log. We started to cut it out, and worked on it until the saw broke. Maybe someone
could bring a bigger saw and finish the cut that we started. Have fun, be careful.
March 17 2007 (4264 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
This is a great creek for boat-scouting. I had to shore-scout only one drop--the last big ledge
before the Potomac. Speaking of which, if the Stony is running, the Potomac will be cranking! Be
prepared. Also, FYI, the takeout at Laurel Run is never really an option in winter, due to extreme
icing of the north-facing road.
September 22 2004 (5170 days ago)
Jonathan MayhewDetails
Ran this stretch several times over the course of 2003 at several different water levels. This run
is one of my favorites, providing a nice training ground for class 4 paddlers to work on their
creeking skills. While very similar in nature to an easy Upper Yough, the Lower Stony has alot of
variety in its rapids, including several high ledges and slides to break up the boulder garden
action. The first 4 miles of the run is continuous class 3, consisting of boat-scoutable boulder
drops and ledges reminiscent of the "warmups" on the Yough. One of these drops is
particularly vigorous, beginning with a lefthand turn over a ledge that leads into a series of
constricted 2-4 foot drops. Soon the gradient will pick up, and the Stony enters a long stretch of
class 4 boulder rapids which make up the most exciting and difficult part of the run. While these
rapids are all boat-scoutable, there are a number of undercut rocks and pinning spots to tangle
with if you get off line; also, there aren't many eddies, so leave plenty of space between
paddlers. About a mile above the confluence with the North Branch, paddlers will encounter a fun
three-tiered slide containing several ledge holes and some powerful lateral waves. This last mile
of the Stony is tougher than the sections above, consisting of technical boulder gardens and large
ledge drops. Upon reaching a small pool and a very distinct horizon line, paddlers will know they
have arrived at the single largest drop on the run, a roughly 8-10 foot ledge. This ledge is solid
class 4 at all flows and bumps up in difficulty as the flow increases. The best line is down the
left, where the ledge is broken into 3 drops. The first drop is a funnel-shaped 2-3 foot drop into
a hole, just slightly to the left of an ugly sieve/crack. The second drop runs directly into the
first, a 3-4 foot slide over a cheesegrater rock into a pourover. After avoiding the pourover, the
paddler is immediately launched over the final drop, a 4 foot ledge into a powerful hole. The
runout from this ledge slams into a large, box-shaped undercut boulder about 15 feet down from the
final hole; make sure you get over to the right when you finish! In high water the drops run
together, creating a mess of lateral waves which funnel the boater into a trashy hole at the
bottom. Below here, the run continues over a nother nice slide- which can be mean at high flows due
to some large holes in the approach- before dumping into the meat of the North Branch.
GAUGE: There is a gauge on the Stony which monitors the outflow from the VEPCO dam at Mt. Storm
lake. While 250 cfs is listed as a minimum, this should be taken as being a "bare
minimum"- we made a run at 280 cfs one day and barely made it down with our Shredders; lucky
for us the run gets pretty channelized towards the end. A level of 400-600 cfs on this gauge is
optimal for a class 3-4 "creeking" experience on the Stony; this run is also done in the
600-1200 cfs range as well, but the run changes significantly in character, developing fast
currents, large waves, and powerful holes- call it 4-4+. A gauge at Rt. 50 also exists,
unfortunately it does not get posted anywhere as far as I can tell. This gauge, however, does
provide a nice visual indicator; from the put-in the gauge house can be seen on river left about 15
feet down from the bridge- if the 2x4's extending from this silo out into the river are at or below
water level, the run is good to go. Unfortunately, the Stony rarely runs; a MAJOR (i.e. hurricane)
rain event is necessary to get the wonderful people of VEPCO to put water into this gem (another
note: I've heard rumors of the dam operators purposely shutting off the water on people running the
Upper Stony, so be VERY discrete when putting on at the dam or else you might be hiking out in an
hour). Basically, if the North Branch at Kitzmiller is at 5.5ft and rising, the Savage below the
dam is flowing above 1000 cfs, or the Blackwater is outrageously too high, the Stony *might* have
water in it.
SHUTTLE: One aspect of this run is that if you don't know where to take out, you must run 10 miles
of the Kitzmiller section of the North Branch to reach your shuttle car. However, there is an
obscure takeout for the Stony at its confluence, provided you know how to get there. This access is
on river left at Laurel Run, near the "town" of Schell:
- From the Rt 50 bridge over the Stony, head west to Gormania and turn right onto 560.
- Turn right onto White Church - Steyer Road (sign for Laurel Run/Wallman recreation area).
- Veer left onto Audley Riley Road. Road turns to gravel and you enter the state forest.
- Veer left at split and follow gravel road to deadend turnaround next to Laurel Run. You are about
2/10ths of a mile from the North Branch Potomac. To get to the river, ford the creek at the fiber
optic cable right of way and walk down the river. There you'll see old bridge abutments and the
cable right of way posts as indicators of the takeout, which is shown as Schell on the map. *NOTE*:
It is advisable to walk down to the river and take serious note of where the trail to the takeout
is in relation to the Stony confluence- this is NOT a good area to get hopelessly lost in.
ONE FINAL NOTE: This run is notorious for picking up strainers and has killed due to this factor. I
ran this stretch the day after Hurricane Isabel came through and found no strainers, but I have run
into some riverwide blockages in the past. Be careful out there.
September 18 2004 (5173 days ago)
Jonathan MayhewDetails
Ran this stretch again today (9/18/2004) at a level of 900 cfs at Mt. Storm- what a rush! The run
was definitely solid class 4-4+ the entire way, with the largest ledge- Sawmill Ledge- being a
major 4+ rapid. Overall, the lines and the rapids were the same as at lower levels; however, the
currents, waves, and holes were much more substantial. Below one of the larger ledges in the middle
of the run, we did come across a riverwide strainer; at today's water level we were able to scoot
over the trunk, but at lower levels it could present a real problem.

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.

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 2. Route 50 to North Branch of Potomac River, Stony River West Virginia, US (mobile)