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Difficulty III-V
Length 11.8 Miles
Flow Range 3.50 - 9.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.63 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/20/2016 7:40 pm

River Description

Photo: John Fralick squeezes between the rocks at KeyHole.


Map of Area

Put-in on river right downstream of Belington or in Belington on river left.
Alternate put-in 3.2 mi downstream at fish camp on river right.
Two take-outs available:
River right 1 mi downstream of confluence with Buckhannon River or
At the mouth of the Buchannon River, walk 3/4 mi up RR tracks to covered bridge over the Buckhannon.
Noteable rapids in first half of the run are Key Hole and Hartung Falls, about half way down you encounter the confluence with the Middle Fork River. Those that run the Middle Fork run the lower part of the Tygart Gorge which contain three major rapids. S-Turn, Shoulder Snapper and Hook(left hook).

An outfitter is now running shuttles on weekends. He will pick you up below Hook on the Tygart and bring your group back to Audra. He charges by the shuttle not by individual. Contact -   Tygart River Outfitters

Keel Hauler Rating - 28


Photo: Colins Drozdowski at Instant Ender. InstantEnder320.jpg


Rapid Descriptions


Class - III+ Mile - 3.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Hard Tongue

Class - IV Mile - 4.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Middle Fork Confluence

Class - Mile - 8
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Class - IV+ Mile - 9.8
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Shoulder Snapper

Class - IV Mile - 10.1


Class - III+ Mile - 11.2

Buckhannon Confluence

Class - Mile - 11.8
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


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Steve Kroser
8 years ago

If the boulder splitting the current at Shoulder Snapper is well covered, go for the boof. It is one of the coolest launches you will find.

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Robert Farmer
14 years ago

Hook Rapid is probably the most dangerous rapid--a 90-degree left turn. The end of the rapid has a ledge that is backed by a rock on the right, and people have swum underneath undercuts on the left. Stay about 1/4 over from the left side as you make the left turn. Maintain momentum.

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Rhett Flowers
14 years ago

There is a large log in the main entrance to Keyhole rapid. 11/5/05

Gage Descriptions

Belington Gauge

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 Kobak


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192245 10/02/03 John Kobak n/a
1206447 05/20/16 John Kobak Shuttle Added