Just a note: The mileage of the first 4.5 miles from the bridge to classic is way off. We measured it to be 2.3 miles.(I ran it in 15 minutes)
Wood hazards at Moats Falls.
The natural bridge above Moats (right side)now has a huge log stuffed into and spanning the entire slot.The drop now creates considerably more suction and should be treated with serious caution.Swimmers at Premonition should be kept away from it at any cost,even if that means swimming the falls elsewhere.This log looks to be stuck for a long time to come.
At the bottom of the right side,heavily undercut route 2 boulders are trapping wood
between them.Flushing under the undercut shelf on the right bank and flipping due to hitting the shelf will leave about 75 ft of heavy water to recover in with about 35% of the flow aimed at the strainer.Ropes on the left side are probably the best alternative for rescue due to the heavily undercut right shelf but be aware there is an undercut angled slab at the bottom left where the flow turns hard left to cut towards the center drop where Moats is most often run.By the time the center drop is runnable most paddlers will want to be very careful with the right side route.
The take-out at Cove Run is quite an ordeal! The last half mile of the road requires a bit of clearance and at least AWD. The trail down to the river (when the lake is drawn down) is extremely muddy.
It is a good idea to check the elevation of Tygart Lake before deciding to set shuttle at the Moatsville Bridge or Big Cove Run takeout. With Tygart Lake at 1107', the drop at Wells Falls shrank. The big hole at the bottom was almost gone and the sloping drop into it was much shallower. At 1102', Wells Falls preserved all its glory, but there were no rapids between it and the Big Cove Run takeout.
According to old topo maps, the conflunce of Big Cove Run and the Tygart is somewhere between 1050 and 1100', probably closer to 1050 given what was observed at 1102. Around 1050 plus some amount more, you will have rapids all the way to BCR.
I've seen Bill Blauvelt run that far left side just as smooth and pretty as you could ever want to see.
Min recomended flow 800 cfs (4.65)although some roadside sections are doable at lower levels.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Hugh over Moat's Falls
Jon at Undercut
All's well that ends well
What happens at 1300 cfs
Shawn drops off Moats Falls
Great day on the Tygart
13 yr old runs Moats
the loop he hit wasn't as fun to watch
Galloway Beach Wave
Hollie at Undercut
Newly installed strainer
Another view of Wells Falls
ender at classic
wells falls hole
gettin worked in classic
not the usual line...
Another Side of Moats Falls
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Get your groove on baby! This year Gauley Fest is a 60’s themed event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. To memorialize that historic event we are flashing back to another era for a 60’s throwdown. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.
American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River. Enjoy your paddling season on this classic whitewater river. As in past years, American Whitewater has leased the field above Masons Branch, also known as the Legg field, for overflow parking.
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