A 126 day old warning about this river was added. Click on comments below to read it.

Williams - 2. Tea Creek to Three Forks of Williams

Williams, West Virginia, US


2. Tea Creek to Three Forks of Williams

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 11 Miles
Avg. Gradient 53 fpm
Max Gradient 80 fpm

Typical rapid on the Williams, Section 2

Typical rapid on the Williams, Section 2
Photo of Typical Rapid on Williams, Section 2 by D. Keller taken 05/15/10 @ low runnable level

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03186500 3.60 - 5.00 ft III-IV 00h58m 1.74 ft (too low)

River Description

This is a great small stream with lots of laurel and trout fishermen. The latter are particularly abundant after stocking. If you like intimate water with lots of eddy-hopping you will find it here.

This stretch begins with a short section of class II water after the putin just below the bridge crossing the Williams at Tea Creek CG. After this the Williams is almost constant class III eddy-hopping and playing. At higher levels it is a solid class III/IV run. Almost the entire run is scoutable from the road (FS 86). It is also quite possible to shorten the run - just find a convenient pull-off on FS 86 as far downriver as you want to paddle and park your takeout vehicle.

Our first run on the Williams was just before Memorial Day, 2000. We saw that the Craigsville gauge was running about 13 feet and the Cranberry gauge was too low to run so we headed over to the Cherry. When we got there the Cherry was too low to run. Let's see - there are 4 major streams that provide water for the Craigsville gauge - the top reaches of the Gauley, the Williams, the Cranberry, and the Cherry. Since the last two didn't have much water it had to be the Williams or the Gauley. We took a chance and headed to the Williams. The folks at the Cranberry Visitor Center verified our suspicion when they told us that there had been a significant, isolated thunderstorm in the upper reaches of the Williams.

Putin: Bridge on FS 86 (off WV 150) at Tea Creek CG.

Takeout: Bridge on FS 86 at Three Forks of the Williams.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-09-26 15:35:12

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 13 2018 (126 days ago)
nprete (157563)
As of 09/13/18 the road is closed again. Basically the whole section is closed off on the road, so
you can either do a super long shuttle, or bike the road but you can't drive the Williams river
road between Dryer and Tea Creek campground.
August 1 2018 (169 days ago)
Steve McLuckieDetails
This is one of the areas tht was hit hard by the flooding in June 2016. As of 8/30/16 FS 86 is
closed from Tea Creek campground to the bridge about 11 miles downstream. I didn't get to see that
stretch of river, but there's an enormous amount of wood in the general area FYI we were down there
spring of 2018, road is open again. Jay
March 21 2011 (2859 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
I vaguely recall running this on a day when everything else was too high. I shuttled on my mountain
bike through a steady, day-long moderate-to-hard rain. It was a good day for it. If everything else
nearby is runnable, this may be too low. Or, at least, that was my perception---not for sure, but
just FYI, for you to think about.
May 19 2010 (3165 days ago)
Donald KellerDetails
PAddled this with a group on 5/15/2010 at a level of 3.7' or so and dropping very slowly. Water was
perhaps a foot under the low water bridge at the TC Campground at the put in and it looked semi low
there but was enough downstream for a good Class 2-3+ run. This is definitely a strong intermediate
run at this level although intermediate paddlers can probably do it as long as they are with a
strong paddlers who can help and know the river. Rapids are numerous and very very little flatwater
on this section. We did 8 miles or so before taking out along FS86 road that runs along on the left
side. Rapids can be ledges, boulder gardens, and holes and a mix of all of these. At this level the
route ewas not always easy to find. Very little wood seen. Need to stay alert for rocks as they are
everywhere. Very scenic and a great run on a sunny day. We were lucky to have sun and low 70's.
Other paddlers said it was often raining when they paddled it. At 4.5' and higher this seems like
it would be a definite run for advanced and expert paddlers only as swims could be long and
August 2 2009 (3455 days ago)
x (1)
Went and ran an 8 mile section today at the Williams with a couple of friends and WOW! it was at
5.07 and man it was running fast and big! But it was a ton of fun and we had a great adventure.
March 19 2009 (3591 days ago)
x (1)
Teakwood.. The road is paved NOW......All the way to 150........ a fishermans and boaters dream. I
was there trout fishing on the 18 of march 09...... if anything it is a beautiful ride.
June 5 2006 (4609 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
The crux rapid is not really visible when driving along the road, so be aware of this. The river
veers right a bit, and there's a narrow slot between boulders leading to a tight left turn before a
hole--at least when it was high, a few years ago. I remember this being the only rapid that is not
visible from the road, more-or-less.
March 8 2004 (5428 days ago)
Jim WeiDetails
Three buddies hit in on Saturday, 3/6/2004. Sadly, I was filming due to a bummed shoulder and the
river looked really good. Craigsville Gauge was at 16.3', and Camden was at 10'. It was big, but
very manageable. The hole at the bottom of the first real rapid (double drop) is pretty sticky in
the left corner and one of our group had some quality time in it. Tons of beautiful playing waves
and holes on the river. Top half of shuttle road was covered in snow so driving was interesting.
Video coming soon.

We couldn't find the Dyer Bridge gauge. Actually we couldn't find Dyer Bridge. No idea where it's
November 17 2003 (5539 days ago)
Matt SchaferDetails
If you can catch it at 14.5 feet and rising or higher on the Craigsville gauge, it is probably the
best run in the state. I ran it at 17.1 and falling fast on 11-14-03 and it was 11 miles of
non-stop class III+ to IV+ action. No pools and very few eddys. AW says max level to run is 15 feet
and I agree unless you have a very strong roll.

There are 2 great features about this run. One is that 80% or more is scoutable from the road as
you run your shuttle. This helps keep strainers from suprising you (so you don't have to spend all
day worrying about when the next strainer may appear).

Two is that there are not a lot of serious undercuts on this creek (as far as boulder-infested
creeks go). There is one very serious one that I would caution you about. It is about 4-5 miles
into the trip (if you put in at Tea Creek). You will go under a cable stretched high across the
river. This cable signifies that you are leaving the catch and release area for fishing. The first
major rapid you come to after going under this cable is about 300 yards down river. The rapid is
about 150 yards long and at the end, the creek narrows and dumps into an unavoidable hole. The hole
is more of a wave-hole than a pourover and will let you out. However, when it spits you out it
tends to throw you into a car-sized boulder in the center of the river. Most of the water hits the
rock and reflects to river right with some going river left. An intermediate paddler or better
should have no trouble avoiding this rock; but it is very hard for a beginnier to miss it. It is
severly undercut and a lot of water goes under it (but I don't think a body could flush through
it). I spent a good deal of time trying to recover my paddle from under it one day when I was a
beginner. You cannot see this rapid from the road. Other than this one, there are a few places
along the river's right bank that are undercut but are easliy avoidable and are parallel to the
river's flow and therefore would probably spit you out.

The only other major place to mention is Twin Falls. When I ran it solo at 17.1 feet I carried
around this rapid. Several holes that you will have to punch at that level and an absolute
"must-avoid-hole" at the bottom on river right.

You can run this creek down to about 12.3 and falling slowly on the Craigsville gauge; but it would
be a beginner to intermediate run at that level. Still very fun; but nothing like it is at 15 feet
or more.