Roaring Creek, West Virginia, US
County Rd. 3-12 to Cheat River
||IV (for normal flows)
upper section Roaring Creek
upper section Roaring CreekPhoto of Jen Huebschman by Jeff Macklin taken 09/20/03 @ too low
WARNING: The river left hillside below the putin was recently logged and the wood situation in the
top of this creek is significantly more pronounced because of it. The creek needs to be cleaned out
as of April, 2006 and it may take time for debris from the logging operation to fully blow through
the upper reaches.
The price of admission to this gem of a rhodedendron flush is an impossibly narrow and fairly steep
top section that is scrapy Class IV at lower levels and pushy Class IV when some water is poured
into it. The mile-by-mile gradient, courtesy of TopoZone, says it all: 220, 155, 85, 150, 140, 100.
This creek seems almost too small when you launch near the roadside tire dump off Brandonville
Pike. ItÂs not. But it is steep, blind and you can expect to be dealing with wood. Running the
first half mile can be a time consuming endeavor. As the gradient suggests, the creek does ease up.
But it never gets very wide, has few comfortable eddies and the rapids rarely let up, even in the
easier sections. Overhanging rhodedendron is both a blessing Â you can grab it to stop - and a
curse Â it will take your head off if you donÂt duck fast enough.
This creek invites disagreement over difficulty rating. Running it is a serious undertaking, yet it
has a softer side. . The IV rating on this page matches the recent edition of A Canoeing and
Kayaking Guide to West Virginia
by Walbridge, et. al.
The steep stretch at the top starts right below the putin and itÂs hard to break out the details
here. There are usually a couple trees down, though, so be on the ready. When you portage around
them, you might as well scout from river left to see whatÂs downstream. Though the drops are steep
and wide, the creek is too small to have many lines. Watch for undercut rocks and a river right
sieve halfway through this section. The climax up top is a tight, dynamic hard right to left turn
in front of a big boulder.
When things ease up the creek speeds through a narrow course with the rhody hanging low. ItÂs
still pretty blind and single file with plenty of space between boaters is the only way down. At
some point, the gorge opens up and the creeks changes gears for a while. Midway through this
section is an island with a low footbridge in the left channel. The landowner has put a nice
warning sign on the creek as a courtesy (IÂm betting thereÂs a story behind that). The right
channel is an alternative, but you may end up portaging anyway because of wood.
A III+ ledge series marks the beginning of another gorgy section, this time with ledgy
characteristics. There is a large submerged tree in the right side midway through this set of drops
that pinned a boater in 2003. It was still there in March, 2004. Below here is a little more boogie
before a high ledge Â 6 to 10 feet Â must be negotiated. Take a look because the best lines
change with the water flow. After a couple slides, there is another larger ledge of about 6 feet
which can also be run in different places, depending on the water. Below here are a number of
slides and ledgy holes. One of the slides is fairly long and the gradient drop is impressive, so
take a moment to look upstream. The creek settles to open boogie for the final stretch down to the
Cheat River. Watch for a retentive playhole just above the takeout bridge.
YouÂll come to the takeout first when driving south to Albright, WV on Rt. 28. Park at the rafting
outfitters (you might want to ask if they are busy). Take Coal Lick Road up the hill along the
creek (right across from the outfitters). Bear right at the unmarked junction, then turn right onto
Brandonville Pike (CR 3-12). Look for a couple pulloffs on the right just up the road a bit.
YouÂll know you are in the right place if you see a roadside dump along the creek at one of the
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2006-04-25 10:36:51