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Difficulty IV
Length 6.1 Miles
Flow Range 7.50 - 11.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 26 minutes ago 3.02 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/12/2019 3:48 pm

River Description


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  you can grab it to stop - and a curse  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 Rapids:

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  6 to 10 feet  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 pullouts.

Rapid Descriptions

Typical width and scenery up high

Class - Mile - 0
See any eddies? How about some Rhody? There are long stretches like this.

Typical of the upper part

Class - IV Mile - 0.4
This picture was taken in the middle of a long series of steep drops. Trying to remember your moves here is a challenge

Ledge in lower section

Class - III Mile - 4.5
This is one of the smaller ledges in the lower section. Anyone have a picture of the big ones?


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Jeff Macklin
2 years ago

Take out = 39.505296, -79.641818 ........... Put in 1 = 39.526880, -79.576286 (short hike to avoid some wood as of 2-17-18) ............ Put in 2 = 39.526101, -79.570932 (use this, after the wood is cleared, more parking here;)

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Jeff Macklin
2 years ago

2-17-2018 Helpful hints for running Roaring Creek near Albright, WV. Using Steve Blade's video from 2-17-18 ............ ( )............ & recently posted photos ( ) , Jim Snyder & I were discussing this run. Jim Snyder noted some time-marks on this video & commented on photos with some rapid names and pointed out a few hazards Below are condensed excerpts from our discussion: New & updated info on 2-28-18, is marked with a “-+” 1:45 -+ important place to go way right if you ever run low flows. 3:36 -+ Pretty sure that is "Paradise Rhodes"- named for the rhododendron tunnel effect, but the rhodies don't grow over the creek the way they used to 3:45 -+ At lower water, there's a terrible unrunnable trap exactly where you guys ran towards the left there. It is totally unnoticeable at your level. But if you go left there at lower levels, you'll have that trap named after you! There is basically a 3 rock pin, in waiting – unrunnable at low levels! 4:11 - Narrow Bridge, almost to the end of the sub-micro-creeking “upper section” … confluence of Lick Run at 4:40 4:42 - big rock marks entrance to Cyclops. 4:46 - is the top of “Cyclops”. We've called it "Cyclops" for 20 years. 4:56 - The “Cyclops Sieve” is at the base of the big rock on river right. There's a lot of water going to the rock and a good chunk goes down into a sieve. The boat/camera almost runs over the sieve. It looks a lot worse at lower water. 4:57 -+ additional info from Jim: There's a tiny stick showing the spot. Eight out of ten runs, there's wood hooked up in there. At lower water, yesterday there was nothing at all there. I guess it's not as bad a sieve as I thought, but it's always better to scrounge left and stay safe from everything. -The 4' ledge that follows waaay down at the bottom is called "What the Hell" b/c there is a bad pinning rock hiding in the foam just right of center- where all the water goes. 5:27 -+ “What the Hell”, The piton/pinning rock (is under water) is right behind that tiny stick stuck in the top of the ledge, just 4' to the left of Steve's line. If anyone ever hooks up on that rock, expect a tough extraction. Steve's 'run out plan' after the ledge, is correct ... hedge right ... if the right shore is clear of dangerous wood. Lots of wood catches there. 5:35 -+ Is the drop we call "Left" for obvious reasons- but when I blue angel w/Attila he often uses the right line to try to pass me there. 5:45 -+ And, that next drop is “Right". 6:04 -+ to 6:12 – Ledge 1, right line. Nice big boof on the left line ... if there is no wood! 6:51 -+ Ledge 2 7:17 -+ “Slide” 7:40 - “Fun Key Hole”, (in video, Steve runs right boof) Jim says, “we run that center route at all levels- very narrow but clean”. Don't take the left slot, because there is a hidden piton and that slot tends to collect wood. If you have enough water, the right flat rock boof is good... clean landing. Hope this helps for clean & fun runs on Roaring.

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Robert Farmer
14 years ago

I did this by putting in at the confluence with Lick Run. It's not clear from the above description where others put in, but the section above this confluence would require a tremendous amount of water---above here is very tiny.
In 2004, a large tree blocked the entire creek--don't know if it's still there.
I wouldn't call it one of the 50 classics, by any means. The good section was very brief.

Gage Descriptions

No online gauge, but the Big Sandy's Rockville gauge may be a rough guide. Look for a rising gauge that eclipses 7.5 ft. and get there fast. This is most likely to still be running if the rain is still falling. Also, if you are in the Albright, WV area and running out of options because of high water, this one might be there for you. The AFWS Rain Gage can give you an idea; closest would be Afton (3901). You'll probably need an inch of rain in a 24-hour period.

There is a painted gaige on the Rt. 28 bridge over the creek, which provides surgy readings. A reading of 6 inches or less *might* seem bumpy at the top and OK on down. A foot is plenty healthy, especially in the steeper top parts, and 1.5 feet is getting pushy. 

Muddy Creek Stream Gauge Project:

***update 8/12/19***

The visual gauge described above is often unreliable due to the close proximity to the Cheat River which often backs up into Roaring enough to throw off the gauge reading.  There are plans in place to install a stick gauge further upstream.  

Muddy Creek Stream Gauge Project:

Friends of the Cheat (FOC) has installed an OTT RLS Stream Gauge near the mouth of Muddy Creek, close to the Cheat Fest Site.  The stream gauge is similar to ones used by the USGS throughout the state, however it is maintained and managed by FOC.  It measures stream stage (water level), as well as the following water quality parameters; pH, conductivity, DO and temperature.  Eventually, the stream stage will be embedded in this page in place of the Big Sandy correlation that is currently used.  For now, in order to view this gauge, follow this link:  * click “Muddy Creek” on the left side of the page, and then click “RLS Level (ft)” in the resulting drop down menu.  This link will also provide the opportunity to download an app.  If you have any trouble accessing this gauge via mobile phone, some users may find it helpful to first access the link via wifi and download the app.

If you’d like to contribute to the development of runnability correlations, please e-mail your observations of runnable flows in Muddy Creek or other nearby creeks to, and/or leave this feedback as a comment here.  Please be sure to include date and time, as well as your interpretation of the flow, being as objective as possible. 

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.

Friends of the Cheat


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209017 08/12/19 Friends of the Cheat updated description
1192647 08/12/19 Friends of the Cheat n/a