This photo needs editing.
Difficulty IV-V
Length 1 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 1000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 49 minutes ago 62.1 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/03/2011 1:32 pm

River Description

Conservation organization: check out Friends of Deckers Creek.

For a helmet-cam video of this section, check out

Eric Henrickson 2004-05-21 17:29:02 This seems to be a rarely paddled section of Decker's Creek. Not that Decker's sees that much traffic anyway. It remains shrouded from view of passers by, but contains a remarkable series of drops, most of which are of the waterfall persuasion.

This section of Decker's is known to locals as "Golden Showers", referring to the history of untreated sewer discharge from Masontown and Reedsville immediately upstream. The sewage situation seems to have mostly resolved thanks to legal action by the EPA and the construction of a waste treatment facility. Nevertheless, the water quality still leaves much to be desired

Basically there are five or so drops becoming more continuous as the run progresses. The run starts with a couple small slides into a small eddy above a narrow flume with a number of thoughtfully placed ledge outcroppings guaranteed to inflict pain and suffering should you choose to view them upside down. After a short pool, the flow devides into three channels. The middle is the route of choice leading to a wicked sweet ten foot boof. The right can be run as well, and leads to the about the only decent eddy in the remainder of the run. The next drop is another ten foot boof with a less clean approach and landing. This is immediately followed by a cascading drop which leads to a series of sliding ledges which end in yet another, but much more burly, ten foot boof. This drop has some serious hazards. At different levels, the approach changes and is hard to see as you paddle into it. The landing is a fairly narrow channel between two flat ledges. The right ledge is undercut as is the upstream ledge. The left falls into boulders and debris. Land flat and eddy out, or continue downstream into a trashy, but less steep section of the river. The gradient mellows out here, but trash and trees in the river make it undesireable to run any further.

As far as water levels. It should be good to go if the Decker's Gauge is over 400 cfs.

Park at the small picnic area on Rt.7 just below Masontown. There is also a Rail Trail on River Left.

Rapid Descriptions


Summary of Gauge Readings

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
AW Gauge Info
62 cfs 00h49m n/a

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



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Tow Tether Danger Highlighted by Recent Accident

2019-02-25 19:53:07-05
Charlie Walbridge

Nancy Kell, a very experienced Mid-States kayaker, died on February 24th after flipping in a Class II rapid on West Virginia's Red Creek. There were a number of strainers in the vicinity above and below the water. One of them snagged her tow tether, pulled her out of her boat, and held her under water. She was with a very experienced crew but they could not reach her quickly enough. Equipment snags are a real risk. In the light of this accident I strongly urge anyone using a cowtail, pigtail, or tow tether to recheck your setup, and to consider whether wearing a tow tether makes sense. Be certain that your tether releases cleanly at both ends. Do not attach the front carabiner to a non-releasable point, like a pocket or strap. Ms. Kell did this, and it may have been a contributing factor. Apparently many current rescue PFD designs to not feature a front release point! Do not attach a tether to the rear of your PFD with a non-locking carabiner, as that may inadvertently clip into a rope. The tether should fit very snugly, without sagging, but as the photo shows Ms. Kell did that, and it did not protect her! The harness release should be quick and foolproof. Practice harness releases under pressure before using it on the river. Finally, remember that any additional strap is a potential snag hazard. Ask yourself if the usefulness of a tow tether is worth the risk, especially on small, strainer infrested creeks. Carry it in a PFD pocket or dry bag if necessary. Click for a link to the report in the AW Accident Database. (Jeff Macklin Photo)


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Gauley Fest - September 13-16, 2018 - Summersville, WV

2018-09-04 07:58:00-04
Mark Singleton

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.

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2018 Letter To Gauley Boaters From The NPS (WV)

2018-08-21 10:07:00-04
Mark Singleton

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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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

2007-02-13 00:00:00-05
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.

Robert Miller


Mike Vanderberg