Little Sandy Creek - 1. Rt. 68 to Rt. 26

Little Sandy Creek, West Virginia, US


1. Rt. 68 to Rt. 26 (Upper)

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 9.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 30 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03070500 7.00 - 10.00 ft I-III 00h34m 6.94 ft (too low)

River Description

lat/long are approx.

Trip Report
Little Sandy Creek
by Turner Sharp

CR 5/13 Bridge to WV 26 Bridge
November 11, 1997
Boaters (K-1): J. C. Gould, Jim Warlick, Kim McMichael, Bob Buck, Hunt Charach, Mollie Carr, Susan Klimas, Mac Thorton (C-1): Jamie Shumway

His front yard was ankle deep mud, with yard maintenance compliments of assorted cattle, some domestic turkeys, one sleeping hog, and a medium sized black dog (tail wagging). He was the probable owner of the fence stretched across CR 5/13 that we encountered on the way to the put-in, and was quite amenable about taking it down while explaining it was to keep people from dumping debris further down the road. Well, we found the dump. While Mac scouted the road down to the creek, we scouted the windrow of debris that I am sure contained a historical record of appliance manufacturing in the 20th century. Everybody admired and commented about this big dump, but did anyone report it? Does anyone know the procedure? Soon, Mac declared a ¼ mile walk down the hill was in order, so off we marched for a put-in just below the abandoned bridge on the state right-of-way.

The run was nice and scenic, with very little human intrusion visible from the creek. The rapids were all class I – II for several miles, and then a section with a little more gradient developed 3 or 4 class III rapids with the last one being the hardest. It was in this section that we recorded one swim and at least three different lines through the last rapid – with varying degrees of finesse. From this last rapid, near the Brandonville Pike (CR 3) bridge, to the WV 26 bridge is about two miles of flat water and not nearly as scenic. It can easily be skipped.

The water level was low/moderate, with the morning reading of the Rockville gauge on the Big Sandy at 7.4 feet and falling. Joining me on the run were Mollie Carr, Susan Klimas, Mac Thorton, and Jamis Shumway. The run is described in the AYH guidebook Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia, 8th Edition. This guidebook describes a put-in near Hazelton that requires one to paddle through a culvert under I-68 and then through a marshy section. We missed this section, but J. C. Gould, Jim Warlick, Kim McMichael, Bob Buck, and Hunt Charach tried to find that put-in but wound up using the same one as we did and finally catching up with us. Their original intention was to run the lower Little Sandy, and as compensation for missing some, carried up a river left tributary for some tight, steep creek fun. It is called Beaver Creek — has anybody run it?

©1996-2003 West Virginia Wildwater Association

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2005-12-17 17:16:15

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.
March 12 2011 (2837 days ago)
Jkfallin (152844)
Ran this at 7.4 feet and absolutely loved it. Its gorgeous area and pretty accessible shuttle. It
keeps you entertained while being a good run for beginners and intermediates to work on their more
technical skills. Its mainly lots of little waves interspersed between 6-7 more in depth
rapids/drops. If you swim, you usually have lots of time to get your boat and to the side. The
drops get more challenging over the run. Theres really only two that you may need to scout, one in
the middle and the last one, which you;ll know by their horizon lines. The middle one is a bolder
drop rapid that has a surprisingly soft hole in the middle (we had one big back ender and one swim
here). The last rapid is recognized by a forking of the creek (second time in the run it does this)
and a horizon line on either side. We eddied out on the right, so I never really saw what the left
line looks like. I ran the right, a 4 foot drop complicated by a boulder that sits waiting below
with all the current pillowing off it. If you run with a hard left brace you should pillow right
off that water and have no worries. Right after this is the bridge, and for those not interested in
doing that drop theres an easy hike on the right bank right to the bridge (150 yards or so). We
took out at the first take out before the 2 miles of flat water, and we were done under two hours
taking our grand ole time.
March 18 2007 (4292 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
Once, I ran down Beaver Creek to the Little Sandy at Brandonville Pike. The Rockville gauge was at
around 10.0 feet. The painted gauge under Brandonville Pike was @ 1.5, I think. I carried up the
Little Sandy a couple hundred feet to get one more rapid. This section, from Beaver down to the BV
Pike is pure, screaming, righteous rock and roll at 10.0 feet!!! Highly recommended (Class 4).
Beaver Creek was trivial, with a log portage.

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating