Rapids were rated when the Craigsville gauge was between 11.5'(900 cfs) and 12.0'(1460cfs). These were based on the old feet/cfs conversion tables before the new bridge was put in at the confluence of the Cherry and Gauley. The current conversions are approximately: 10.5' (360 cfs), 11.0'(759 cfs), 12.0'(2135 cfs), 13.0'(4135 cfs), 14.0'(6580 cfs).
1. Panther Creek - 4.6 miles on river left, class II TO III-, 20'/mile gradient.
Panther Creek comes in on river left and may be reached from Curtin Bridge via WV 20&55 to Fenwick, then onto WV 39&20 to Panther Creek Road CR 39/15 which leads directly to the river at the former Marybill Mine site. The road that follows the river left side downstream of the Curtin Bridge is much shorter but does not save much (if any) shuttle time and is a private road.
2. One rapid beyond Ships Prow Rapid (IV-) - 6.6 miles river right, This additional mileage contains the steepest mile at 40'/mile gradient and contains several boulder congested rapids of Class III or greater difficulty.
Take out # 2 is on river right and may be reached from the Curtin Bridge (WV20&55) via the Crupperneck Road (CR 14), which deadends at a left turn onto CR 14/1) which leads to a fairly large flat area about 100 feet above river level. There is a road leading downstream of this flat area. Depending on whether this road is gated or blocked you may have a slight uphill carry for 1/2 mile back to the end of the public road at this large flat area. Note* Since the spring of 2000 these private roads have been gated or blocked. Since the winter of 2001/02 CR 14/1 has been impassable for the last 1/2 mile above the large flat area.
3. Mouth of Big Beaver Creek - 8.4 miles on river right. Although there is a marginal road down to the river immediately past Big Beaver Creek boaters should expect a one mile hike up to Nile Road - CR 8
4. Mouth of Persinger Creek - 12.4 miles on river right. To find this take-out go on WV 41 from Summersville toward Persinger. Take right on Nile Road - CR 8. Go 1.8 miles on Nile road and turn right in a sharp bend onto a gravel road that leads to the river at 1.2 miles below and at the mouth of Persinger Creek. This road looks sketchy from the top but is a solid so motorboats and their trailers can get to the WV DNR access point at the head of summer pool on Summersville Lake.
Three of us ran this from the Curtin bridge to what is described as takeout number 2. The level was 11.7 ft. At this level, this is a great section of intermediate water. Gradually increases from easy class II to a few class III rapids and ends with a challenging class IV that should be bank scouted. There is an old brick bridge support in river center which indicates that the action is increasing. After the bridge support there is about a short section of class III before the class IV. It will be obvious because there is no clear route obvious from the boat. The move is basically from river left, ferry behind the first large rock in river center to river right. After the ferry, there was a line down river right. All of the rapids with the exception of the last one were easily boat scoutable and offered plenty of opportunity to practice river running skills. We accidentally ran into the land owner for the takeout. He is very kayaker friendly and is willing to work out both river access and primitive camping arrangements. We tipped him $10 to give us access. He asked me to pass along his contact information. Call Floyd Dillon for river access 304-742-6237
Just a quick note...When Summersville Lake is at winter pool (usually between November and April) there is current all the way to the Rt. 39 bridge. The section below Big Beaver Creek contains small (class I-II) rapids and a mellow gradient. It makes for a nice long day and simple shuttle logistics.
Posted on 6/27/02 to the AW Massage Board:
I am unsure of how to get this on the AW site, but someone had asked for some info. The far takeout on Crupperneck Road is still there, but to access it via Crupperneck Road one must negotiate some 2' diagonal washouts and one that is deep enough to fit an S-10 in, call this a class V. As for making the shorter run of the top section of the Top Gauley. The road on river left, to my knowledge, is public, although some cabin and property owners along this road may not like it. This is proven by the large quantities of roofing nails strewn about the pull-off areas. We consider ourselves locals (WV Tags) and last time we ran it in early June 2002, my buddy ended up with 2 in one tire and 1 in another. So be on the lookout! The run is sweet, though, okay play down to 1000 cfs, but gets better as it goes up. At about 2000 cfs a honey of a wave hole thingy can be found on river left about 5 miles down. We consider this the optimal level, and I usually cannot get anyone off their lazy a@# to go if it is lower than that. A bonus is that I rarely see a person there. If you opt for the whole run, be wary that a rapid uncharacteristic of the run lies waiting to munch the unexpecting. Hope this helps.
I was there on sat
I take it the crupperneck 14-1 takeout is out( i looked at that road and turned around)
As for the river left road downstream of the 55/20 bridge we were told it was private (no signs) SO we paddled nothing
ANY ADDITIONAL INFO. WOULD BE GREAT
The Craigsville gauge is located at the put-in and includes the flow of the Cherry River. The current conversions are approximately: 10.5' (360 cfs), 11.0'(759 cfs), 12.0'(2135 cfs), 13.0'(4135 cfs), 14.0'(6580 cfs).
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
How to run Ship's Prow
Ships Prow Rapid
Below Fallen Bridge
Gauley access at Persinger Creek
Gauley access at Panther Creek
Top Gauley 07
Top Gauley 06
Top Gauley 05
Top Gauley 04
Top Gauley 03
Top Gauley 02
Top Gauley 01
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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.
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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!