got to look at this run on the way to the back fork section, would be a great lil run for beginers or intermediates. At 6.4 it looked like almost constant 2+ rapids, perhaps a few class 3 due to the wave sizes but looks like a fun lil rolercoaster ride with little manuvering required.
Robert Farmer---I did this about 12 years ago, when I ran all 3 sections together, but, based on a recent visit, I think there are 1 or 2 small ledges and then there is just a long, easy (but scenic and twisty) float out, usually with a good current. It's probably perfect at calm levels for beginners, but, at the time, I was getting impatient to take out. I seem to remember some greenery-covered cliffs where the river bends in various places. These rivers, the Elk and the Back Fork have intact watersheds, so the water is a very pretty, clear green---the Back Fork more-so than the main Elk. So it is an unusually pretty river, with a quiet dirt road nearby for access---what more could you want? Across the footbridge at the put-in, the sycamore tree there is believed to be the largest in WV, perhaps more than 18 feet in circumference (?). We saw it from the far side of the river, and it did look unusually large. Anyway, this section would make a nice summer tubing trip, probably.
see the link for a video of this rum..........
The Webster Springs gauge is located 23 river miles downstream of the put-in on the mainstem of the Elk. Thus this gauge can only be used as an indicator.
There is a visual gauge on the mainstem of the Elk on the CR 15/4 bridge pier at Cherry Falls. This visual gauge will read 4.0' lower than the Webster Springs gauge at recommended paddling levels.
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.
lower back fork
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.
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)
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.
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flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!