Birch, West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||27 fpm|
|Max Gradient||45 fpm|
|Elk River at Herold|
|noaa-hrlw2||4.00 - 6.00 ft||I-III||01h32m||2.15 ft (too low)|
An informal gauge is found on the pier of the Herold Bridge. Ideal conditions will show 5 blocks of stone. Current conditions are showing all 6 stone blocks @ June 7, 2001.
This section of river is included in the West Virginia Natural Streams Preservation Act. Although not included in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, this section of Birch was studied in 1982 and met the criteria for induction. Local landowner indifference and lack of public land were the 2 reasons this section of Birch is not in the NWSRA. It has also been overlooked by the NRI. Currently, that situation is in the process of being remedied. Look at the website www.scenicbirchriver.com for additional information.
A take-out may be made at the bridge above Herold at 6.1 river miles.
Another take-out may be made downstream of the Herold bridge on river left. Parking is (limited) near cliff face when road starts going uphill and away from river. This makes for 7.4 river miles with some of the better class III rapids included. The take-out at Diatter Run may be made from river right or left depending on how much abuse your four-wheel drive shuttle vehicle is willing to take. If continuing from here it is an additional 6.9 miles of scenic but flat water paddling to the confluence with the Elk River.