Potomac, S. Branch, West Virginia, US
5. Big Bend Campground to US220 bridge South of Petersburg (Lower Smokehole Canyon)
||I-II(III) (for normal flows)
Smokehole CanyonPhoto of Clare Anderson by Mark Anderson taken 06/15/01
Most of the rapids are straightforward gentle drops over gravel and cobble bars. The most vigorous
drop is called Landslide (III-) and is usually run right or right of center. The rapid was formed
when part of the canyon wall on river left fell into the river. The old scar is visible high on the
mountain for a considerable distance upstream.
It is a beautiful river, with steep canyons walls, usually remarkably clear water, great vistas,
and fun shoals and riffles. It is often done as an overnight trip When there's enough water, this
section is suitable for canoers and beginning kayakers who have competent eddy turns in their bag
The remains of the old Royal Glen Dam is below the confluence of the North Fork. It is easily
runnable in breaches far left (easiest) and center.
The earliest take-out is shortly below here on river left and is accessible from WV 28/55 (turn-off
near state road maintenance garage) via River Road (CR 28/1).
Below here there is also a public boat ramp site on river right accessible from US 220 via CR
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
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Last Updated: 2018-02-27 18:49:40