Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
paddled both sections 11/3. the first mile is chocked full of wood. the stream opens up after this and is clear through Dreaded Drop. Be alert of both islands in the first mile as well as for any trees that could move. T
The minimum for this run is top of the low water bridge at Mossy. Once you get off the interstate turn left as you cross the bridge. The low water bridge is about 1/2 mile down right beside the road. If the bridge is a hydraulic then you have really high water. This section has nice sloping ledges and plenty of rapids. At the culverts get out on the right about 20 yards upstream. The culverts are usually clogged. The next section downstream is a bit harder and more technical. But most of it can be scouted from the road while running shuttle. Heath Damron
The USGS on-line gage for this reach is on the Clear Fork of Big Coal River which is the next drainage due west of Paint Creek thus it can be only used as an indicator.
Check out the low water bridge downstream of Mossy across from the Fairview Church on CR 15. If the water is within 6" of the upstream top edge there is enough water.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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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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