Online river levels were calculated from a correlation withe clear fork of the coal but something has changed. Often the creek is showing up as runnable when it isn't. I now look at the piney gauge in cfs and am thinking that when piney has at least 250 cfs then paint is often (but not always) runnable.
If you swim below an interstate bridge, continue to float a bit downstream before heading to shore. Under the interstate bridges is where the bulk of the rebar is. Also resist the temptation to surf or play under an interstate bridge. In at least one case, a nice surfing wave/hole is created by a chunk of concrete that has exposed rebar in it.
The stream is cleanest (no odor, good clarity) when it is dropping out. If none of this has deterred you than be prepared to have some fun because despite these issues the creek is a local favorite!
11/3, culverts to the skitter creek bridge is clear of wood, from there down there is the occasional tree to get around. roughly 300-400 yards above the "15 mile branch" takeout there are three trees across the stream
Ran the lower half of this section a couple days ago @ 12.4. Had just enough water to make it interesting. The road makes a tight s turn around one of the interstate bridges. We put in here and ran to the next small bridge. Really fun class 3-3+ section. Scouted two days later @ 13.8. TOTALY differant creek. Much faster, but still class 3. Haven't run the first half of the lower, but gonna try this week. Will try to get pics and video up as we run more. We will be out there a lot this spring. The only problem is all of the STEEL. Be very careful near the bridges.
This section is harder than the upstream and can have more trees because it is narrower. If the low water bridge at Mossy is at the top then you will have good water. The waterfall is good to go and the mile just below the falls has the most rapids and is fun. Not far into the "Mad" Mile there is a boulder drop with a sieve on the right blank. I don't think a boat can go all way in but watch swimmers here and stay with the main current. The sieve is formed by two rocks stacked up on the right bank. Also watch for metal and debris around the interstate or other small bridges. It is getting better each year but there is still some in there. There are lots of different takeouts. This run is mostly class III but the rapids are close together and at high water you move fast so swims could be long in some parts if it is high. Heath Damron
The USGS on-line gage used for this reach is on Clear Fork of the Big Coal River. This drainage is the next one due west of Paint Creek and can only be used as an indicator.
For a visual indicator check the low water bridge just downstream of Mossy across from the Fairview Church on CR 15. If the water is within 8" of the upstream top edge there is enough water .
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.
First Curve, low water
Typical Paint Creek @ low
Culvert @ med
Falls on Paint Creek
Dylan @ Double Slide
First Curve @ 14.5+
Put-In Culvurt @ 14.5+
Mike and Jake @ Double Slide
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.
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!