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Difficulty II-IV
Length 6.4 Miles
Flow Range 12.70 - 14.20 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 13.07 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 09/22/2004 3:53 pm

River Description

The steepest mile starts almost immediately from the put-in and includes a small waterfall (can scout while running shuttle) to the first overhead WV Turnpike bridge.

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.

Rapid Descriptions


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Anthony Daniel
1 week ago

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!

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Brent Samples
7 years ago

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

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Mike Mowrer
11 years ago

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.

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11 years ago

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

Gage Descriptions

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 .

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

Charles Walbridge

After two years of intense negotiations an agreement reached to protect endangered species in the Cheat River Canyon. Allegheny Wood Products acquired roughly 5,000 acres in the Cheat Canyon below Albright, WV in 2003 for $9.75 million. When they began building roads and cutting trees the following year the government took no steps to enforce the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed in 2005 by Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Cheat Lake Environmental and Recreational Association. Although American Whitewater was not a party to the litigation we are gratified that an agreement was reached and commend both parties for their efforts.

Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1193209 09/22/04 n/a n/a