Potomac, North Fork of South Branch - 5. Head of Hopeville Canyon to Hopeville

Potomac, North Fork of South Branch, West Virginia, US


5. Head of Hopeville Canyon to Hopeville (Hopeville Canyon)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 4.3 Miles

the leddge 3

the leddge 3
Photo of Jay(diver)Dover by John Duke taken 11/08/02 @ 850c.f.s.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01606000 400 - 3110 cfs II-III 00h38m 295 cfs (too low)

River Description

Tony Allred Jr.:  October 15, 2018.  The approach to the right side ledge described below has silted in, diverting more water to the channel to the left of the ledge.  As a result there is much less water in the ledge at moderate levels and at low levels the ledge may be dry.  

Robert Farmer beta'ed:
March 19, 2007. At the 2nd island, the left looked rocky, so I went right, over a 3-4-ft ledge. This was no problem, but I recommend staying centered, as the sides looked a bit junky. Also, after you pass an impressive, overhanging pinnacle-kind of formation on river left, just downstream there is a tree leaning down into the water at a 45-degree angle; this would be alarming enough, but in avoiding this obstacle, one tends to get pushed toward a partially-submerged, roostertail-kind of rock that could really be quite painful etc. The level was 5.7/1100 cfs--a nice level, by the way. And the scenery is first-rate, as well. Cliffs virtually all of the way. The snow was fresh on river right, and gone on river left--quite scenic!! Only one or two places felt low; the rest of the river felt well-above minimum.
There are no tedious, flat spots on this section, just pleasantly moving slower spots between enjoyable rapids. Also, "the former Dolly Campground" is a grassy area between the road and the river just downstream of Dolly Town Rd. (28/1). Alternatively, there is a large pull-off just upstream, near a long rock ridge on river right. The popular takeout is where the road and the river come together again, 1/4 mile upstream of Jordan Run Rd. (28/7). An excellent run!

John Hefti testified:
I ran it for the first time after the flood of '85, and was very surprised to see that landslide rapid was entirely gone! I had not run the canyon in over 25 years, so I though I had not yet gotten to landslide until I was exiting the canyon. It seems that the spot where it used to be is now a flat pool, backed up behind a new garvel bar. I thought my memory was just being flaky.

john duke shared:
When you get to the second or third island, stay to the right for a nice ledge drop.. There is a small eddy on river right just above the drop (worth scouting on your first run). The center is a stern-bustin- 4-foot pourover; the left is a twisting ominous drop. This could get pretty hairy at over 1000 cfs Cabins gauge for the unexpecting. There is a sneak route to the left.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-10-15 18:44:21


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

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May 9 2002 (6058 days ago)
Joseph GreinerDetails

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