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Difficulty III+(IV)
Length 2 Miles
Flow Range 5.20 - 7.20 FT
Flow Rate as of: 30 minutes ago 2.17 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 01/05/2006 1:17 pm

River Description

This creek is one of those that rise and fall very quickly. Usually it will run for about 30 hours after its watershed in Summers County receives an inch or more of rain. Only the final two miles is runnable until it reaches its confluence with the New River right below the Hinton New River Bridge.

To get to this creek from interstate 64 you would take the Sandstone/Hinton exit and follow rt. 20 through Hinton and turn right at the first stoplight and cross the bridge. Then you would turn right after the bridge and then left. You should now see Madams Creek. Gauge the creekÂs level by looking at the waterfall you just passed over on the small bridge. If water is pouring over the entire fall from bank to bank it is at a runnable level.

The majority of this creek is road scoutable so take advantage. The put-in is questionable since it is all private property so be respectful. Follow this road alongside the creek for approximately 2 miles until the road splits and you see a waterfall to your right. There is room here to pull off and put-in. Only the last 3/10 of a mile will provide any appreciable elevation drop so take time in this section to warm up and get your game on. It is class II-II+ with a few fun slides and ledges. Be aware of the strong possibility of strainers.

The first large horizon line will signal the start of the fun stuff. This is a 5-6 foot two stage fall. Run center or right-center because of a large strainer 12-15 yards downstream on river left. Your next horizon line is a 4 foot drop. Run left at lower water and right at high water. Beware of the strainer on river left below the drop. As you make your way down the creek a small island will split the creek. AVOID going anywhere near this island by staying left; there is a chain link fence strung between its trees.

Now get ready for the best (or worse) rapid of the day. I would rate this a class V simply because of its danger. It is a 3 section, almost continuous slide about 35 yards long. For the first two sections stay with the main current center of left center.

At the bottom of this last section of the slide are two EXTREMELY dangerous undercuts. The first would probably only take off your head or elbow but the second will kill you. It is the worst undercut that I have EVER seen. The current goes almost directly for it and it is wide open at the upstream side and slopes downward. This will pin a boater underwater with no hope for escape. Make the move toward the end of this slide HARD LEFT. The next hazard you will encounter is a place where the creek splits into two channels. Take the LEFT ONE. There is a riverwide strainer at the end of the right hand channel that is not directly in view. If you for some reason find yourself in the right channel beach your boat on the right bank immediately. Now you will see a bridge coming up and a large horizon line just below it. Stay center and run these 6-8 ft falls with a fairly deep pool. Its over. Now take out on river left or continue on out and run a section of the New.

Note: The scenic value is low due to the trashy banks and water qualtity is questionable.

Rapid Descriptions


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Adam Lewis
12 years ago

From: Dave Hersman Several people I paddled with ran it in the early nineties (some in open boats!) and I suspect it was first run in the 70s.

Gage Descriptions

This gauge is located on a downstream tributary of the New River and is just for a guide. The best way to guage this creek is to drive to its bridge and look at the waterfall. If water covers the whole lip from bank to bank then it is running.

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
1193820 01/05/06 n/a n/a