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Difficulty II-III(IV)
Length 3 Miles
Gauge BLUESTONE RIVER NEAR PIPESTEM, WV
Flow Range 7.50 - 15.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 6 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/19/2003 9:46 am

River Description



For a local boater this creek is a nice experience.

Directions:
To get to this creek take Route 20 South from Hinton or North from Princeton. To keep things simple I will reference all lefts and rights coming from Hinton. The takeout is the boat launching area on Bluestone Lake on Pits Road. (Its not in the Gazetteer, but itÂs the last left before Bluestone State Park.) Continue up this Rd. for a few miles until you see a small white church on your right called Community Bible Chapel. A few seconds up the road you will see a pull-off on the left and a mailbox that is #208. Stop here and take a look at the small bridge on the Creek. If the bridge is totally immersed in water 4-6 inches deep then the creek is at a good level.

Continue up the road about another mile until you see some old railcars that have been restored sitting in a yard on your left. The roadÂs name is Tom Honaker Road. This is the put in. Another creek comes in right here and adds just enough extra volume.

Pipestem creek above this put in is quite hairy (some unrunnable class VI sieves), especially right below the 20 ft falls that are a mile or so up the road but, alas, there is usually never enough water for a run.

Put in here at this bridge and enjoy the almost constant class III rock gardens and slides. There were a few strainers when I ran it, but they were all easily avoidable. There are also a few short ledge drops to mix things up. There are only two major rapids that need detailed description. The first you should have seen by the road just below that convenience store named Bluestone Satellite. It is a diagonal curler that could mess you up if you run it blind. Just make sure that you have the right angle to punch it. Shortly after this is the highlight of the day. There is a dirt road that crosses the creek not far downstream from this curler. It creates an eddy on each bank. Get out and scout on the river right bank. There is a class IV, three-stage waterfall that drops about 15 ft in all. It ends in a steep slide. Run this center right because you want to avoid a rock that sits on the left bank and creates a meaty reactionary. If you flip from this reactionary it won't be a pretty swim - more like scraping, smashing carnage and a trip to the hospital. It is possible to portage the first drops and run the slide by putting in a small eddy on river right above the slide. (safely away from the reactionary) IÂm naming this rapid Running Riot. (from Halo if anybody knows what Im talking about)

Below this things remain constant class III until you reach the lake. However, the strainers are worse on this lower section and will require you to make some moves to avoid them. The reliable takeout is to paddle the half-mile across the lake to the boat launch area. Summer takeout could be possible at the Bluestone Marina.

Note: There are some water quality issues on this creek. The first time that I ran it I noticed the nice, pungent aroma of raw sewage and I got a stomach virus shortly after. I ran it again another time and the water seemed cleaner. It might have just been a one-time thing. I donÂt know for sure, so just be aware.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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BradR
|
16 years ago

Hey Adam, I did some html editing on your page. Brad.

Gage Descriptions

This is only an indicator of possible runnable levels. The only surefire way way to determine this is to use the visual guage that I describe in the directions below.

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.

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News

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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

2/13/2007
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.
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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1193826 11/19/03 n/a n/a