This section contains two Class III rapids Meatgrinder and Pinball and is Class II otherwise. It provides another alternative to the demanding Russell Fork Gorge section that is directly upstream. Intermediate paddlers may wish to run this two mile section in combination with the three mile class III (IV) Upper Russell Fork to gain more river miles. Running both of the intermediate sections will require exiting the Upper Russel Fork at Garden Hole Road and then shuttling by vehicle to the KY park put-in for this reach (which is the takeout for the 3.8 mile Russel Fork Gorge).
We have had releases on this reach but don't show any currently. This information is
gathered by the public. If you know about releases then contact us about them. If
you would volunteer to enter the releases, then reach out to us.
The gauge listed for this reach is using the virtual combination gauge that combines the natural flow reported at the "Russell Fork at Haysi, VA" and any releases from the "Pound River below Flannagan Dam near Haysi, VA" USGS gauges.
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.
Second Drop Meat Grinder (Jay)
Sencond Drop Meat Grinder
First Drop Meat Grinder
Rat Hole 2
Railroad trestle rapid on Lower Russell Fork
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.
The Army Corps of Engineers has shared their Environmental Assessment that considered four potential changes to the fall whitewater release program aimed at enhancing whitewater paddling opportunities. The Corps is planning on providing two additional Friday releases this fall as a result of the analysis. The EA is refreshingly succinct, and we encourage paddlers to give it a read and submit a comment if you are inspired to do so.
A group of regional stakeholders are advocating for a new study of the releases on the Russell Fork River, located on the Virginia-Kentucky border. To support the studyand an improved flow regime, the group is advocating for a Congressional appropriation to fund the Army Corp of Engineers to conduct the study. Paddlers' involvement could help bring a fresh look and better flows to the Russell Fork.
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!