Difficulty III
Length 2.5 Miles
Gauge Russell Fork Gorge
Flow Range 200 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 39 minutes ago 324 [CFS]
Next Release
Reach Info Last Updated 05/09/2019 7:13 pm

River Description

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).

Rapid Descriptions


Release Schedule

More Information

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.

Gage Descriptions

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.

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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Russell Fork Release Study Open For Comment (VA/KY)

Kevin Colburn

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. 

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Russell Fork Study Needs Congressional Support

Kevin Colburn

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.




Steve Ruth




Jason Foley


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190469 10/26/01 Steve Ruth n/a
1195023 05/22/09 Rob
1207779 06/26/17 Jason Foley
1209712 05/24/18 Jason Foley
1212291 05/09/19 Jason Foley updated image position