The New River flows through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. It begins in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, and flows northward through the Blue Ridge Mountains into Southwest Virginia. It joins with the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River at Gauley Bridge in West Virginia.
The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world, and it’s believed to be second only to Africa’s Nile River making it the oldest river in North America. If this is true, it would be considered older than other contenders for that position, such as the Mississippi and Susquehanna rivers.
This makes sense considering that this area has been subjected to intense erosion of up to 1750 feet over millions of years by numerous cycles of glaciation and interglacial periods.
Glade Creek to Prince
A 4 miles Class 2+ An excellent low intermediate short run with a short shuttle and nice rapids. US 19S. to Glen Jean exit (rt. 61S.) to left on rt. 41S. to Prince. Do not cross river but take dirt road upstream. 1st major left (Grandview) is your take out while your put in is at end of road (Glade Creek)
Prince to Thurmond
An 11 miles Class 2 with one sneakable Class 3- (Silo Rapid) near the end. Nice full day novice/intermediate paddle. US 19S. to Glen Jean exit. Left @ gas station for take out and right for put in take 61 South to 41 south (left) to put in @ McCreery. For take out go to right @ Glen Jean (rt. 25), then immediate left (rt. 25) down to river. Park upriver @ Stone Cliff access.
Thurmond to Cunard
A 7 miles nice Class 2 run with one sneakable Class 3+ (Surprise) near the end. Take US 19s. to Glen Jean exit, take rt. 25 thru Glen Jean to Dunglen access for put in take Route 9 thru Fayetteville to left on Cunard Road. Follow signs to Cunard for takeout Long shuttle and parking may be nonexistent at takeout on a holiday weekend. Plan to shuttle as early as possible.
Cunard to Fayette Station
The New River Gorge Run! 7 miles Class 3-4+. Generally, Class 3-4 from -3′ to 1′ Fayette Station at 4+ above 1′ on gauge. Note very limited parking at the takeout & one way road.
Fayette Station Rapid
This is a rare park and play opportunity on a Class 3/4+ rapid. Parking can be tough here though.
Fayette Station to Hawks Nest State Park
4 miles Class 0-1 put in at lower launch area under US 19 [limited parking] and take out at boat launch in Hawks Nest [rough road Route 60 from Ansted.] Always has water.
New River Dries
6 miles Class 3-4 run below Hawks Nest Dam. A quite tough dam release run.
Sandstone/Meadow Creek to Glade Creek/Prince
15 miles or less Class 2 with a very long shuttle.
Hinton to Sandstone
11 miles or much less Class 2 with one Class 3 (Brooks Falls). I-64E to Sandstone exit and rt. 20S to Hinton. Cross river and turn left for long run or right (rt. 26) for a shorter run and to take out above Sandstone Fun ledges are best at moderate water levels.
The Meadow River is a tributary of the Gauley River, approximately 125 miles (201 km) long, in southern West Virginia in the United States. Via the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.
It drains part of the Allegheny Plateau in east-central West Virginia. It rises on Peters Mountain along the western edge of Pocahontas County, near Droop Mountain and Cass, and flows generally southeastwardly through Greenbrier and Summers counties. It joins the Gauley River near Hico.
It is a high water run only with lots of undercuts.
Many miles of Class 1+ water with some wood. Big & Little Clear Creeks too.
Rainelle to Russellville
15 miles or much less Class 1 top, then Class 3-4+ bottom [Upper Meadow].
Nallen to US 19
A nice 5 miles. Class 3 to 3+ run [400CFS min.] with a terrible steep, long takeout.
US 19 to Gauley River
5 miles. Class 4-6 with lots of undercuts. [Lower Meadow]
The river’s upper reaches comprise an excellent whitewater boating stream, with many class III, IV, and V rapids. Its major tributary is the Meadow River. The area along the upper Gauley (and its tributaries) has been called one of North America’s top ten wild places by Backpacker magazine. Many outfitters offer trips on the river through autumn each year while water levels are high enough to support it; this period is known as “Gauley Season.” During one six-week period in late summer and early fall, when water levels are at peak flow due to releases from Summersville Dam upstream. The Upper, Middle, and Lower section release on a schedule in the Fall only and sometimes during the Summer to lower to reservoir.
~40 miles. nice Class 1-2. Shuttle along rt. 20. Need 11-13′ @ Craigsville.
8.5 miles. Class 2-3+ Access points not obvious. [Curtin Br.; Panther Cr.; Persinger]
9 miles. Class 4-5. Classic raft run. Can be run at low flows by skilled paddlers.
5 miles Class 2-4. Often combined with an upper Gauley run.
11 miles Class 3-4. A long run for advanced boaters. 800CFS++ to 1200 CFS is easiest. [Koontz Flume to upper Swiss]
Swiss access to Gauley Bridge. 10 miles Class 0-1 600CFS+ will get you on “the Gauley”.
Fruit Basket Rivers
Fine tributaries for intermediate boaters. [Cranberry, Cherry, Williams, Holly, Birch] requires rain. Check Craigsville [11’min.] & Richwood [3.5′ min.] & Webster Springs [5+’] gauges
The Kanawha River is a river in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, United States. It is formed by the confluence of the New and the Gauley rivers in western Fayette County. The river flows northeast from this confluence flows West and empties into the Ohio River near Point Pleasant.
Kanawha Falls to Montgomery 9.5 miles Class 0-1. Loup Cr. trib. Class 2-3
Fine intermediate runs above Sutton Dam and novice runs below.
Bergoo to Webster Springs 11 miles Class 3+ req. 5′ @ Webster Springs
Webster Springs to CR 7 17 miles in 2 sections Class 2-3 req. 4.5′ @ Webster Springs
Back Fork, Elk Class 2-4 (upper) & 2-3- (lower) 5’+ @ Webster Springs minimum
Sutton Dam to Kanawha River
97 miles Class 0-1 req. 340+ CFS @ Queen Shoals Good fishing.
Miscellaneous Other Runs:
Class 2 Route 8/1 to Route 13.
Class 2-3 (with wood), Route 60 to Ansted only.
4.5 miles Class 1-3 with wood, etc. Westerly to Burnwell [mostly along I-77]
A nice, long novice to intermediate tributary of the New River.
A good spot for intermediate level boaters.
Little Kanawha River
A good spot for novice level boaters.
Notes here attributed to Edward Evangelidi