North Branch of the Blackwater River Cortland to Camp 70

Cortland, West Virginia

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The North Branch at Cortland also travels through the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This area was set aside for the protection of the region’s unique plant and animal species. It is possible that paddling may become regulated in the future. All those traveling through here should exercise extra caution to minimize impact. If the first half-mile is even marginally runable, there’s plenty of water for the rest of the trip. In a normal year, the river is normally runable all spring and occasionally in other seasons. This is due not only to the low gradient and the bogs, but also to the geologic structure. About 1.5 miles below Freeland Run, the Blackwater leaves the Greenbrier limestone to enter a shale ridge. Just over a mile north in the same limestone layer is the North Branch, 40 feet lower.
A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

by Charlie Walbridge et al (Menasha Ridge Press)

The North Branch at Cortland also travels through the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This area was set aside for the protection of the region’s unique plant and animal species. It is possible that paddling may become regulated in the future. All those traveling through here should exercise extra caution to minimize impact.

If the first half-mile is even marginally runable, there’s plenty of water for the rest of the trip. In a normal year, the river is normally runable all spring and occasionally in other seasons. This is due not only to the low gradient and the bogs, but also to the geologic structure. About 1.5 miles below Freeland Run, the Blackwater leaves the Greenbrier limestone to enter a shale ridge. Just over a mile north in the same limestone layer is the North Branch, 40 feet lower.

©  Charlie Walbridge et al/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Cortland
Distance: 9
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 4 hours
Class: Class I
Local Maps: USGS Blackwater Falls, Davis
Driving Directions: Directions to North Branch of the Blackwater River: Cortland to Camp 70

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Apr 2018