Buckhannon River Alexander to Tygart River

Alexander, West Virginia

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This deceptive river is extremely sluggish below Buckhannon and its small size in the headwaters area near Alexander belie what is in store for paddlers between Alton (pronounced Elton by the locals) and Sago. The river begins at a very small scenic stream where the right and left forks meet at Alexander. There is hardly anything more than straightforward riffles for 5 miles until well below Alton. Here the gradient picks up to 40 fpm, and the rapids become complicated and closely spaced. Each drop is fairly steep and, in low water, a good deal of tight maneuvering is necessary. The gradient and the many bends in the river limit your downstream vision. All but advanced paddlers should arrange a take out at Tenmile because the river’s character changes drastically from there on. Because the best action is below Alton, most will not want to bother with the Alexander to Alton stretch.
A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

by Charlie Walbridge et al (Menasha Ridge Press)

This deceptive river is extremely sluggish below Buckhannon and its small size in the headwaters area near Alexander belie what is in store for paddlers between Alton (pronounced Elton by the locals) and Sago. The river begins at a very small scenic stream where the right and left forks meet at Alexander.

There is hardly anything more than straightforward riffles for 5 miles until well below Alton. Here the gradient picks up to 40 fpm, and the rapids become complicated and closely spaced. Each drop is fairly steep and, in low water, a good deal of tight maneuvering is necessary. The gradient and the many bends in the river limit your downstream vision. All but advanced paddlers should arrange a take out at Tenmile because the river’s character changes drastically from there on. Because the best action is below Alton, most will not want to bother with the Alexander to Alton stretch.

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

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Alexander
Distance: 49
Duration: 3 sections range from 2 hours to 2 days
Class: Class I-IV
Local Maps: USGS Alton, Buckhannon, Century, Audra
Driving Directions: Directions to Buckhannon River: Alexander to Tygart River

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Apr 2018