Best Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing in West Virginia

This list represents the most popular whitewater kayaking & canoeing in West Virginia. Use this list to plan your next West Virginia whitewater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 South Branch of the Potomac River: Above the US 220 Bridge Near Upper Tract and Smoke Hole Canyon to below Romney

    1 Reviews

    Franklin, WV

    The South Branch starts just inside Virginia with the confluence of Straight Creek and the East Branch Potomac River. From here, the water drifts, rumbles, and rolls for 130+ miles to its confluence ...
    •  6 sections range from 4 hours to 3 days
    •  130 miles
    •  Guide

    The South Branch starts just inside Virginia with the confluence of Straight Creek and the East Branch Potomac River. From ...

  • #2 Muddlety Creek: WV 41 to Summersville Lake

    1 Reviews

    Summersville, WV

    This creek leaves US 19 and civilization, meandering off toward the Gauley River and Summersville Lake in a deceptively lazy manner. Rounding the first curve the gradient picks up, and the drops ...
    •  4.5 hours
    •  4.5 miles
    •  Guide

    This creek leaves US 19 and civilization, meandering off toward the Gauley River and Summersville Lake in a deceptively lazy ...

  • #3 Cacapon River: Above Cacapon Bridge to Potomac River

    1 Reviews

    Cold Stream, WV

    This is a very popular canoeing stream, with good rapids and exquisite scenery. It’s often up in the winter; the snow-covered banks combine with the unusual rock formations for a wonderfully ...
    •  3 sections range from 4 hours to 4 days
    •  70 miles
    •  Guide

    This is a very popular canoeing stream, with good rapids and exquisite scenery. It’s often up in the winter; the snow-covered ...

  • #4 Shenandoah River: VA 7 to Sandy Hook, MD

    0 Reviews

    Millville, WV

    The river below the WV 127 bridge has very little gradient all of the way to the mouth of the Potomac at Great Cacapon. It transcribes huge loops through the mountains and ridges with a few mild ...
    •  3 sections range from 1.5 - 4.5 hours
    •  23.5 miles
    •  Guide

    The river below the WV 127 bridge has very little gradient all of the way to the mouth of the Potomac at Great Cacapon. It ...

  • #5 Cheat River: Parsons to Cheat Lake

    0 Reviews

    Parsons, WV

    The Cheat begins in the real mountains of the state as four big forks: Shavers, Glady, Laurel, and Dry, each separated from its neighbors by high mountain ridges. Shavers Fork actually flows ...
    •  4 sections from 3 hours to 2 days
    •  69 miles
    •  Guide

    The Cheat begins in the real mountains of the state as four big forks: Shavers, Glady, Laurel, and Dry, each separated from ...

  • #6 Laurel Fork of the Cheat River: Laurel Fork Campground to Jenningston

    0 Reviews

    Wymer, WV

    Both sections of this river carry a paddler back to the eighteenth century. The upper Laurel Fork is an intimate, easy stream flowing through the Laurel Fork-North Wilderness area. The lower ...
    •  2 sections of 5 hours each
    •  29 miles
    •  Guide

    Both sections of this river carry a paddler back to the eighteenth century. The upper Laurel Fork is an intimate, easy stream ...

  • #7 The Tygart Valley River: Above Elkins, The Tygart Loop, The Tygart Gorge, Mouth of Buckhannon to Philippi, Two Miles Above Arden to Big Cove Run, and Valley Falls to Colfax

    0 Reviews

    Mill Creek, WV

    The Tygart begins high in the mountains of Randolph County, not too far from the headwaters of the Elk, and flows through a wide, beautiful valley to Elkins. The river here is known as “Tygart’s ...
    •  7 sections range from 1 hour to 2 days
    •  67.8 miles
    •  Guide

    The Tygart begins high in the mountains of Randolph County, not too far from the headwaters of the Elk, and flows through ...

  • #8 Greenbrier: The Greenbrier Forks and Little River and Durbin to Bellepoint

    0 Reviews

    Durbin, WV

    From its source the Greenbrier winds its way for 150 miles through some of the most beautiful and productive land in the state to meet the New River in Hinton. It begins high in the mountains ...
    •  10 sections range from 4 to 9 hours
    •  166.5 miles
    •  Guide

    From its source the Greenbrier winds its way for 150 miles through some of the most beautiful and productive land in the ...

  • #9 The Main Stem of the Potomac River: Green Spring to Harper's Ferry, WV

    0 Reviews

    Green Spring, WV

    From 2 miles below Green Spring, West Virginia (Oldtown, Maryland), where the North and South Branch of the Potomac meet to form the great Potomac River, the beautiful, historic West Virgini ...
    •  4 - 5 days
    •  115 miles
    •  Guide

    From 2 miles below Green Spring, West Virginia (Oldtown, Maryland), where the North and South Branch of the Potomac meet ...

  • #10 North Branch of the Potomac River: Henry to Old Town, MD

    0 Reviews

    Henry , WV

    The North Branch defines the border between Maryland and West Virginia until its confluence with the South Branch in Old Town, creating the main branch of the Potomac River. This branch of the ...
    •  6 sections range from 2 hours to 2 days
    •  76.7 miles
    •  Guide

    The North Branch defines the border between Maryland and West Virginia until its confluence with the South Branch in Old ...

  • #11 North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River: Cherry Grove to Petersburg

    0 Reviews

    Circleville, WV

    This is the most famous whitewater in the Eastern panhandle, providing miles of bouncy Class 2–3 whitewater in one of the state’s most beautiful mountain valleys. Discovered by canoeists from ...
    •  4 sections range from 2 to 4 hours
    •  43 miles
    •  Guide

    This is the most famous whitewater in the Eastern panhandle, providing miles of bouncy Class 2–3 whitewater in one of the ...

  • #12 Anthony Creek: Neola to the Greenbrier River

    0 Reviews

    Neola, WV

    This small stream tumbles through beautiful, sparsely settled country. It’s a key tributary of the Greenbrier and one of the few in the state protected by legislation. The river from Neola to ...
    •  4 hours
    •  15 miles
    •  Guide

    This small stream tumbles through beautiful, sparsely settled country. It’s a key tributary of the Greenbrier and one of ...

  • #13 The Big Sandy Creek of Preston County: PA State Line to the Cheat River

    0 Reviews

    Bruceton Mills, WV

    The Big Sandy Creek in Preston County, from the Pennsylvania State line to Bruceton Mills, a very small, intimate stream with a 3-fpm gradient flowing through rhododendron thickets and small ...
    •  3 sections range from 2 - 3 hours
    •  16.5 miles
    •  Guide

    The Big Sandy Creek in Preston County, from the Pennsylvania State line to Bruceton Mills, a very small, intimate stream ...

  • #14 Glade Creek into Manns Creek: Babcock State Park to New River

    0 Reviews

    Cunard, WV

    This is one of the steepest and most dangerous runs in this guide. Its extreme gradient creates an astonishing sequence of Class 4, 5, and 6 boulder rapids. The river cuts its way to the New ...
    •  8 - 10 hours
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    This is one of the steepest and most dangerous runs in this guide. Its extreme gradient creates an astonishing sequence of ...

  • #15 Camp Creek: Camp Creek State Forest to Eads Mill

    0 Reviews

    Camp Creek, WV

    Although it is possible to paddle from the confluence of the Marsh Fork in Camp Creek State Park, most boaters put in at the church yard by US 19 over the Bluestone River. This 2-mile section ...
    •  1 hour
    •  4.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Although it is possible to paddle from the confluence of the Marsh Fork in Camp Creek State Park, most boaters put in at ...

  • #16 Red Run: Confluence of North and South Fork to Dry Fork of the Cheat

    0 Reviews

    Hendricks, WV

    Not to be confused with Red Creek, this steep little stream drains Canaan Valley. Its mouth is just upstream of Otter Creek. The lower section of Red Run is the most difficult run in the Canaan ...
    •  2 sections range from 1 - 5 hours
    •  6.3 miles
    •  Guide

    Not to be confused with Red Creek, this steep little stream drains Canaan Valley. Its mouth is just upstream of Otter Creek. ...

  • #17 Buckhannon River: Alexander to Tygart River

    0 Reviews

    Alexander, WV

    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 ...
    •  3 sections range from 2 hours to 2 days
    •  49 miles
    •  Guide

    This deceptive river is extremely sluggish below Buckhannon and its small size in the headwaters area near Alexander belie ...

  • #18 Big Beaver Creek: Craigsville to the Gauley

    0 Reviews

    Craigsville, WV

    This small creek starts as an intermediate run for about a mile and then changes into one of the strangest creeks you will ever encounter. The many hydraulics are all diagonal and very powerful. ...
    •  1.5 hours
    •  4.5 miles
    •  Guide

    This small creek starts as an intermediate run for about a mile and then changes into one of the strangest creeks you will ...

  • #19 Tug River: Mohawk to Wharncliffe

    0 Reviews

    Mohawk, WV

    Somehow the ravagers overlooked one little piece of this beautiful river between Mohawk, West Virginia and Majestic, Kentucky. After leaving Mohawk it is just you and the railroad down in a deep, ...
    •  2 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Somehow the ravagers overlooked one little piece of this beautiful river between Mohawk, West Virginia and Majestic, Kentucky. ...

  • #20 Blackwater River: Canaan Valley, Upper, and Lower Sections

    0 Reviews

    Hendricks, WV

    The Blackwater River has its headwaters in a vast upland swamp in Canaan Valley. Multiple branches funnel the 150-square-mile drainage basin into 2 main forks, which pass through the ninetee ...
    •  3 sections of 4 hours each
    •  20.5 miles
    •  Guide

    The Blackwater River has its headwaters in a vast upland swamp in Canaan Valley. Multiple branches funnel the 150-square-mile ...