Coal River Whitesville to the Kanawha River

Whitesville, West Virginia 25209

Coal River Whitesville to the Kanawha River

Coal River: Whitesville to the Kanawha River Professional Review and Guide

"Marsh Fork and Clear Fork combine just above Whitesville to form the Coal River. After merging, the gradient slacks considerably. The water is Class 1 with fair current and some tricky eddies, making it a good beginner’s section. Pools are not too long and move between riffles. Scenery is mixed.

Farther down, the sections are flat and flowing. There is good fishing for bass and catfish, although the quality has dropped off due to silt from upstream mining operations. The Little Coal enters just above Alum Creek, doubling the flow."

Coal River: Whitesville to the Kanawha River Reviews

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The newly established Walhonde Water Trail includes this section along with a Water Trail from Madison to Alum Creek. The full trail is 88 miles long and provides a wonderful mix of light whitewater with well marked access points and a trail brochure to help plan your trip. Go to to find more details. The full trail system can be navigated in trips ranging from 6 to 14 miles. The trail brochure provides detailed information about access locations and take out sites. Fishing along the way is excellent and getting better. A series of man made rapids on the Little Coal River section will add more adventure for paddlers. The Big Coal River section offers views of the Coal Industry at two locations and the wilderness sections are truly beautiful with light whitewater and trees that provide shade on sunny days. All trails are subject to low and high water conditions. Go to the USGS web site and check water levels prior to embarking on a trip. Little Coal is best floated when the Tornado, WV water gauge reads between 10.50 and 11.20 The Big Coal River water gauge is Ashford and it should read between 2.2 and 3.2. The best single trip is L-3 on the Little Coal River Check out the guide for details. The 14 mile trip takes you through heavy hardwood forests with few homes and great fishing. Camping is available at several locations near the start point.

Coal River: Whitesville to the Kanawha River Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
3 sections range from
Class I
USGS Whitesville, Sylvester, Belle, Racine, Julian, Alum Creek, Saint Albans
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018