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Old 04-26-2010   #1
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 185
East Coast hit list?

Starting to plan a trip to the east coast this fall, probably start at Gauley fest and head out exploring from there. Would appreciate any suggestions of favorite runs, quality guidebooks and online resources. Looking to run primarily class IV-V but not opposed to amazing class III runs either.

Just starting the process so trying to figure out which states to hit and top runs to make sure we hit.

Thanks in advance for the beta.

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Old 04-26-2010   #2
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
Definitely get on the Upper Yough. To me, that is the quintessential east coast run. It releases on days that the Gauley doesn't, so its a pretty safe bet. If it rains consider a run on the Cheat Canyon, a great III-IV play run that's like a less famous and easier version of the Gauley. You can also hit up the ultra classic Big Sandy if its running since it shares a takeout with the Cheat. Other WV classics include the Upper (V) and Lower Blackwater (IV+) and the New. If its a wet fall definitely hit up the Dries of the New for epic play.

Beyond that stuff, you'll have to travel or step up to some harder runs. The Tallulah also releases in the Fall and is well worth the drive to Georgia. You can probably hit up some runs in the Asheville area on the way down or back. The Green runs a lot in the fall and you can make it a manageable IV-V experience with a guide and selective lines/portages.

Fayetteville is a great place to base out of since you're close to the New and Gauley (and creeks) plus you're not far from a bunch of other zones. Enjoy.

"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 04-26-2010   #3
Blackshire's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 60
East cost trip.

I am planning a trip out east around Gauleyfest too. PM me and we can discuss if we have the possibility of hooking up. I just moved from the southeast and am partially biased that way. I would love to here what other folks mention.

The upper Yough releases the whole week in front of Gauley fest and thats where I will be along with a hundred or so other boaters judging by this last years turnout. I also plan on hitting the wautauga, green, and hopefuly little river canyon in Alabama if all goes well. In the reverse order, on my way up to the yough. The Yough and Gauley are guaranteed along with the green because they are dam releases.

I would grab Leland and Andria Davis's new book. They have tons of info on them.

I would definetly try and make a couple of these:

Wilson Creek
Wautauga - If you have a guide you can do both of these in a day.
Big South Fork of the Cumberland is a grogrous class three you can run after you hit any of the nice creeks in the cumberland plateau.
West virginia has tons of stuff.

Check out for local southeast stuff, gauges, and release dates.
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Old 04-26-2010   #4
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
That's a tough time of year to count on anything other than dam release. The Gauley (upper and lower) is worth a week of your time. Great party, great rio. The New is right there and always has enough water to paddle. The Green (NC) is a classic and dam release. The Chattooga, sections 3 and 4, (GA) is amazing even at low levels. The Ocoee in Tennessee is in that area. Dam release, fun, and crowded. Heading north, the Upper Yough in Maryland is dam release and fun, fun, fun. My old back yard is Maine and there are multiple dam release runs up there but that's a long drive from the Gauley. (20ish hours) If there's natural flow in the SE, I would suggest staying there.

Leland Davis' guidebook for the SE. "Let It Rain" for the NE. If you do decide to hit the NE I could give you more info.

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Old 04-26-2010   #5
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Sorry for the repeat info but I guess you can take that as a confirmation of quality, classic runs. You guys must type faster than me...
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Old 04-26-2010   #6
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
There is a ton of info in our new book - here's a link to the page for it:

The River Gypsies Guide to North America

Like everyone else has said, it's a tough time to count on anything but dam releases in the East.

With that being said, there are LOADS of dam releases here in the fall.

The Upper Yough usually runs the entire week leading up to Gauley Fest, so that's a pretty safe bet. Russell Fork (KY/VA) releases in October are reliable too, and the Green should be running that time of year as well.

The Beaver in NY has releases in early September, and the Moose has releases in October.

Tallulah in GA will release the first three weekends of November as long as there is not a drought.

There are Cheoah releases in NC on September 18th (conflicts with Gauley Fest), October 2nd, and November 6th (makes a great combo weekend with Tallulah).

If a tropical storm rolls through, anything and everything can run all over the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

All of the above mentioned runs and many more are in the new book.

Hope you have a great trip - introduce yourself if you see our van at the river. We're always good for some beta.

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Old 04-26-2010   #7
sh$t show voyeuor/host
Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
Check out the Nolichucky Gorge in NC/TN. class III-IV This is a natural flowing river that you can almost always count on, from 6,000 to 300 cfs(the sweet spot being 1-3k). Fun river. Not too scary but it will keep you on your toes, and lots of rocks to avoid!
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Old 04-26-2010   #8
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Thank you all! This is good stuff. Starting to see a trip forming here. Any suggestions for Pennsylvania or New york? How is Tennessee compared to Kentucky? Probably won't go south of Tennessee for the sake of time and would like to end up in upstate NY.

Thanks for the guide suggestions, I'm a bit of a guide book whore so I will definitely be pick those up.
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Old 04-26-2010   #9
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 427
NY Rafting

Check out the Black River through Watertown, NY. Class IV/V, should have fall dam release. If it's raining check out the Moose R., just up the road from the Black near Old Forge, NY. HUGE clean class IV drops. Kinda like Gauley without the most technical moves. Only a couple hours north of the Lehigh R. in PA. Keep moving north and check out the big rivers in Maine: Dead, Penobscot, and Kennebec.

Get in touch if you make it up this way and need a place to crash.

Oh! One other run, if you're into some BIG, technical class V drops: The Raquette River is a 3 mile run that's got 3 or 4 BIG drops, just a few minutes from our place. If it's been raining, it'll probably be running. Phil's right, though, about the reliability of flow that time of year- you'll either have to stick to scheduled releases, or keep a close eye on weather and gages. Check out to contact Northeast Paddlers.
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Old 04-27-2010   #10
bruceton mills, West Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
I live in Bruceton Mills WV... aka 3 miles from the Big Sandy, 10m from the Cheat, 20m from the Upper Yough and 40m from the Blackwater.... PM me if you want a place to crash, betta or boating buddies.


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