Canoeing — Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge


If you are interested in an adventure, this has got to be one of the coolest canoe trips anywhere. The Blackwater River and its tributaries provide an intimate experience through Canaan Valley’s unique environment of wetlands, upland forests and abundant wildlife. The Blackwater, the Little Blackwater, the North Branch of the Blackwater and Glade Run provide about 20 miles of meandering waterways through the heart of Canaan Valley. You can run the Blackwater and the North Branch downstream from the Cortland area to Camp 70, or you can put in at Camp 70 and go upstream to the smaller streams. Class II (II+) rapids and a dam exist along the last few miles into Davis. These sections will only run in the spring when there is snow melt and rain. For the Blackwater, look for 225-475 cfs at Davis. The North Branch actually runs at lower levels due to geologic factors. Map (pdf).

Directions from Morgantown

I-68 E to Rt. 42 S at Friendsville, MD. Follow Rt. 42 S to Rt. 219 S. Stay on 219 S through Oakland, MD, to Rt. 32 S at Thomas, WV. Take Rt. 32 S to Davis. In Davis go left along Camp 70 rd for 4 miles. Put-in or potential take-out is along the road. To get to Cortland, continue on Rt 32 for 3.5 miles to Cortland Rd on the left. Go 2.3 miles to CR 35/18. Turn left and go 300 yards to the North Branch Put-In (very small creek – access under a cow fence) and to the end of the rd for the Blackwater put-in (must carry down the hill to the river). Two other put-ins for the Blackwater are along rt. 32 and along the Timberline rd.

Travel Time:2 hr


Fishing, Canoeing

ORC Resources:

Book- A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

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