West Virginia Whitewater is some of the best in the country and even the world.

Opportunities through whitewater outfitters give anyone who wants to experience the thrill and beauty of our rivers a chance. From the calmer Shenandoah to the raging Gauley, there is something for everyone.

Where West Virginia really shines for whitewater enthusiasts is its wide range of opportunities for private boating. From micro creeks to really large rivers, opportunities are available for a wide range of boats, skills and interests. People just learning to roll a kayak and read whitewater can sharpen their skills on sections of the Cheat River, the South Branch of the Potomac, the Greenbrier, the Cacapon, the Shenandoah, or many others. Those who want an overnight whitewater experience can try out multiple sections of the New River or the Cheat River and its tributaries. People who are experienced creek boaters can do the classic runs on the Blackwater, Red Creek and Seneca Creek.

Best times to go:

The best season for whitewater is not what most people would like - the heat of the summer. Although large rivers like the New or the Shenandoah can have good water flow during the summer, many of the states waterways are only navigable in the summer after a significant rain event. The best times to experience whitewater are in the spring (March through early June) or if you are outfitted well and experienced, the winter.


Into the Mystic: Squirt Boating Mysteries Revealed (Highland Outdoors)
Land Locked:  River Surfing is Making Waves in West Virginia (Highland Outdoors)
Top 10 Rivers for Winter Whitewater in West Virginia (Highland Outdoors)

Other Resources:

American Whitewater - WV Rivers

American Whitewater - Safety and River Ratings

Whitewater Education & Safety:

American Canoe Association (ACA)- InstructionEducational Resources

American Whitewater Safety Code

Cover photo and one gallery photo courtesy of Gabe Dewitt

Two gallery photos courtesy of Jeff Macklin.

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