Gauley River (Lower)


This is the little sister of the “Upper”, with a big water experience but fewer big rapids and less serious consequences. This section also gets very crowded during the fall.  Commercial outfitters offer trips on this section. Find more details on the American Whitewater link below.  Class III- IV. 11 miles.


Heaven Help Us: Glory on the Lower Gauley (Highland Outdoors)


About 6 miles south of Summersville, turn right onto SR 129. Go about 11 miles to SR 39. Go left and travel 3.2 miles to CR 19/23 on the left. Go 2.8 miles to the parking spot (during Gauley season you must park on the side of the road way up off the river and hike down to the put-in) (Google Directions below). To get to the take-out, go back to SR 39 and go 6.6 miles to Swiss. Go left onto Swiss rd. and park in the public lot on the right or continue on the rd. for .7 miles to a private pay for parking field that takes a few miles of flat water off the run (worth it).


Whitewater, Camping


Gauley River National Recreation Area
104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846-0246


(304) 465-0508

Web resources:

NPS - Gauley River National Recreation Area 



Book ” A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to West Virginia”

Canyon Door photo courtesy Jeff Macklin.

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