The Gauley River
Known as the Beast of the East, the Gauley River has some of the best whitewater paddling on Earth. It's definitely upper world class—and it's within a day's drive.
It's 26 miles from Summersville Dam to the town of Swiss, WV, which is why the full Gauley run is called the Marathon. Most people choose the 10-12-mile Upper Gauley or the 14-mile Lower.
Destination Distance From Downtown
The Gauley has the whole package. Its reputation for being big, pushy, and technical is well-deserved.
Time To Complete
The Upper Gauley's 10-12 miles take 4 hours at a leisurely pace. The Lower Gauley's 14 miles take 4 hours if you're booking.
The Gauley runs almost all year round—though typically at low levels it’s more suited to kayaks and duckies than rafts—but fall Gauley Season is when it becomes a destination. Guaranteed high flows from Summersville Dam for 6-7 weekends in a row never disappoint.