This may be one of the best whitewater rafting waterways in West Virginia. Water is still available late into the year, which makes it perfect to paddle in the spring, summer, and fall.
Destination Distance From Downtown
3 of 5 diamonds
Tygart Valley Falls on the Tygart River is a good place for more intermediate paddlers. Although there is some flatwater on this run and it can be straightforward at low water levels, there are also some powerful bumps and drops in the mostly Class III but sometimes IV range when the water is higher.
Time To Complete
This is a fun whitewater trip that usually has water late into the season.
Spring, Summer, and Fall
This may be one of the best whitewater rafting waterways in West Virginia because it's frequently full of rushing water when others have begun to dry up.
Rangers require those that use the falls sign a waiver.
The paddling community’s name for this stretch of whitewater is a combination of the waterway, the Tygart River, and the park it flows through, Valley Falls State Park. There's a lot to love about the Tygart Valley Falls run, like its location in Fairmont, WV, and the relatively short (1.5 mile) run. Perhaps the best part of this section of the Tygart River, though, is that it runs swiftly even when other area rivers and tributaries have gone dry. Experienced kayakers will appreciate the steady pace of this river and the falls.
What Makes It Great
The Tygart Valley Falls run can be relatively easy for intermediate paddlers at some water levels, while still being fun for experienced paddlers. For any boaters that are a bit leery of whitewater, the Tygart River has some flatwater areas in this section, too. There is plenty of camping, shops, and restaurants nearby, too.
Who is Going to Love It
The majority of whitewater rapids in the Tygart Valley Falls run are Class III, but some are IV. They are an exciting challenge for both intermediate and experienced paddlers. There are also plenty of places to paddle on flatwater, if that's more your style.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take I-79 to Exit 137, then take Rt. 310 south for 7 miles. Turn right at the Valley Falls State Park sign. Go 2 miles and you will see the park entrance. Because of the difficulty of some of the rapids, all boaters (even flatwater paddlers) have to sign in at the park’s main office.