My eight all-time favorite rivers. Also check out my RIVER LOG .
BACK FORK ELK RIVER - WV - aka "The Waterfall Run"
One of the most unique rivers I've ever paddled. As far as technical manuvering is concerned the Back Fork may be only a strong class 3. The attraction is the numerous runable sheer drops, the highest being around 12 feet. Take your camera for some "hero" shots.
BIG LAUREL CREEK - NC
Lots of variety in the types of rapids encountered. A challenging run in a very remote setting. In places the river is pinched by sheer cliffs on both sides. I'd call it a class 4.
BRUSH CREEK - WV
My first and only trip on Brush Creek was the biggest "high" of my paddling career, partly because it is a thriller and partly because I ran it blind. John Tichenor, Phil Bailey, and I were without a shuttle. With no prior knowledge we ran this river armed only with a topo because we decided the shuttle was short enough to walk. The first few miles are relatively tame but then the bottom drops out. Starting with a 35-foot waterfall the last mile is an adrenaline-pumping screamer. (The waterfall has been run but we carried it.) That's my write-up you'll see on this river in Wildwater West Virginia.
CRAB ORCHARD CREEK (Upper) - TN
A very small creek in an intimate setting providing an exhilarating ride on a natural roller coaster. I wish I'd had time to check out the lower stretch. If you're ever there when it has water, this is a must do run.
CRANBERRY RIVER (Middle) - WV
Tough enough to be challenging but forgiving enough to be fun. A continuous natural slalom in a boulder-strewn channel. The water quality is fantastic.
JOHNS CREEK GORGE - VA
There's no finer steep creek run in Virginia that I know of. It's rapids have inspired such colorful names as Bambi Meets Godzilla. This is not a river to be taken lightly.
MEADOW RIVER (Middle) - WV
This is a bigger river than the other seven. It can be quite pushy when the river is high. Be careful, there are many undercuts in this section. I saw one completely swallow an old Quest kayak, (sans paddler), and those were large boats. The many huge instream boulders and the cliffs in the lower half make for an exciting and scenic run.
SECOND CREEK - WV
This is West Virginia whitewater's best kept secret. Not as tough or remote as most of the other seven, this is nonethelesss a real gem. The rapids are not life threatening but look out for downed trees. Be especially alert for them in the second half of the run.