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4 Things You May Not Know About the Gauley River

The Gauley River. We love it. We know many of you do too.

Summersville Dam

Just Below the Dam


If you have rafted the Gauley River, there are many things you do know. It’s big, it’s fun…frankly, it’s the “awesomesauce” (as the kids might say).

With all that you likely do know about the Gauley River. I thought it might be cool to share a few things, you might not know.

Four Things You Might Not Know About the Gauley River

  • Headwaters
  • The Gauley begins in the Monongahela National Forest as three streams. The North, Middle and South fork.

  • Headed to ‘Nawlins
  • It meets the New River at the Town of Gauley Bridge. Together they form the Kanawha River comprising part of the Mississippi Watershed.

  • We’re Glad it’s Not the Gad Dam
  • When the Summersville Dam was created a small, abandoned town was flooded. Thankfully the Army Corp of Engineers broke the tradition of naming the dam after towns flooded in the process. The name of the town? Gad.

  • Civil War History
  • The Gauley area was the site of the Battle of Carnifex Ferry on September 10, 1861, a Union victory in the American Civil War.

The attraction of the “Big Five” of the Gauley River is indeed exciting but imagine what it would have looked like as the confederate troops crossed the river near Woods’ Ferry after being defeated during the battle of Carnifex. If you’re rushing here to run the Gauley and heading for home as soon as you’re done, you’re missing out!

While the Gauley River offers some of the finest, most challenging whitewater rafting anywhere, this area offers so much more. The Gauley River, more than just whitewater.

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