The Greenbrier River.

Can anyony give a first hand discription of what the Greenbrier River White Water section like? In WV I believe. I need to know what I’m getting into before I beg to tag along on an upcomming trip.

A friend casually mentioned he might go soon and I need to know if it might be for me. Buddy does some mean stuff at times, so I like to check.



I don’t think you will be sorry
I have not been on the greenbrier river in a canoe since I have been a kid, but mean is not the word that comes to mind. It is a beautiful place to be and one of the place I day dream about while I am in exile in PA. The lower New river anytime and Gauley river in the fall is a different story. The upper New is much milder but is flooded with small rubber rafts from the rafting industry (it is where the take the children who are not old enough to raft the lower New. Great place to be if you can hitch a ride. Go for it I don’t think you will be disappointed.


There apparently are meaner sections

– Last Updated: Jan-29-06 9:30 PM EST –

I just want to find out how rough it might be.

"THE GREENBRIER - The crystal-clear waters of the free-flowing Greenbrier River provide unparalleled scenery for canoeing or float trips. Heavy spring rains also bring several days of Class I-III rafting. The famous Greenbrier River Trails follows the river route, making for a great hike, bike and float vacation through one of the East’s most picturesque areas that’s also loaded with state parks and national forest recreation opportunities." This is from VW tourism dept definately sugar coating it.

I think the guys leading the trip may be planning an after rain or spring flood trip. Need to check closer.

Thanks for reply.



Hey, Mick!
As with any river, it depends where you paddle. I love the Greenbrier. We’ve taken several paddle/camp trips from Ronceverte to beyond Alderson. Great stretch. Lots of fun rapids. Plentiful camping spots. From what I’ve seen, not over your head, in that area, anyway.


You will either love it or hate it
The Greenbrier is a beautiful river, one of the longest sections of semi-wilderness river without dams in the east. Reasonably good smallmouth bass fishing, many areas to camp streamside, pretty clean water.

But lacking a dam the water levels fluctuate and can be a source of pain and frustration for boaters. Heed the reccomendations in “WW WV” by Burrell & Davidson (this may be re-published under another name). As memory serves, a level of 2.5 ft at the Buckeye guage is about as low as you want to go. Several years ago I did an overnight when the river was below 2.0, and it was the boniest paddling I have done in many a year. The section we did was from Rennick to past Alderson - several class II drops are in the lowest section. This is a 40 mile stretch.

If the water cooperates, it will be a memorable trip.


Just consulted Wildwater WV
by davidson, eister, davidson, and walbridge. It really depends on which section you do. The paddleable stretch is 150 miles long from Durbin to the confluence with the New River. Almost the entire river is rated class 1 to 2. Only two very short sections rate higher. The first is a 100 yard class 3 that piles up water on rocks on the outside of the bend just upriver of Anthony. The second is a class 4 just below Talcott (Bacon Falls). Both can be portaged.

As Jim stated this river is very water level dependant. One year we put on Sat morning at 1 ft above recommended and took off Monday 2 feet below recommended. Wound up dragging the royalex OT Disco over several hundred yards of rock garden. But a fabulous trip and one I would do again in a heartbeat.


Thanks Randy and Everyone for input.
Will find out more about section(s) to be done. Going to have to get in shape too. Been couch potatoing it too much lately. ;^)



Thanks Kate! Need lots of encouragement
to go get in over my head and live a little more. Been working too much, especially for a retired guy!