Upper New River Hinton to Thurmond

Doing an Upper New River in West Virginia kayak trip from Hinton to Thurmond end of this month. Planning to do the whole 39 miles in 2 days, with one night of camping. Anyone done this stretch? If so, about how long did it take? Trying to determine if 20 miles a day on this section of the river is feasible without rushing too much. Thanks.

I’ve only done the gorge, from Cunard to
Fayette Station.

There’s info on the other sections of the New on the AWA River Database (you should join), or in available guidebooks.

I think you may be pushing it to try to do the 39 miles in two days. There are some big ledges, that can have boat eating holes, and you may need to stop and scout. There are places you might want to eddy out and take pictures. But I was able to do 37 miles on Dolores’ Slickrock Canyon over two days and two nights.

Flat water speed?
Thanks for the info. I had already checked out the AWA site. I found a very detailed and useful map showing each rapid, campsite, and access point with mileage. Only thing I can’t find is someone who has done it who can recommend how much time I should allow. I know there are long stretches of flat water. I’m hoping 10 hours on the water will be enough to knock out about 19 miles. I just don’t know how fast the river runs in the flat water sections, I was guessing 2-3 mph?? Also, what do you mean by boat-eating holes? I’m not new to paddling, but am new to whitewater.

boogie water NOT flat water, BIG dif
first thing, ifn u do not have a “bombproof roll” do not do this trip !!Swims can be very long. The river is very wide[300-500 yards wide]

The New is not flat water, it is boogie water. Also “big water” class 3. Boogie water is like a bunch of eddies/whirl pools that grab the bow and twist you around.

Boat eating holes means: washing machine turned on its side, will keep a boat in it for a long time[think window shade/side surf for 30 mins,] with that said , most rapids can be cheated around. Stay close to the banksof river.

when you do this run, you might want a Dagger “Green Boat” for the trip.

I have done the New River from the creekie start in N.C. all the way thru the Dries, in sects at a time. It has taken me ten years to get it nothced on my paddle,one weekend/sect. at a time.

you can do it!
I routinely paddle that stretch of river- all be it in day trips . You’re going to have two full days of paddling. Your average speed is likely to be two to three miles per hour. Hinton/Bellepoint to Glade Creek or ArmyCamp is doable in a day as is Glade Creek to Stone Cliff/Thurmond. You might want to shorten up the trip a tad so that its more enjoyable. If you’re leaving a car overnight there may be better spots to leave your car than in Hinton/Bellepoint. Put in at one of the NPS accesses off of the Sandstone Falls Road makes the most sense to me as well as taking out at the Stone Cliff access above Thurmond. Plan on taking all your drinking and cooking water. None of the campgrounds/sites have water. Keep an eye on the gauges. Plan on portaging Brooks and Sandstone Falls. Where you can take out for the Sandstone portage depends upon the water level. Look for nesting eagles on the island between Brooks and Sandstone. Request from the NPS website an upper new river paddling guide. About 4 miles below Meadow creek access you’ll see bridge pillars. A straight forward rapid below, then glade creek access followed by a large pool. At the end of the pool is grassy shoals. As a newbie to ww and with a loaded boat you are going to want to stay far right and sneak that rapid. Much Further down you’ll encounter Slide and Silos (sneak left). Good luck, if you need more specifics or want some company call me. 304 575-9449 Tony

Thanks for advice
Appreciate the advice and input from both of you. I am pretty set at launching from around the Bluestone Dam/Hinton area, and taking out near Thurmond. The 1st night our destination goal for camp was Glade Creek. I know about the Sandstone Portage, but was planning to run Brooks Falls. Looking at videos on Youtube, I think it’s doable. I am using a 10 1/2 foot recreational/fishing kayak (Future Beach Trophy 144) with a Nylon spray skirt and float bags, and loaded in the storage holes with gear. Rolling won’t really be an option. A dump in the river will probably mean a long swim, but I’m okay with that. I will be going with 2 buddies, and we will be as safe as possible, scouting, and running one at a time.

any boat can be rolled
hate i was a downer. Y’all have fun, and wish u great fishing

Not at all, honest advice from someone who has done it before is what I was looking at. Won’t be fishing this time, gonna concentrate on getting down the river.

Tony, if you’re local and interested in joining us for 1 of the two days, either Saturday and Sunday, that would be great. Be nice to have someone with some whitewater experience to learn from.

I’ll be out of town
otherwise I would hook up with you. Brooks is doable, but I would recommend scouting ( get out well above the rapid on river left, this is about the only rapid you can scout). Avoid the temptation to run the river left line near the bank. Run Center-left or even river right if you have enough water. Try to locate some rocks or other features at the top of the drop to key off of. And Like I said, keep an eye on the gauges. Right now we have some high water. It wouldn’t hurt to develop a plan B on the Greenbrier. Currently, however its more blown out than the New. If things get totally blown out, head to Clay county. Boat on Buffalo Creek/ then down the elk river. Class II when everything else is too high. Video of Buffalo Creek, kind of boring but you get the idea: