List of River Rankings

The following is a list of rivers ranked by difficulty, the easier rivers ranked first. Although in most cases, a "canoe zero" level is given to distinguish the lowest level the river is likely to be enjoyed, the list itself was compiled and ranked by considering each river at its "average, good paddleable" level. It is intended to give new members an idea of what rivers are available and at what relative difficulty. In addition, this list can be used by the Cruise Committee and trip leaders as a guide for rating river trips on a consistent basis.

This list originated from a survey of BRV (Blue Ridge Voyagers of Northern Virginia) members (and others)which resulted in a ranked list of 68 rivers. Since then, a number of MCC club members (and others) have added to, commented upon, and suggested changes to this list, which has resulted in a list of more than 180 Eastern/Appalachian rivers; a list that continues to grow. As such, this list represents the consensus of opinion of many Club members and not the individual opinion of any one member. Use it as a reference guide only. Although some attempt was made to indicate the variability of difficulty at different water levels, in no way should these characterizations be considered definitive. It is the responsibility of each paddler to take in account water levels, time of year, weather conditions, ability, etc.

Rankings should be interpreted as follows:

 2-3: Rapids of class 2 to 3 can be anticipated

2-3(4): Rapids of class 2 to 3 can be anticipated with one (or two) class 4 rapids

2-3/4: Rapids of class 2 to 3 can be anticipated, but may encounter class 4 at higher water levels.

SKILL RATINGS: N = Novice, P = Practiced Novice, LI = Low Intermediate, I=Intermediate, HI = High Intermediate, A = Advanced, E = Expert

Use all the resources available to you--guidebooks, trip leader or other experienced paddler's advise, river gauges, and--most of all, your own judgement based on your experience and skill.

SKILL CLASS RIVER SECTION CANOE ZERO
Novice
N A Pocomoke Snow Hill - Pocomoke City Always Runs - Tidal
N A Dividing Creek Pocomoke City Always Runs - Tidal
N A Wye Island Circuit Around Wye Island Always Runs - Tidal
N A Tuckahoe Creek
N A-1 Pine Barrens (NJ) Runs @ most levels
N A-1 Conococheague Creek Fairview 1.9
N A-1 Potomac Brunswick - Point-of-Rocks Runs @ most levels
N A-1 Potomac Point-of-Rocks - Mouth-of-Monocacy Runs @ most levels
N A-1 Potomac Paw Paw-Little Orleans Paw-Paw 3.6
N 1 Opequon
N 1 Monocacy below Buckeystown Frederick 2.0
N 1 Goose Creek, VA
N 1 Upper Rock Creek
N 1 Conodoguinet Creek, PA
N 1 Catoctin Creek, MD Frederick 3.2
N 1/2 Monocacy Pinecliff-Buckeystown Frederick 2.0
N 1 Shenandoah Rt. 50 to Rt 7 Front Royal 1.0
N 1-2 Gunpowder -- Upper Masemore-Monkton Gunpowder@Parkton 1.8 (Telemetered)
N 1-2 Deer Creek Eden Mill to St. Clair Bridge Deer C @ Rocks 2.3'
N 1-2 SF Shenandoah Luray-Bentonville Front Royal 1.2
N 1-2 Seneca Creek below MD 118 Dawsonville 2.2
N 1-2 Catoctin Creek, VA Leesburg 2.4
N 1-2 North (WV) River (Lower) Rio WV to Cacapon Riv. Cacapon in Flood
N 1-2 Rappahannock above Rt. 211 Remington 4.8
Practice Novice
PN 1-2 Monocacy Devilbiss Br.Rd-Pinecliff Frederick 2.0
PN 1-2 Antietam Creek Below Devils Backbone to Potomac Sharpsburg 2.5
PN 1-2 SB Potomac Trough Springfield 1.6
PN 1-2 Deer Creek Norrisville Rd. - Eden Mill Lake Deer C @ Rocks 2.3'
PN 1-2 Patapsco Ilchester Rd-Rt.1 Hollofield 2.0' or 218 cfs
Cedarhurst 120 cfs
PN 1-2 Potomac, N.B. Black Oak Rd.(near Keyser WV) - Pinto, MD Paw-Paw 3.0
PN 1-2 Potomac, N.B. Pinto, MD - Allegany Co. Fairgrounds (above Cumberland) Paw-Paw 3.0
PN 2 Potomac Seneca Breaks Little Falls 2.5
PN 2 Potomac GW Canal Runs @ most levels
PN 1-2- Big Elk Creek (MD) PA 841 - Elkton shallows at MD 279
PN 1-2- Town Creek, MD Cheneyville, PA to Old National Pike Saxton (Raystown Br) 3.2
PN 1-2 Deer Creek Sandyhook Rd-Susquehanna Deer C @ Rocks 2.45'
PN 1-2 Sleepy Creek, WV Cootes Store 3.5
PN 1-2 Sideling Hill Creek Sideling Hill @ Bellegrove 1.7 - scrapy; 2.0 - open.
PN 1-2 Cacapon River Bloomery WV (WV 127)-Potomac G. Cacapon 2.5 (if steady or rising), 3.0 (if falling)
PN 1-2 Antietam Creek Rt.40 to Devils Backbone Sharpsburg 3.0
PN 1-2+ Patapsco Woodstock Rd-Daniels Hollofield 2.2'
Cedarhurst 120 cfs
PN 2 Shenandoah, N. Fork, S. Branch @ Cootes Store Cootes Store 2.0
PN 1-2/2+ Cedar Creek VA 55 to US 11 Cedar Cr. @ Middletown 2.8
PN 1-2 Goose Creek, Dam-Rt.7 Leesburg 2.0
PN 1-2 Gunpowder -- Middle Harford Rd-Rt.1 Rt.1 - 0.0
PN 2 Potomac Sandy Hook - Brunswick Hancock 2.3
PN 1-2 Middle Yough Confluence-Rt.381 bridge, Ohiopyle Confluence 1.7
PN 2 Potomac Angler's to Lock 10 Little Falls 2.4
PN 1-2 Cacapon River Rt.50-Bloomery WV (WV 127) G. Cacapon 2.5 (if steady or rising), 3.0 (if falling)
PN 2 Clear Fork River, TN Stearns 2000
PN 2 Maury River Below Rockbridge Bath
PN 2 Hughes/Hazel Rivers Remington 4.5
PN 2 Codorus Creek PA Route 24 to Codorus Furnace Road Codorus@York 2.5
PN 2/2+ Hiawasi River TN Dam
PN 2 Lost River, WV above Rt. 55 bridge
PN 1-2+ Pine Creek PA Cedar Run 2.6
PN 2/2+ Cedar Creek Above VA 55 Cedar Cr. @ Middletown 3.9
PN 2/2+ Thornton River Remington 5.0
PN 2+ Conasauga River below Jacks River
Low Intermediate
LI 1-2+ Anacostia River N.W. Branch
LI 1-2+ Octoraro Creek Octoraro @ Richardsmere 340 cfs; Deer C @ Rocks 2.5'
LI 2-2+ Quemononing Creek Boswell (PA 601) - Pilltown Rd (Res.) Ferndale 5.0
LI 2-2+ Connoquenessing Creek Zelienople 1.6
LI 2/2+ Rappahannock Kelly's Ford Remington 3.3
LI 2-2+ Potomac Needles Hancock 3.0
LI 2-2+ Tuckaseigee Gorge
LI 1-2+ Big Cove Creek
LI 1-3 Nescopek Creek Wapwallopen 2.0
LI 1-2+ Mongaup River Dam to Delaware confluence 1 tube release
LI 1-2+ Casselman Rockwood-Markleton Markleton 2.2 or 500 cfs
LI 1-3 Laurel Hill Creek Whipkey's Dam-Humbert Covered Bridge Ursina 2.2 or 550 cfs
LI 2-3 Robinson River Rose Rd.-Rt.29 Culpeper 2.5
LI 2-2+ Rappahannock Motts Run - Falmouth/Fredricksburg Fredricksburg 2.4
LI 2-3 South Anna
LI 2-3 North Anna Dam
LI 2-3 Potomac River Mather Gorge Runs @ most levels
LI 2-2+ James River Balcony Falls Cartersville 1.6
LI 2-2+ Cheat, Glady Fork Glady Fork Parsons 4.0
LI 2/3 Rush River Remington 6.0
LI 2-3 Marsh Creek, PA Frederick 4.0
LI 2-3- Lehigh Whitehaven-Rockport 600 cfs
LI 2-2+(3) Patapsco,SB Gaither Rd-Henryton Rd Hollofield 500 cfs.
Unity 90 cfs
Cedarhurst 150 cfs
LI 2-3- Casselman Ft. Hill-Confluence Markleton 2.0 or 400 cfs
LI 2-3- Potomac, N.B. Bloomington - Keyser 600 cfs
LI 2-3 Flintstone Creek Street Rd.(PA) - Town Creek confluence Town Creek @ Oldtown 625 cfs (proj. 3 hrs ahead)
LI 2-3- Lehigh Rockport-Glen Onoko 600 cfs
Intermediate
I 2/3 Shenandoah Staircase Millville-Lower 340 Bridge Millville 2.0
I 2-3 Casselman Markleton-Ft. Hill Markleton 2.1 or 450 cfs
I 2-3 Patapsco "Oella" Daniels-Ilchester Hollofield 2.0' or 218 cfs
Cedarhurst 120 cfs
I 3 Deer Creek St. Clair Bridge - Cherry Hill Rd. Deer C. @ Rocks 2.5'
I 2(3) Cartecay River, GA RC 2.0
I 2-3 Muddy Creek, PA Muddy @ Castle Fin 140 cfs
I 2-3 Gunpowder Falls -- Lower Rt.1-Rt.40 Rt. 1 -- 0.0
I 2-3 New River Prince-Thurmond
I 2-3 Gunpowder (Gorge) Prettyboy Dam - Falls Rd. Gunpowder@Parkton 100 cfs (telemetered)
I 2(3) Catawba, North Fork RC 0
I 2-3 Loyalsock River, PA Lopez - US 220 Loyalsock Ck @ Loyalsockville 3.7
I 2/3 SB Potomac Lower Smokehole Canyon Petersburg 3.5; Franklin 2.3
I 2/3 Elk River (WV) Webster Springs - CR7 Bridge (Down Elk) Webster Springs 4.5
I 2-3 Passage Creek Gorge Elizabeth Furnace - VA 55 Passage Creek @ Buckton VA, 200 cfs
Cootes Store 3.3
I 2-2+(3) Potomac, North Branch Barnum, WV-Bloomington, MD 400 cfs
I 2-3 Cheat, Middle Dry Fork US33-Jenningston Parsons 4.0
I 2-3 Little Gunpowder River Jerusalem Mill to Rt. 40 Laurel Brooke 200 cfs
I 2-3 Cabin John Creek River Road - C&O Canal Rock Creek 325 cfs
I 2-3 Sligo Creek Maple-N.H. Ave.
I 2-3 Cheat Narrows Parsons 500 cfs
I 2-3 Yough (Bottom) Bruner's - Indian Run Ohiopyle 1.5
I 2-3 Cherry River (WV) Richwood Inn - Gauley River Craigsville 11.5
I 2-3(4) Loyalsock River, PA US 220 - Forksville Loyalsock Ck @ Loyalsockville 3.5
I 2-3(3+) Clear Shade Creek Ferndale 5.0
I 2-3 Little Falls of the Gunpowder Parkton - Bluemont High Water Run
I 2-3 Patapsco, North Br. (above Liberty Res.) Carrollton Rd - Lawndale Rd High Water Run
I 2-3 Nantahala River Forest Service put-in to NOC Dam
I 2-3 Potomac, SB, North Fork Hopeville Canyon Petersburg 4.0; Cabins 5.0
I 2-3 New River, Surprise Canyon
I 2-3/3+ Cheat, Lower Dry Fork Jenningston-Hendricks Hendricks 3.0 Jenningston put-in; 2.9 Gladwin put-in.
I 2-3 Cub Run Fall Line; US 29-Bull Run Goose Creek 2.8
Broad Run 5.0
I 2-3/3+ Covington River Remington 10
I 2-3(3+) Chauga Budd Cobb-Horseshoe) US 76 2.2
I 3/3+ Slippery Rock Creek McC's Mill 0
I 3-3+ Pigeon River Dam Release
I 2-3 Pohick Creek US1 RC 2.5
I 3/3+ Rock Creek, DC. Military Rd. - Pierce Mill Sherrill Dr. 2'3" or 185 cfs
I 3 Brush Creek Wills Creek 4
I 3 North (WV) River above Rio, WV Cacapon in Flood
I 3 Upper Rapidan Culpeper 4.0
I 3 Blacklick Creek Heshbon to Josephine Josephine 4.1
I 3-3+ Tohickon Creek, PA Ralph Stover 1.0
I 2/3+ Gauley River Crupperneck Bends
I 2-3/3+ Potomac, SB Upper Smokehole Canyon Petersburg 4.0; Franklin 2.5
I 2/3+ Potomac, SB, South Fork Moorefield Canyon Petersburg 4.0; Moorefield 2.5
I 3/4(4+) S. Fork Hardware River
I 3/3+ Potomac, Little Falls Little Falls: Feeder Canal - Waterworks discharge Little Falls 2.60
I 2-3/4 Upper Conway Culpeper 3.5
I 2-4 North River Gorge, VA Lynnwood 2.9
High Intermediate
HI 3/4 Bullpasture Gorge Buena Vista 2.9
HI 2-4 Upper Tye River 250 cfs
HI 3(4) French Broad Barnard-Hot Spring Newport 1750 cfs
HI 2-4/5 James River Richmond Richmond/Westham 4.5
HI 2-3(4) Lost River Dry Gorge Cootes Store 350cfs; Brandywine 175cfs
HI 2-3(4) Elk River (WV) Bergoo - Webster Springs Webster Springs 5.0
HI 3-4 Middle Meadow 350 cfs
HI 2-4 Lower Shavers Fork Bemis-Bowden Parsons 5
HI 3(5) Obed (Goulds Bend) Oakdale 3500 cfs
HI 3-3.5 (4) Stoneycreek River (PA) (Canyon) Holsopple - SR4022 Ferndale 2.8
HI 3-3.5 Shade Creek Confl. Dark & Clear Shade - Seanor Ferndale 3.7
HI 3/4 Little Patuxent Guilford Rd. - Savage (Foundry Street) Savage 225 cfs
HI 3-4 Upper Little River Townsend 275 cfs
HI 3 Seneca Creek, WV
HI 3-4 Lower Tellico Tellico Plains 1.5
HI 3+ Clear Creek Jett to Nemo Oakdale 1200 cfs
HI 3 Little Pigeon Middle prong Sevierville 1000 cfs
HI 3+ Crab Orchard Creek Oakdale 7000 cfs
HI 2-3/4 Trout Run, WV Cootes Store 5.0
HI 3(4) Big South Fork Gorge Stearns 1000 cfs
HI 3-4 Little Sandy Creek Rockville 7.0
HI 3-4 Lower Yough Ohiopyle 1.0
HI 3/4 Big Laurel Creek Newport 4000 cfs
HI 3-4 Upper Big Sandy Bruceton Mills - Rockville Rockville 5.8
HI 3/4(5) Chatooga Section 3 US 76 Bridge 1.1
HI 3-4 Obed River DBT to Nemo Oakdale 1200 cfs
HI 3-4 Nolichucky River Poplar to Erwin Erwin, TN 1.0 (900 cfs.)
HI 3(4) Lower Little River (TN) Townsend 275 cfs
HI 3/4 Cranberry River Cranberry 3.5
HI 3(4) Williams River Craigswille 12
HI 3/4 Citico Creek Tellico in flood
HI 3/4 Upper Meadow River Mt. Lookout 4.6
HI 3/4 Black River Watertown NY Dam Release
Advanced
A 3/4 Ocoee n/a
A 3-4 Wills Creek Fairhope-Hyndman Cumberland 3.5
A 3-4/5 Stonycreek River (PA) (Gorge) T565 - U.S. 30 (Stoystown) Ferndale 5
A 3-4 Laurel Fork below Rt. 33 Parsons 5.2
A 3/4 New River Dries 5000 cfs
A 3/4 Maury River Goshen Pass Buenavista 3.0
A 3-4 Buckhannon Alton-Sago Buckhannon 7
A 3-4 Savage River Savage 2.0 (250cfs)
A 3-4 George's Creek
A 3-4 Bear Creek Friendsville 2.6
A 3-4 Gooney's Run put-in 3"
A 3-4 Cheat Canyon Albright (bridge) 1.25; (powerstation) 11.25
A 3-4 (Tip) Top Top Yough Friendsville 3.2 (Deep Creek 0 Release)
A 3-4 New River Gorge Fayette S. -1.5
A 3-4 Island Creek Oakdale 10,000 cfs
A 3-4 Tygart Arden Phillipi 2.5
A 4(5) Wilson Creek Gorge Adako Rd.-0.25
A 3-4 Chauga Gorge US 76 Br. 2.2
A 4 Lower Gauley Belva 2.0
A 3-4 Daddy's Creek Canyon Oakdale 1200 cfs
A 3-4 Potomac, North Branch Kitzmiller Kitzmiller 4.0 (HI run at 3.7-4.0)
A 3-4 Moose, Lower Old Forge, NY 2.5
A 4(5) Upper Tellico T.Plains 200 cfs
A 3-4 Tygart Gorge Belington 3.5
A 4+ John's Creek New Castle RC 0
A 3-4(5) Doe River Gorge Elizabethton 300 cfs
A 4 Middle Fork (Tygart) Belington 4.0
Expert
E 3-4 Piney River (TN) Oakdale 3000 cfs
E 3-5 Top Yough Friendsville 2.7 (Deep Creek 40 cfs. min.)
E 3-4 Stony Creek (WV) Mt. Storm-Potomac Kitzmiller 5.5
E 4-5(5+) Meadow Run (PA) PA Rt. 381-Youghiogheny R. Rockville (Big Sandy) 6.5
E 3-4/5 (5) Upper Yough Sang Run - Friendsville Sang Run 1.5
E 3-5 Chatooga Section 4 US 76 Br. 0.9
E 3-5.1 Lower Big Sandy Rockville - Cheat Conf. Rockville 5.8
E 3-5 Blackwater Canyon (Lower) N. Fork Confluence to Hendricks 250 cfs
E 3-5 Moose, Bottom Lyons Falls, NY 2.3
E 3-5 Upper Shaver's Fork Parsons 3.5
E 3-5.1 Watauga Gorge Sugar Grove 200 cfs
E 4-5.1 Upper Gauley Belva 2.4
E 5+ North Fork of the Blackwater Thomas - Blackwater Confluence 500 cfs
E 5-5.1 Russell Fork (Gorge)
E 5-6 Potomac - Great Falls Great Falls National Park
E 5+ Blackwater Canyon (Upper) Blackwater Falls - N. Fork Conf. 150 cfs
Updated 9-12-2000 (Tony Allred)