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Experiencing the Outdoors;
Summertime Whitewater Fun

by Cory Boothe


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For me, summertime means whitewater. I spend my days on the Grand Canyon of the East. West Virginia’s own New River contains fantastic whitewater that entertains thousands annually. All summer long, it offers up thrills and spills for anyone from novice to expert.

The Lower New River is basically in West Virginia from Cunard to Teays. It is nine miles of whitewater that contains over 20 rapids from Class I to Class FUN (IV-V). Whitewater rapids are rated class one to six based on difficulty. One being easy, six being un-navigable without considerable risk.

In those nine miles, the New River drops over 200 feet. At times, it is constricted into being half as wide. It is in this “Grand Canyon” that one will find numerous boulders the size of houses.

Rapids, such as the Keeneys, Double Z, and Fayette Station, entertain, excite, and sometimes terrorize paddlers. Rapids can be very short or hundreds of yards long. Waves can be small or ginormous (really big).

The New River offers as many flavors as Baskin Robbins. I have been on the Lower New from around five feet below normal summer pool, up to over 13 feet above summer pool. That is 18 feet of variation. During those levels, conditions vary from surfing, to crushing holes, to colossal waves.

If the Lower New River sounds like a vacation you might enjoy, contact Class VI at

 Enjoy the outdoors. The days are slowly getting shorter. Please send fish photos to for publication in the Chronicle.

Editor’s Note: Cory is the son of Ronzel and Karen Boothe of Russett. He is a 1996 graduate of Calhoun County High School and is a teacher at Meadow Bridge Elementary, Fayette County. He resides near Summersville.)

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