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Coal River in West Virginia

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Went on the Tour De Coal trip that was put on by the Friends of the Coal River group. This is a group that works to clean up the Coal River and surrounding tributaries. They are a great group, and the trip they sponsor every year is very well organized.

We put in at 9:30 am on June 21st along with 150 other canoers and kayakers. The put in point is Tornado, West Virginia and the Meadowood Park and the takeout point is the eastgate shopping center at St. Albans, WV.

The gauge height was 10 feet at Tornado and the flow was just over 300fps. The trip is an eleven mile trip which took just over 4 hours with some hard paddling. Very little flow to the river at this level and there is only a couple of small shoals to cross which are very easy. One shoal is the Lower Falls, which is just a small shoal, keep to the left on this one as the water is a little deeper on this end. The trip is very laid back, and the group is very hospitable, as they put this trip on every year. Just hope for a better water flow next year.


Meadowwood park has nice restroom facilities and is a beautiful park.




Go to St Albans, West Virginia, and head 11 miles up the Coal river to Tornado, West Virginia. Put in at the Meadowwood park at Tornado. US 35 south takes you up the river to Tornado from St Albans.


Delorme Topo map of West Virginia

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location