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South Branch Potomac River in West Virginia

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

I wanted to do a short canoe trip since I was taking my mom for her first time. I wanted to try a new stretch of the river too, so I decided to put in at Romney Bridge Public Access and get out at Hanging Rocks Public Access. This section of the river is about 4.5 miles long.

This is a fairly easy stretch of river with lots pools and small short mini rapids throughout. Since it was August the water was on the shallow side. We only had to get out of the canoe two times, which isn't bad.

The first place we got out at was at the railroad bridge. You will need to portage the bridge on the left since the water does an S turn through the concrete bridge supports. I walked the canoe through the shallow edge to a spot where I could slide it back down in the water along one of the bridge supports. There we could get back in. The other place we had to get out was for a shallow area that was about 30 feet long.

This stretch of river is a bass catch and release area. You'll find bluegill, sunfish, carp, and catfish through here as well. You can see bald eagles, blue herons, ducks, geese, and many other species of birds. Hanging Rocks is a very beautiful cliff overlooking the river.

The road to the Hanging Rocks Public Access is only one lane wide so be very careful driving on it. The riverbank is on one side and railroad tracks on the other. There isn't any room for oncoming traffic so someone will have to back up. There is a turn around area at the end of the road.


Restaurants and motels available in Romney, WV.

Wampacoma Campgrounds on River Road southwest of Romney.


No fees for the river.


Put in at Romney Bridge Public Access. US 50 / WV 28 bridge 1 mile west of Romney, WV.

Take out at Hanging Rocks Public Access on county route 28/15 off West Virginia Route 28 north of Romney.

Trip Details

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

Trip Location