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The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


Clear Fork

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There are several Clear Forks in West Virginia.

The Clear Fork of the Coal River, in northwestern Raleigh County, drains 64.9 square miles in a largely forested, steep-walled valley -- some of the most dramatic relief in West Virginia: the peaks of Coal River Mountain, to the south, and Kayford Mountain, to the north, rise more than 2,000 feet above the level of the fork. Small mining communities and County Route 1 follow the creek from its source in a pass on Paint Creek Mountain in the east to its junction with the Marsh Fork near Whitesville, WV in the west. Several small communities and ghost towns line the creek. Coal mining fueled a boom in population here in the valley in the early 1900s; only a handful of residents remain. Large strip mines are located in the mountains above the fork. Kayakers run the fork between the communities of Ameagle and Whitesville when waters are high enough in spring and after heavy rains. The fork falls more than 1,700 feet over its 24-mile length. Principal tributaries of the fork, beginning at the source, include Workman Creek, Toney Fork, Whiteoak Creek, Sycamore Creek, and Rockhouse Creek.