The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Gauley River National Recreation Area

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The Gauley River National Recreation Area near Lockwood, WV

Location: in southern West Virginia in Fayette County and Nicholas County

The Gauley River National Recreation Area (NRA) protects 25 miles of the canyon of the Gauley River and six miles of that of the Meadow River in the highlands of southern West Virginia. The Mountain State's largest lake, 2,790-acre Summersville Lake, is located just upstream of the recreation area, and through early fall, when the lake is being emptied to its winter pool, the Gauley River becomes one of the world's most popular whitewater rafting runs, attracting more than 100,000 rafters and kayakers. The Gauley River NRA is located just north of the New River Gorge National River.

Paddling: Rafters and kayakers can be found plying the whitewater of the Gauley River in any season, but during "Gauley Season" (from mid-September until mid-October), the river turns to one of the most technical torrents in the world. More than 100,000 paddlers arrive to challenge its relentless rapids, which descend one after another through the canyon.

Fishing: Fishing is the second-most popular sport for which the Gauley River is known. The Gauley is particular renowned for its musky and walleye fishing, though bass, trout, bluegill, and catfish are also plentiful. In 1990 the state record walleye (33 inches and 17.22 pounds) was taken in the Gauley below the Summersville Dam.

For further information, visit NewRiverWV.com.

Map of the Gauley River National Recreation Area