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Grassy Shoals Rapids

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Whitewater rafters at Grassy Shoals Rapids

These Class III rapids on the remote upper New River Gorge whitewater-rafting segment are located just downstream of five prominent bridge piers, among the ruins of a logging railroad. The rapids have been named by paddlers for the many reeds that line the shoals in summer and fall. The Grassy Shoals cataract moves through river rock deposited intermittently from Glade Creek, at river-left, during flooding in its basin. The creek is one the largest tributaries of the New River.

The National Park Service maintains a camping and river-access area at the mouth of Glade Creek at which public restroom facilities are located. The Glade Creek area is accessible by motor vehicle by way of Glade Creek Road, a gravel scenic route that follows the river on river-left from WV-41.

The piers above Grassy Shoals Rapids are ruins of an early railroad bridge, which carried timber from the highlands south of the gorge across the New River to the the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Little is left but ruins of the communities of Glade, on downstream river-left, and Hamlet, on river-right.

The piers are well-known landmarks among sightseers who've carefully studied the river from the Main Overlook at Grandview, from which perspective the piers may appear diminutive.


Map: Grassy Shoals Rapids