The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Pocatalico River

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Pocatalico near Lanham, WV

The Pocatalico River drains east-central West Virginia north of the Kanawha River and one of the most productive farming regions in the state. Its drainage area is about 500 square miles. Its name may derive from a native description as "the river inhabited by large does." The river flows largely through rural woodland and farmland, though the communities of Sissonville, WV, and Looneyville, WV, are located along its lower and upper banks respectively.

Pocatalico River

The Pocatalico rises in the eastern part of Roane County and flows about 75 miles westward across Roane County and northern Kanawha County to its mouth on the Kanawha River in Putnam County at Poca, WV.


WVAMAPS Map (Mouth)
WVAMAPS Map (Source)


Principal tributaries of the Pocatalico River from mouth to source include Manila Creek, Frog Creek, Pocatalico Creek, Green Creek, Big Lick Run, and Johnson Creek.


The origin of the river's name has most often be cited as an adaptation of its Shawnee description as "the river of fat doe." The river has been variously titled as the Paca River, Poca River, Poca Talico River, Pocatalco River, Pocatalica River, Pocataligo River, Pocatellico River, Pocatoligo Creek, Pocotalico River, Pocotaligo River.