Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station

New River Gorge National River

Heart-of-Appalachia, West Virginia

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Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station


  • Rafting through the Middle Keeney rapid.- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Rafting through the Lower Keeney (Class IV).- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Rafting through Miller's Folly rapid (Class IV).- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Amazing scenery of the New River Gorge on this rafting route.- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Miller's Folly can be seen from above.- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Aerial view of the Lower New River.- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • Rafting under the New River Gorge Bridge.- Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
  • - Lower New River Gorge: Cunard to Fayette Station
Overview + Weather
Beautiful views. Known as one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in the world.
Heart-of-Appalachia, WV
Average Gradient: 
20.00 ft/mi (3.79 m/km)
Route Characteristics: Character:
Pool Drop, Continuous, Gorge, Wooded (Forested), Park-and-Play
Overall difficulty: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
Suitable for:
Kayaks, Rafts, Commercial Outfitters
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
Fayette Station
Total Distance: 
6.50 mi (10.46 km)
Current Local Weather:

Notable Hazards + River Information

Adventure Description

Adventure Description


A whitewater rafting trip along the Lower New River is perfect for any thrill seeker and adventure lover. It is commonly referred to as one of the world's best whitewater runs, and it has rapids ranging from swimmable Class I rapids to adrenaline pumping Class IV+ whitewater. This 6.5-mile stretch of river from Cunard to Fayette Station contains 24 rapids, a very high concentration for a relatively small segment of the river, and it provides for a unique and rather intense rafting experience

While the rapids are incredible, the surrounding views enhance the trip even more. This portion of the river will provide you with stunning views of the New River Gorge Bridge, the second tallest bridge in the United States and an architectural phenomenon. It travels along the famous Endless Wall, the number one rated trail in the national parks system. There are opportunities to see remnants of old coal-mining towns that date back to the 1870s. In addition to the architecture, geology, and history surrounding this river, there are frequent bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, and deer sightings on these trips.

A brief discussion of some of the notable rapids on this run follows, but please consult a river map for specific locations and information.

  • Pinball (Class III): 0.3 miles from the put-in, run straight down the middle for best wave train.
  • Upper Railroad (Class III): 0.5 miles from put-in.
  • Lower Railroad (Class III): 1 mile from put-in. At 2 feet there is an undercut rock about 50 feet from the left bank.
  • Strippers (Class III): 1.8 miles from put-in. Remain in the middle and beware of stripper hole (you should pass it on the left).
  • Upper Keeney (Class III): 3 miles from put-in.
  • Middle Keeney (Class IV): 3.1 miles from the put-in. Swim hard to the left if you fall out.
  • Lower Keeney (Class IV): 3.2 miles from the put-in. Start down the left hand side with a right hand boat angle. There is a large curler wave on the left that should be avoided at all costs. Paddle hard to the right once this wave is in sight.
  • Dudley's Dip (Class III): 3.8 miles from the put-in. A large rock that looks like an upside down canoe is an undercut and should be avoided.
  • Double Z (Class IV+): 4 miles from the put-in. The most technical rapid on the lower New River.
  • Miller's Folly (Class IV): 6 miles from the put-in. Large undercut rock at the start of the rapid on the right.
Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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