From a tiny trickle of its headwaters in the heart of West Virginia to its confluence with the Kanawha River at Charleston, the Elk River meanders 180 miles through forests, farmland and small towns. It is the longest river located entirely within the borders of West Virginia.
The Elk River Water Trail is within a day's drive of much of the eastern United States. The drive is interstate all the way, unless you choose to take scenic back roads to reach West Virginia. Either way, as you get within two hours of the The Elk River Water Trail, you'll find yourself driving through some of the most beautiful scenic mountains in the Appalachian Region. The Elk River Water Trail begins in the geographic center of the state. West Virginia is nearly 90% forested, our rivers and mountains are inviting and peaceful and our people are warm and friendly.
The Elk River Water Trail begins at the tailwaters of the Sutton Dam (I-79 Exit 62) and continues through three counties: Braxton, Clay and Kanawha.The Water Trail has 12 Primary Access Locations and 5 Proposed Sites which are conveniently located close to Interstate 79 exits 1 through 62. The Water Trail exits are marked with signage and all 12 Primary Sites have Elk River Water Trail signage and information kiosks.
WV's Biological Treasure...The Elk River, often called "the best all-in-one river in West Virginia" is recognized among biologists for its exceptional diversity of fish as well as being home to rare invertebrates, including a crayfish found nowhere else in the world.