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2004 US East Coast Team Trials, April 17-18. Mark Your Calendars!

The 2004 US Wildwater East Coast Team Trials for Juniors and Seniors will be held on the Gauley or Cherry Rivers near Richwood, WV, April 17-18.

by Donnie Hudspeth
2004 US East Coast Team Trials Race Director

February 19, 2004 -- Richwood, WV

River "Options" for the 2004 Team Trials

We use the term "options" because we have two possibilities, depending on water levels. The choices are:

  1. a section of the Gauley above Summersville Lake, known locally as the "Top Gauley", or

  2. the Cherry which is a tributary and flows into the Gauley at the put-in for the "Top Gauley" section.

The Gauley: This section of the Gauley is free flowing with an average flow in April of 1,000-3,000 cfs (at the Craigsville gauge), which would be ideal levels for our event. The rapids are "Gauley Style" playful Class 2-3. At the lower levels it is more technical…at the higher level, more pushy. We've chosen a five-mile stretch for the Classic. The put-in would be at the Curtin Bridge, where Route 39 crosses the Gauley near Craigsville. The takeout can be reached by a gravel road river left from the put-in, making shuttle easy. (Ref: USGS Map- Craigsville, County Map- Nicholas)

Cherry River: The Cherry is another class 2-3 stream, entering the Gauley at Curtin Bridge. It is about one-third the size of the Gauley and more technical. When the Gauley is over 1,500 cfs the Cherry begins to have water, and when the Gauley is 4,000 or higher the Cherry is running excellent levels.

If water levels run high, we move to the Cherry. The section we would use for the Classic event would be from the Holcomb Bridge, where Route 39 crosses the Cherry, to Curtin Bridge; again, approximately five miles. Route 39 parallels the river, allowing easy shuttle. There have been some local slalom events on this section of the Cherry in the past, but not in recent years. (Ref: USGS Map- Craigsville, County Map- Nicholas).

Keep tabs on the Gauley's river levels via the gauge:


The nearest town is Richwood, only 15 minutes from either section of river. This area is known by paddlers as "The Fruitbasket", as there are so many streams from which to choose. Choices include: the North Fork and South Fork of the Cherry, the main Cherry, Big and Little Laurel, the Cranberry and Williams - all within very close proximity. There is one motel in town, right on the North Fork and many camping spots and campgrounds in the area. The closest major airport is in Charleston, WV, about a two-hour drive.

More information about the courses, shuttles, and accommodations will be provided soon. Racers may feel free to contact the race director, Donnie Hudspeth, directly at 304.658.5016 or by email at Information and online registration will be posted soon at

We look forward to seeing you in April!

Donnie Hudspeth is the 2004 US East Coast Team Trials Race Director. Reach him at