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, because of its geographical location,
is the centerpiece of fishing in the state.

-Skip Johnson
WV Outdoor Writer & Author

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.

The Elk offers you some of our state’s most prized species...
• WV Native Brook Trout
• Golden Trout
• Bass
• Muskie and many others

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 14 Primary Access Locations and 2 Proposed Sites which are conveniently located close to Interstate 79 exits 1 through 62. All Primary Sites are marked with road signs and some have Elk River Water Trail signage and/or information kiosks. These sites are marked with an asterisk.

Elk River Float
Every year since 2013 the Elk River Water Trail Group, in partnership with the Braxton County CVB, MonPower, and West Virginia American Water, host the Elk River Float in Braxton County. This canoe and kayak event is typically held in early June and usually coincides with the WVDNR's Free Fishing Weekend. During the Elk River Float a shuttle is provided to help attendees navigate the area as well as relieve the added expense, time, and aggravation of coordinating multiple vehicles and making multiple trip. The shuttle allows attendees drop their gear off at the starting point of the float, drive to their desired take-out location, and board the shuttle that bring them back to the beginning. This allows the shuttle to be in use for just a short time while also providing the attendees to spend as much or as little time on the river that they wish. Weather the attendees want to sprint down the river in an hour and a half or spend all day drifting with the current  or stopping to fish or swim, by the time they get to their desired take-out site their vehicles will be waiting for them. To learn more about the Elk River Float click HERE.

Come experience the Elk River, a beautiful & rich part of West Virginia History.

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