They call Gauley Fest, on the
Gauley River in West Virginia, the largest river festival in the world.
Thousands of people converge on the river to enjoy a weekend of paddling, gear-gazing, music and food and to celebrate
the raging sluice tubes at the gauley dam. This year’s Gauley Fest runs from September 23 to 25. I’ve never been to
Gauley Fest, but I have rafted the Upper Gauley, and can attest to it’s rep as a sweet place for paddlers to enjoy
The river offers two sections, the Upper and Lower Gauley. For intermediate and expert boaters, the upper, middle, and
lower sections of the Gauley offer some serious whitewater with class IV and V rapids. But there are also ample
opportunities for beginners and intermediates to paddle sections of class I-III whitewater. If you’re looking to make
it Gauley Fest, you might want to check in with a few of the outfitters there. A few of the notables are
Gauley.com, and Rivers Resort.
You can also get some good information from the National Park Service’s Gauley