To the home page for the Cheat River Water Trail. It’s our goal to keep you informed and updated on the overall progress of the trail and related activities.This is an exciting project and it’s moving at an accelerated rate.

We encourage your support and participation in making this project a success. Please sign our guest book and utilize our contact page to request information, make comments and suggestions or let us know how you can assist.

Thanks for your interest in the Cheat River Water Trail. We hope you enjoyed your visit, come back often to view our progress.

Meet the Cheat Community Paddle

On Saturday, June 7th, Friends of the Cheat’s Water Trail Committee will celebrate the Upper Cheat River Water Trail’s one year anniversary and National Trails Day by hosting the Meet the Cheat Community Paddle!  The group seeks to make this event an annual one, with the support of Blackwater Outdoor Adventures (BOA) and other local businesses.


Meet at Blackwater Outdoor Adventures (BOA) at 10am to conserve parking spaces at the Holly Meadows access site and get a FREE shuttle to the put-in.  BOA Address:  Location Rd, Parsons, WV 26287

The floatilla will launch at 11am from the Holly Meadows access site (off of Holly Meadows Rd - CR5/8) and float the Upper Cheat River Water Trail approximately 8 miles to St. George.  Pending good water levels, the paddle will take about 4 hours.  Need a boat?  Need a shuttle driver?  Canoes and inflatables are available for rental.  Contact BOA will all questions pertaining to paddling:  raftboa@frontiernet.net or (304)478-3775.

Join the paddling after-party at Blackwater Outdoor Adventure’s outpost around 4pm.  The event will include live music, BBQ,  beverages and plenty of friends with whom to share your big fish stories with around the campfire.  Camping is available at BOA.

Water levels can change paddling plans; stay tuned in by joining the Upper Cheat River Water Trail group on Facebook or by keeping an eye on the water trail website:  www.cheatriverwatertrail.org.

  The website will have a new look very soon thanks to support from the Tucker County CVB!

You too can support this project by joining the Water Trail Committee, volunteering to maintain an access, or by donating goods, services or money to the project’s dedicated fund.  Contact Dave Cassell to learn more:  mtbikewv@comcast.net

SPRING has arrived, finally, after quite a winter. The water trail committee is hard at work making plans and working on scheduled improvements.  In the works is a new website, a new and much improved map and brochure, "rack" cards and the installation of new access point signs. In addittion, the DNR and the DOH are in the process of putting new signage in place to help guide users to the sites from the Highway. A number of other improvements are in the works. We are also planning, what we have named,

"Meet The Cheat" day for early June to celebrate our first anniversity of the trail opening.

Stay tuned for more info on that. 


The river is calling, see you on the water


       Dave Cassell

            Chairman, Cheat River Water Trail


2014 has arrived and spring is just around the corner. Won’t be long until many of you will be putting those paddles in the water. The water trail committee is hard at work laying out the groundwork for improvements to the trail. Among the many things we plan to do, are upgrades to access sites, new signage, a new website and a new trail map and brochure. Community involvement continues to grow and our quest to find new partners contiunes.  Stay tuned, in the near future we will be holding our first meeting of the year. After that get together, I will post an update with some details of our plans for the new year. Thanks for your continued interest and support.

Dave Cassell  Chairman Cheat River Water Trail

The Latest from the Development Team

   The Cheat River Water Trail held its 18th meeting last night Oct.15th, 2013.  Eli Long from the Western PA conservancy attended.  Amanda(FOC) Director accompanied him on a tour of our access points earlier in the day.  He was pretty impressed and very complimentary of our efforts. He did point out some opportunities for improvement, which we will follow-up on. He also indicated that some funding is available from his organization and outlined what was needed in the way of applications.

In other news, our rack cards and map/brochure are being finalized. We have selected our designs for new signage and a new website is going to be under development very shortly. We’ll be doing some work on access sites and kiosks as well. It’s all about continuous improvement. We’re already looking forward to the 2014 season. Stay tuned, we’ll be posting some pictures and provide you with a peak at our t-shirt design in the next few days.

August 22, 2013

For Immediate Release:

Cheat River Float Trip Planned

What is the best way to spend the Sunday over Labor Day Weekend—enjoying Rowlesburg, the river city, from the water! Take a lazy ride down the Cheat River from Riverview Lounge to Rowlesburg Park.  The trip is beginner-friendly, Class I-II waters, and about 3.3 miles.  Once there, enjoy the town's festival sponsored by the volunteer organizations of Rowlesburg.  Lots to do in town from char-broiled chicken in the Park to the model train show at the Ambulance Building. The Szilagyi Center will be open all day with its world-class museums, the River City Cafe and the Emporium.  For more information on Labor Day activities in Rowlesburg visit:  www.rowlesburgguide.com

Free shuttle service will start at 11:00 am on Sunday September 1st, leaving approximately every 30 minutes until about 1:00 pm.  Paddlers must drop off boating gear at Riverview Lounge first and proceed to Rowlesburg where cars will be left at the takeout.  Meet the shuttle driver at the Cheat River Water Trail takeout point in the Rowleburg Park just downstream (north) of the larger Park parking lot.  Please contact Amanda Pitzer for more details: 
amanda@cheat.org.  No boats or gear will be available in Rowlesburg.  Contact Blackwater Outdoor Adventure Center in St. George for information on boat rental:  raftboa@frontiernet.net or (304) 478-3775.  The float trip will be cancelled pending low water levels.

The float trip is planned by the Cheat River Water Trail Committee which is part of Friends of the Cheat (FOC). FOC is a grassroots, non-profit organization formed in 1994 to "restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding natural qualities of the Cheat River watershed." The group's primary focus since its inception has been the monitoring, characterization and remediation of acid mine drainage (AMD), the Cheat's most damaging pollutant.  The group works with its Cheat River Water Trail Committee to develop and maintain beginner friendly water trails.  For more information on the Upper Cheat River Water Trail visit: 



Friends of the Cheat

119 South Price Street, Suite 206

Kingwood, WV26537




August 22,2013







JUNE 11, 2013


   Opening Day was a success. Thanks to all of you who came out to celebrate the opening of the Cheat River Water Trail. We had a number of special guests, including the Mayor of Rowlesburg, who celebrated her 82nd. birthday by taking a paddle trip. 

   Special thanks to the folks at Blackwater Outdoor Adventures, who allowed us to use their facilities. More details will follow with some pictures.


  The work has just begun, with access site maintainance on top of the list. Our signage is marginal at best, and the DOH, has yet to put up access signs along the highways. Please bare with us during this during this initial start-up phase. 

Continuous Improvement is the name of the game, and we're striving to make this trail as user friendly as possible. 







A river and history flow through it

Rowlesburg’s Szilagyi Center continues to churn up interest in Preston’s past

Rowlesburg’s past flows directly through that community on the Cheat River. Though this small Preston County town also owes a chapter or two of its history to the railroad, the river wrote the book. And in a fashion, it’s responsible for the latest page in its storied bygone days. During the devastating 1985 flood, the Cheat left its banks and roared far and wide through Rowlesburg, destroying homes, small businesses and the town’s centerpiece, its school. Though the building was not swept away, the damage from the floodwaters caused it to be condemned. The three-story, brick structure was then put up for sale and fittingly, a river rafting company bought it to use for its business. About two decades later the owners of the rafting company donated the site to Rowlesburg’s Revitalization Committee. Almost like the 1985 flood’s stops and starts from obstructions and bridges, plans since then for this building have not been a steady flow, either. More aptly, good ideas for the site’s use have appeared, then seemingly get dammed up with details and then break through — picking up more interest, and repeating the process. Anyhow, you might make that connection if you look at how the Szilagyi Center — named for the building’s donors — has developed since 2008. It started with housing a World War II Living History Museum, then a Preston County Sports Museum and will soon serve as a place to display Preston 4-H’ers’ memorabilia. Later this spring a library will also open, complete with a reading room, and children’s and rare book sections. Some may wonder how such projects emerged to fill the Szilagyi Center’s space. What’s not hard to imagine is what this building might have become. One vision that quickly comes to our mind is one more shuttered eyesore like other condemned school buildings in Preston County. Or it could have been razed and become either a vacant lot or a parking lot. But thanks to the efforts of scores of Preston County residents this building — this old school — is still serving to teach the area and this community about its history. We applaud everyone who has contributed to the Szilagyi Center’s development and smart use. Many communities in this area and across the state and nation continue to wrestle with how best to use antiquated school buildings and others damaged by natural disasters. It seems to us that Rowlesburg and Preston County might have the perfect blueprint. Who not only know exactly where they’re going with this site, but don’t want to go anywhere else, just like the river.


 Wednesday March 13,2013

 "Trout for the Cheat" did the frst of five spring trout stockings in the Cheat River near Rowlesburg on wednesday. Art George, president of Trout for the Cheat, said 1,650 pounds of 2-6 pound rainbow trout went into the river, with the assistance of cadets from the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy.

It's Official !!  On Feb.8th,2013 we received our official notification of designation from the WVRTAB. as a West Virginia Water Trail. This will allow us to move forward on grant applications as well as a number of other initiatives. 


In other news, the team has resumed its regularly scheduled monthly meetings. Our first meeting of 2013 was held on Feb.19th. We're back in high gear and moving as quickly as possible to meet our opening goal of the 1st. Qtr. of the year. 

The team initiated its contribution campaign and will be visiting potential donors during the coming weeks. If you wish to make a contribution, please visit the CONTRIBUTE page for more information.


Thanks For Your Support




In The News

   The first of a series of public meetings were held on the 15th and 16th of November in Parsons and Rowlesburg. Members of the committee provided an overview of the project and answered a number of very relevant questions. High on the list of concerns was handicap accessibility. To address that issue, we have assembled a sub-committee. In the coming months they will be doing research and looking for partners in the communities along the Cheat, looking for grants and developing a proposal.

    With the rapid approach of winter, and its snowy driving conditions, the team has elected to utilize conference calls and the internet to conduct business during the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb. Much remains to be done and during this time period the team will be actively working on maps, brochures, and kiosk’s, pursuing funding opportunities, investigating the use of boat slides and ramps, and finalizing sign requirements.  The goal being to be in a position to place orders in March and begin the distribution process shortly thereafter. Site work will begin in early spring. We’re still on track to meet our goal of opening the trail, which includes a maiden voyage, in the 2nd. Qtr. Of 2013.  Much remains to be done, but the team has made amazing progress.  It’s difficult to believe just how far we have traveled in a few short months.  

   We will continue to use this website to provide updates and progress reports, so stay tuned.

Happy Holidays from the entire team and thanks once again for your continued support and participation.

December 12, 2012


  The Friends of the Cheat staff, has completed the process of compiling all of our material together and has submitted our final application for state designation. This is quite an accomplishment and took hours our laborious work to complete. That completes yet another major step in the process. Hats off to the crew at FOC, for a job well done. 


In other news:

  Mayor Roberts and the city council of Hendicks voiced their support last evening and voted to allow the trail to utilize city property for an access site and volunteered their help to maintain the site.


  Mayor Judy and the City Council of Parsons voted last night to support our efforts and signed a resolution. The trail will utilize 2 access points within the city limits.

Read the resolution of support from the Tucker County Commission, signed today, Nov. 28,2012
CRWT Tucker County Commission Resolution[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [220.5 KB]


Good News !!!!!!!!!


   Our draft designaton request has been reviewed by the West Virginia Rail Trail Advisory Board(WVRTAB) and was accepted as submitted. We will immediately begin to complete our final request for designation and submit it as soon as possible.  



Everybody believes in something, I believe I'll go canoeing.




   Representatives of the Cheat River Water Trail Committee met with the Preston County Commission to provide them with an overview of the project and ask for their support.  The presentation was very well received and the Commission signed a letter of support.

   Only a few days later, the representatives, accompanied by a member of the Preston County Commission  traveled to Morgantown to meet with the Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau. Once again they were well received and at the end of the meeting they were presented with a contribution of  $5000.00 to assist the committee in funding the project.

   Thanks to both the Preston County Commission and the Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau for their support and funding of this key project. This will allow the committee to begin work on maps, brochures and signs for the river trail.


  In the coming weeks, the committee will be meeting with the City Councils of both Hendricks, Parsons and Rowlesburg. These three cities all are located on or near the trail itself. We wish to provide them with details of the project and ask for there support. It's our desire to enlist them as partners and activively participate in the development of the trail.

   Public meetings are also being planned to allow the water trail committee to interact with citizens in the community.  A key component of the project is to solicit input, answer questions and receive suggestions from the general public.

The tlmes and dates of these meetings will be announced on the webstite and posted in local newspapers as soon as they are confirmed.  We urge all interested parties to attend and hear first hand the plans for the project.