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101 miles of gentle water trail providing memorable and relaxing experiences for kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and fishing. The Elk River Water Trail begins at the tailwaters of the Sutton Dam in the trail town of Sutton and empties into the Kanawha River in the capital city of Charleston.

use care
on the elk

  • CAUTION: River conditions change daily and even hourly. All assessments of conditions or suitability assume normal summertime flow, normal physical abilities, and some level of experience. You are responsible for knowing your physical condition, being prepared, and making safe decisions.

  • Elk River is shallow in many places and may not be suitable for boats with outboard motors.

  • All river accesses may be muddy. Exercise caution to avoid slipping. 

  • Be courteous when parking. After unloading/loading, park in an area that will permit others easy access to load/unload and then park. 

  • PLEASE do not litter. CARRY IN/CARRY OUT.

  • Respect private property so that our access rights are not revoked.

  • Do not trespass in areas outside the parking/access areas.

  • Estimates of parking spaces, distances and ease of access are all opinions and not based upon any scientific methodology.

  • North of Clendenin, DO NOT count on cell service being available except near towns.

  • All directions and distances are approximate (although close) and may depend on which side of the interstate you exit. 

  • "Private property" means nonpublic  landowners permitting the public to use their land to access the river free of charge.

  • Details regarding Area Amenities may be found on the Trail Town tab for the Nearest Town.



Sutton Dam

Gassaway Bridge

Duck DNR Access


Elkhurst DNR Access 1

King Shoals DNR Access

Clendenin Walnut Street

Mink Shoals DNR Access

Old Woman's Run

Sugar Creek Baptist Church

Ivydale DNR Access

Clay County Courthouse

Elkhurst DNR Access 2

Queen Shoals DNR Access

Clendenin South DNR Access

Coonskin Park River Access

Elk River Camp & RV

Frametown Bridge

Mary L. Chilton (Spread) Park

Tiskelwah Park

Elkhurst DNR Access 3

Queen Shoals Elk River Trail Foundation

Blue Creek DNR Access

Mon Power

Tate Creek DNR Access

Clay Business Dev. Authority

Hartland DNR Access

Elkhurst DNR Access 4

Clendenin North DNR Access

Bream / Big Chimney


Elk River
Trail Map
Elk River
Trail Mileage
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