Help FOC raise $25K for Whitewater Access improvements towards the Cheat Canyon access roads *AND* the future Cheat Narrows “Caves Put-In”.
Our goal is $12,500 for the Canyon, and $12,500 for the Narrows. Canyon work will be prioritized.
Donate to the 2023 whitewater access campaign here
$100 Renews your FOC Membership
$150 Perks above plus a custom engraved Hydro Flask bottle
$300 Perks above plus an FOC hat and Cheat Fest VIP status
FOC is again raising funds to maintain access roads to the Cheat Canyon and Big Sandy take-out in Jenkinsburg. Improvements are similar to last year’s:
- clearing blocked culverts
- adding/smoothing gravel
- special attention to the hairpin before the parking lot
FOC has already started work on this. We’ve filed the necessary paperwork with the Highway Department (they’ve agreed to donate 100 tons of stone) and made arrangements with our partners at our Cheat River Trailhead partners, Blue Gold Development, to do the work. The only thing we need now is YOUR HELP.
Please help if you can. Every donation makes a difference.
Earlier in 2023, FOC was awarded $15K from Hydro Flask and their Parks-for-All Grant Program to begin improvement designs for the heavily used Cheat River Narrows “Caves Put-In” along Route 72. Additional funding will be necesary to make this project a reality. To help with fundraising, Hydro Flask has also donated over 200 stainless steel bottles.
History of FOC Whitewater Access Campaign
For the past 17 years, Friends of the Cheat has developed and maintained access to the Cheat Canyon and Big Sandy Rivers in Albright, Rockville, and Jenkinsburg through our Whitewater Access program.
In 2006, Friends of the Cheat partnered with American Whitewater to lease the Jenkinsburg Access for 25 Years. We then raised $25,000 and arranged for a $15,000 match from the West Virginia DEP. We are now working closely with the West Virginia Land Trust, which took ownership of the land last Fall. In 2007, FOC partnered with Chesapeake Energy, who donated the land that was to become the Rockville Access on the Big Sandy. After a land swap with Allegheny Wood Products, the parking lot was improved.
In 2009, FOC began a decade-long project to stabilize and maintain the Rockville and Jenkinsburg Shuttle Roads. With state highway budgets cut to the bone, roads like this are simply ignored. The Whitewater Access Campaign is a long-term project We’ve raised over $160,000 to improve parking and maintain the roads used by river runners and hikers thanks to the generosity of hundreds of Cheat River Lovers just like you!
The Rockville Bridge remains closed after being shut down by DOH in August of 2020. Paddlers can use the road on the Valley Point side to reach the river left access point – but fair warning – the road is in bad shape and only high clearance vehicles clearing should attempt it. The put-in there is on private property, so please respect the landowners and don’t park in front of the house at the bottom left. The river right access from the Pisgah side (ideal for the Upper Big Sandy) is in better condition, and goes straight to the FOC access point. The last 50 yards are in poor shape! This year’s fundraising will allow us fix this up.
In 2020, the West Virginia Land Trust (WVLT) acquired the Jenkinsburg Recreation Area, securing and protecting it for future river and trail public access. FOC will continue to manage the area in partnership with WVLT – and assist in future improvements.