Just 8 miles from Elkhorn Creek Riders Retreat, the Russell Fork River is a hidden gem boasting some of the most technical and challenging whitewater in the country. Renowned for its adrenaline-pumping rapids, this isn’t your leisurely float destination, but a waterway where seasoned whitewater paddlers go to test their mettle.

Distinguished into three unique sections, each offering its own level of thrill. The Upper section, graded III – IV depending on the water flow, begins at John W. Flannagan Spillway and ends at Garden Hole access. Following this is the Middle section or the “gorge,” considered the heart of the canyon, stretching from the Garden Hole to the Ratliff Hole. With an intensity rating of IV-V, this stretch is reserved for the most experienced of paddlers. Lastly, the Lower section, with a Class III rating, leads you from Ratliff Hole to Elkhorn City.

Without any commercial rafting or paddling companies offering guided trips, navigating the Russell Fork River is a self-led endeavor. This is where Levisa Fork Adventures steps in, providing family-friendly kayak rentals for those eager to experience the river’s challenge.

In October, Russell Fork Whitewater becomes a hub of activity, with thrill-seekers flocking to Elkhorn City to take on the formidable whitewater rapids amidst a backdrop of stunning fall colors. Expect everything from Class II to IV rapids on the upper and lower sections, and even mighty Class III to V in some areas. With 16 miles of free-flowing whitewater between Haysi, VA, and Elkhorn City, KY, the Russell Fork River promises an outdoor adventure like no other.

Remember, safety is key – the canyon’s whitewater is intense and meant for experts. To ensure a fun and safe adventure, plan your visit with all the necessary gear and detailed information about the river, which can be found on www.russellfork.info. If you’re unsure about navigating your way, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (606) 432-5063.

Finally, to outfit your journey, look no further than Kentucky Whitewater, providing everything needed for an unforgettable expedition through the upper and lower sections of Russell Fork River.

Immerse yourself in the heart-pounding thrill that Russell Fork Whitewater offers, an experience that will leave you with a lifetime of unforgettable memories.