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Miller’s Folly Rapid, Lower New River Gorge



RAPID NAME: Miller's Folly


RIVER SECTION: Lower New River Gorge - Cunard To Fayette Station

This Class IV rapid is the longest on the New River and has some great features at multiple water levels. 

*There is a great side hike up Butchers Branch, a tributary creek that flows in on the river left side just before Miller’s Folly. Scramble up and over boulders through the creek and under the train tracks to find some spectacular waterfalls!


32,000-14,000 cfs(12-7’), 14,000-7,500 cfs(7-4’) – At these higher flows, the line through Miller’s Folly is fairly wide open. The main dangers are the undercut boulders on the river right side at the top of the rapid. The standard entrance is just right of center, lining up for the Coalgate and Dentine Waves. This entrance is used at all water levels. At high flows(above 11,500 cfs/6’), there are alternate entrances to the left. One drops steeply into the Banzai Wave and even farther left there is a line running the wave train known as the Three Sisters. After choosing your entrance, the center and right side of the remainder of the rapid is full of big, fun, random waves. The bottom left has a great hit known as the Brain Wave, and just below that is the Bloody Nose, which becomes more of a factor at lower water levels. The Brain Wave also offers some great surf for kayaks.

7,500-4,400 cfs(4-2’) – At these mid-level flows, the standard entrance is on the right. The current deceptively pulls hard to the river right, and the large undercut boulders at the top right should definitely be avoided. Once past the Colgate and Dentine waves, the two main lines are right of center and far left. The right of the centerline picks its way through waves and some small pour-overs. The left line runs the Brain Wave and Bloody Nose. The Bloody Nose becomes a very powerful hydraulic at these levels. When running the Brain Wave, paddlers want to be sure to continue moving back right in order to run the right side of Bloody Nose. The left side of Bloody Nose, which is the strongest part of the hydraulic, should be avoided. The Brain Wave offers some great surf for kayaks, while Bloody Nose is a very popular surf for rafts.

4,400-2,400 cfs(2-0’) – At these low flows, the standard entrance on the right remains and the line right of the center remains mostly the same. Some rocks and pour-overs begin to come out, making things slightly more technical. The left line through Brain Wave and Bloody Nose is still viable but also becomes slightly more technical.