Information on White R., West Fork


White R., West Fork

	Rating: I-II (III)
	TDCR: 2231
	Location: Several put-ins and take-outs are possible.  The river
		follows Hwy. 71 between Winslow and West Fork.  The uppermost 
		put-in is at the ball park in Winslow.  Look for a gas station
		with a gravel parking lot beside it.  Park in the lot where
		the wooden footbridge crosses the small creek.  The next
		public access point is the rest area on Hwy. 71 just north of
		Brentwood.  The next commonly used access is at a green steel
		bridge, right beside a roadside cemetery, a few miles south of 
		West Fork.  The usual lower take-out is at the park just 
		upstream of the Hwy. 170 bridge in West Fork.  Park in the lot 
		on river left just upstream of the dam.		
	Topo Quad(s): Winslow, Brentwood, West Fork
	Gradient: 15 fpm
	Length: 12 mi.
	Season: FALL, SPRING
	Gauge: The White R. at Fayetteville should be 5 feet or higher
		for a run from the green bridge to West Fork.  
		To gauge the river above that point, just inspect the river 
		from the road.  At the wooden bridge in the ballpark at
		Winslow, the rocks under the bridge should be just about
		covered for a good run from that point.
	Hazards: Occasional strainers, undercut at the second ledge
	Description: The West Fork of the White is one of the most
		accessible runs in the state, with a major highway following
		almost the entire run.  It comes up farily often, not 
		needing much rain to be runnable in its lower stretches.
		It offers two class III rapids when it's high and a few nice
		playspots.  But the river is rarely run compared to other
		rivers in the area.  It's hard to guess why this is so,
		but it sure makes for a pleasant trip down the river.
		If the water is high, you can put in as high up as Winslow,
		where the stream has continuous class II rapids and a very
		narrow, twisting course.  A straightforward class III ledge
		is encountered just after putting in, and another class 
		III (IV on the left side?) ledge that pushes into an 
		undercut left bank is encountered a few miles down
		under a red metal footbridge.  Watch out for strainers 
		in this stretch - it's easy to get pushed into downed 
		trees.  The rest stop, about 5 miles from Winslow,
		is a better put-in if the level looks too low for Winslow.
		In the next four miles, the creek picks up a lot of volume
		until it becomes a river.  Pools are longer, and rapids
		in this stretch are generally in the class I and easy
		II range with some tight corners and a few trees to dodge.
		Just before the green bridge, additional water from Winn Cr.
		pumps up the flow even more.  This is a good put-in if the
		water is low.  Between the green bridge and West Fork there 
		are some fairly long pools, but a few ledgy class II drops 
		with some nice surfing opportunites make the trip worthwhile.
		The bluffs on the right just above the dam offer some 
		beautiful scenery as well.  Whatever you do, don't paddle over 
		the low head dam at West Fork!  The hydraulic can kill, even
		at moderate water levels.  Take out upstream of the dam, or
		walk around if you want to continue downstream.  The West Fork
		is suitable for beginning paddlers from the rest stop down,
		and for paddlers who have a good deal of class II-III
		experience from Winslow to the rest stop when the water is
		high.

See the Photo Gallery for photos.

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