Gauley Season brings thousands of thrill-seekers to Nicholas County


Loud horns, cheers, and lots of water. That can only mean one thing when you’re in when your on the grounds of Summersville Dam– Its opening day for Gauley season.

“On this day on this planet earth there is not better commercial white water than whats happening right here today it does not exist,” Dave Arnold said. Arnold is the Vice President for Adventures On The Gorge in Fayette County.

Friday marks the official beginning of Gauley Season. It’s  a time where thousands of people from all across the country travel to Nicholas County and experience some of the best rapids in the world.

 “This is something that people put on their bucket list but its also something that people put on their calendar every year to come back and experience,” Amy Goodwin said. Goowin serves as the commissioner for Wild Wonderful West Virginia. 

Jarrett Barnhouse is one of those annual visitors. He and his friends are from Marietta Ohio.

“I just want to get high on life man hit these rapids hard and you know have a good time,” he said. 

But Gauley season is not just abut bringing awesome fun and entertainment. According to officials its also brings an economic boom. 

‘But they are coming to eat and shop go see show and go on a mountain bike ride so it is a huge financial impact a positive  impact in west virginia,” Goodwin said. 

The water released from the dam also provides a valuable resource for electricity. 

“This is one of the few dams in the country that has guaranteed downstream recreation, they are generating power as we speak so you know renewable resources clean power you and its just a whole lot of fun,” Bobby Bower said. Bower is the executive director for the West Virginia Professional Outfitters. 

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