Buckhannon River

The Buckhannon River courses 45.4 miles through north-central West Virginia and drains 309 square miles west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Buckhannon is the namesake of the city of Buckhannon, WV. The river near and below the city is a popular canoeing stream.

The Buckhannon rises at the community of Alexander, WV, in southern Upshur County at the confluence of its right and left forks, both of which rise is southwestern Randolph County. The Buckhannon joins the Tygart Valley River just at Tygart Junction, WV, approximately four miles southwest of Philippi, West Virginia. The historic Carrollton Covered Bridge crosses the Buckhannon above its mouth at Carrollton, WV.

History of the Buckhannon River

Local lore holds that the Buckhannon was named for Buckongahelas, a Lenape ally of the British during the Revolutionary War. Some accounts, however, indicate the river was named for John Buchannon, a missionary who explored the region in the 1780s. From about 1764 until 1767, brothers John and Samuel Pringle lived in the hollow sycamore on the Buckhannon River near present-day Buckhannon.

Buckhannon River Communities

From source to mouth, the following select cities, towns, and villages are located on or near the Buckhannon River.

  • Star, WV (Left Fork)
  • Palace Valley, WV (Left Fork)
  • Pickens WV (Right Fork)
  • Selbyville, WV (Right Fork)
  • Helvetia, WV
  • Alexander, WV
  • Beans Mill, WV
  • Ten Mile, WV
  • Ours Mill, WV
  • Sago, WV
  • Tennerton, WV
  • Buckhannon, WV
  • Fishing Camp, WV
  • Carrollton, WV
  • Tygart Junction, WV

Variant Names

Buckhannon River, Buchanan River, Buchanon River, Buckanan River, Buckhanan River, Buckhannans Fork, and Buckhanon River

Regional Information

Information on lodging, dining, and recreation on and near the Buckhannon River may be found in our guide to travel in the Monongahela Valley Region, in northeastern West Virginia, through which the lower river descends. Information for the upper river and its forks may found in the Allegheny Highlands Region in eastern West Virginia.

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