The East River is tributary of the New River that is entirely contained in Mercer County, in southern West Virginia (WV), and in Giles County, Virginia. The river descends moderately, falling 1,040 feet along its 23-mile course between Bluefield, WV, and Glen Lyn, Virginia. The East rises in the present-day railyards at Bluefield.
Principal communities along the East River from its source to its mouth include Bluefield, Ingleside, Oakvale, Kellysville, and Glen Lynn.
History of the East River
The East River Valley is an important transportation passageway that historically provided pioneers an unimpeded route between the valley of the New River and the Abbs Valley. The routes of Virginian and Norfolk & Western railroads followed the East River, as does their successor, the Norfolk Southern.
The East River was likely named by settlers beyond it headwaters, who would have recognized the river as providing a passage eastward toward the valley of the New River.
Information on lodging, dining, and recreation on and near the East River may be found in our guide to travel in the Bluestone Region, in southern West Virginia.