Tygart Valley River

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The Tygart Valley River sweeps through a rapid. Photo courtesy Rick Burgess.

Also known as the Tygart River, the Tygart Valley River rises in Randolph County in the Allegheny Mountains and drains an area of about 1,420 square miles, including all or parts of Taylor County, northern Upshur County, southern Barbour County, western Marion County, and eastern Randolph County, where its namesake valley is most conspicuous. The river joins with the at Fairmont, West Virginia, to form the . The is its largest tributary.

Tygart River History

European first settled in the Tygart Valley in 1753 when David Tygart, for whom the river is named for, and Robert Files located separately with their families in the vicinity of present-day Beverly, West Virginia. A party of Indians raided the Files home and killed seven members of the family. One son escaped and warned the Tygarts, allowing the entire family to escape. No other European settlements are known to have been attempted in the valley until 1772. Several minor battles erupted in the valley during the Civil War, including the Battle of Philippi, the Battle of Laurel Hill, and the Battle of Cheat Mountain.

Tygart River Communities

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

Parks & Recreation

The Tygart Valley River is impounded at Tygart Lake at Tygart Lake State Park, near Grafton, West Virginia. A falls on the river approximately nine miles upstream of its mouth is the centerpiece of Valley Falls State Park. The upper river above Elkins, WV, flanks the Monongahela National Forest. The Valley Bend Wildlife Management Area and Huttonsville Wildlife Management Area provide access for hunters and anglers on the upper river. The Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area and  provide access for hunters and anglers on and near the lower river.

Name Origin

The Tygart Valley River is so named for its source in the Tygart Valley, a pocket of level farmland  in the western Allegheny Mountains that had been settled by the Tygart family.

Variant Names

Muddy River, Tagret Valley River, Tigar Valley Fork, Tigar Valley River, Tigarts Valley River, Tigers Valley River, Tigert Valley River, Tigris Valley River, Tygars Valley, Tygars Valley River, Tygart River, Tygart's River, Tygart's Valley River, Tygarts Valley River, Tygarts-Valley River, Tyger Valley Fork, Tyger Valley River, Tygers Valley, Tygers Valley River, Tygerts River, Tygerts Valley River, Tygharts Valley River, Valley River

Regional Information

Information on lodging, dining, and recreation on and near the lower Tygart Valley River, downstream of Elkins, WV, may be found in our guide to travel in the Monongahela Valley Region. Information for the upper river, including and upstream of Elkins, may be found in out guide to the Allegheny Highlands Region.