Promoting and providing access to exceptional opportunities for recreation is a core goal of Friends of the Cheat.


Big Sandy Creek, the largest tributary in the lower Cheat Watershed, is a playground for boaters seeking thrills like Wonder Falls.

The Cheat River watershed is a playground for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.  The Cheat River itself is first known for its whitewater, and its forks and tributaries provide a diverse selection of paddling options from steep creeks to flatwater floats.  Hiking, biking, and climbing opportunities abound.  Fishing and hunting is a favorite past time for locals and visitors alike, and many have their special foraging and wildlife watching spots.

FOC believes that participating in outdoor recreation fosters a unique appreciation for nature, which results in increased environmental stewardship.  Encouraging these activities also supports improved health and wellness, especially through providing free, safe, and easy access for local residents.  Recreational tourism is means for renewed economic opportunity as the area diversifies from its extraction-dependent economy.

Friends of the Cheat works to support and enhance these opportunities in various ways including the work of our all-volunteer Preston Rail-Trail Committee and the maintenance of our four public river accesses.  FOC promotes and collaborates on recreational projects and events.  FOC’s restoration efforts continue to make the Cheat Watershed an increasingly desirable destination for recreation.  A large percentage of the organization’s donations come from the boating community, recreational users of the river who recognize the value of the resource and want to protect it.

Explore many options for recreation, from peaceful fly-fishing on restored streams and sojourns on rail and water trails, to raging whitewater in the Cheat Canyon. 

Check our our upcoming events, find out river access points, and learn about our trail projects including the new Cheat River Water Trail initiative as we work to help everyone to have access to the beautiful and unique Cheat River!