Holly River

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Coordinates: 38°39′12″N 80°35′28″W / 38.6534349°N 80.5912026°W / 38.6534349; -80.5912026
Holly River
Right Fork Holly River.jpg
Right Fork Holly River in the Elk River Wildlife Management Area in 2007
Country United States
State West Virginia
Counties Webster, Braxton
Source Left Fork Holly River
 - location northeastern Webster County
 - elevation 2,920 ft (890 m) [1]
 - length 24.1 mi (39 km)
 - coordinates 38°37′44″N 80°15′34″W / 38.6289961°N 80.2595219°W / 38.6289961; -80.2595219 [2]
Secondary source Right Fork Holly River
 - location north-central Webster County
 - elevation 2,338 ft (713 m) [1]
 - length 23.9 mi (38 km)
 - coordinates 38°32′59″N 80°20′27″W / 38.5498299°N 80.3409131°W / 38.5498299; -80.3409131 [3]
Source confluence
 - location eastern Braxton County
 - elevation 935 ft (285 m) [1]
 - coordinates 38°40′15″N 80°32′36″W / 38.6708333°N 80.5433333°W / 38.6708333; -80.5433333 [4]
Mouth Sutton Lake on the Elk River
 - location eastern Braxton County
 - elevation 915 ft (279 m) [4]
 - coordinates 38°39′12″N 80°35′28″W / 38.6534349°N 80.5912026°W / 38.6534349; -80.5912026 [4]
Length 3.9 mi (6 km)
Basin 148 sq mi (383 km2)
Location of the mouth of the Holly River in Braxton County, West Virginia

The Holly River is a tributary of the Elk River in central West Virginia in the United States. Via the Elk, Kanawha, and Ohio Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 148 square miles (380 km2)[5] in a rural region of the Allegheny Mountains. It is approximately 3.9 miles (6.3 km) long, or 28 miles (45 km) including its Left Fork.[6]

The Holly River is formed by the confluence of its Left Fork and its Right Fork:

  • The Left Fork Holly River,[2] 24.1 miles (38.8 km) long,[6] rises in northeastern Webster County, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Pickens, and flows generally westward through the southern part of Holly River State Park and the community of Hacker Valley into eastern Braxton County.[7]
  • The Right Fork Holly River,[3] 23.9 miles (38.5 km) long,[6] rises in north-central Webster County, approximately 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Webster Springs, and flows generally northwestward through the communities of Diana and Big Run into eastern Braxton County.[7]

From the confluence of its left and right forks, the Holly River flows westward 3.9 miles (6.3 km)[6] as an arm of Sutton Lake, formed by a dam on the Elk River, to its mouth approximately 9 miles (14 km) east of Sutton. The Holly River’s course and the lower reaches of the left and right forks are part of the Elk River Wildlife Management Area.[7]

According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, approximately 97% of the Holly River watershed is forested, mostly deciduous. Approximately 2% is used for pasture and agriculture.[5]

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