Lost River (Cacapon River tributary)

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Lost River
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Hardy County
 - location Mathias
 - coordinates 38°48′56″N 78°52′41″W / 38.81556°N 78.87806°W / 38.81556; -78.87806 [1]
Mouth Cacapon River
 - location McCauley
 - coordinates 39°03′49″N 78°39′16″W / 39.06361°N 78.65444°W / 39.06361; -78.65444Coordinates: 39°03′49″N 78°39′16″W / 39.06361°N 78.65444°W / 39.06361; -78.65444 [1]
Length 31.1 mi (50 km) [2]
Discharge for McCauley
 - average 186 cu ft/s (5 m3/s)
(Oct. 1971 to Jan. 1980)[3]
Location of the mouth of the Lost River in West Virginia

The Lost River is a 31.1-mile-long (50.1 km)[2] river in the Appalachian Mountains of Hardy County in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle region. The Lost River is geologically the same river as the Cacapon River: It flows into an underground channel northeast of McCauley along West Virginia Route 259 at "the Sinks" and reappears near Wardensville as the Cacapon. The source of the Lost River lies south of Mathias near the West Virginia/Virginia border. Along with the Cacapon and North rivers, the Lost River serves as one of the three main segments of the Cacapon River and its watershed.

The river is listed as impaired due to pathogens by the state of West Virginia; this is likely due to the livestock and poultry raising activities throughout the valley.

The river was named for the fact it is a losing stream.[4]


Tributary streams are listed from south (source) to north ("the Sinks").

  • Culler Run
  • Snyder Run
  • Upper Cove Run
  • Howards Lick Run
  • Whitehead Run
  • Lower Cove Run
    • Adams Run
  • Mill Gap Run
  • Kimsey Run
    • Camp Branch
    • Gap Run
  • Fravel Run
  • Baker Run
    • Long Lick Run
    • Camp Branch
  • Three Springs Run

Cities and towns along the Lost River[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lost River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed August 15, 2011
  3. ^ "01610200 Lost River at McCauley near Baker, WV, Water Data Report 2011" (PDF). National Water Information System. United States Geological Survey. 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ Kenny, Hamill (1945). West Virginia Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains. Piedmont, WV: The Place Name Press. p. 387.