|Little Kanawha River|
The Little Kanawha River just upstream of its mouth in Parkersburg
|• location||Upshur County, West Virginia|
|Ohio River, Parkersburg, West Virginia|
|Length||169 mi (272 km)|
|Basin size||2,320 sq mi (6,000 km2)|
The Little Kanawha River is a tributary of the Ohio River, 169 mi (269 km) long, in western West Virginia in the United States. Via the Ohio, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 2,320 mi² (6,009 km²) on the unglaciated portion of the Allegheny Plateau. It served as an important commercial water route in the early history of West Virginia, particularly in the logging and petroleum industries.
The Little Kanawha rises in southern Upshur County, approximately 20 mi (32 km) south of Buckhannon. It follows a meandering course generally west-northwestwardly, through Lewis, Braxton, Gilmer, Calhoun, Wirt and Wood Counties, past the communities of Burnsville, Stouts Mills, Sand Fork, Glenville, Grantsville, Bigbend, Creston, Burning Springs, Palestine, Elizabeth, and Newark, to its mouth at the Ohio River in Parkersburg.
Along its course the Little Kanawha River collects the Right Fork Little Kanawha River on the boundary of Lewis and Braxton counties; Saltlick Creek and Oil Creek in Braxton County; Sand Fork, Cedar Creek and Leading Creek in Gilmer County; Steer Creek in Calhoun County; the West Fork Little Kanawha River, Spring Creek, Reedy Creek, and the Hughes River (its largest tributary) in Wirt County; and Walker Creek, Tygart Creek, Slate Creek and Worthington Creek in Wood County.
Additionally, a minor tributary near Grantsville is known as the Bull River; despite being named a "river," it is no larger than dozens of other small streams that flow into the Little Kanawha.