The Williams River begins on Black Mountain, Pocahontas County, and flows west 33 miles to its confluence with the Gauley River near Cowen, Webster County.
The Williams is an intermediate-sized stream with an average width of 40 feet. Excellent pools and instream cover exist. Stream alkalinity is moderately good and aquatic insects are diverse and abundant. Because the watershed is moderately stable, the stream is slow to become turbid.
At a Glance
Access to the lower end of the river near Cowen is by Secondary Route 46 and Forest Service Route 86. These roads closely follow the Williams River. Route 29 is a narrow gravel road. Care should be taken during bad weather. The Highland Scenic Highway, Route 150, provides access to the middle section. The Highland Scenic Highway receives no snow removal and can be very dangerous during winter months. The upper end can be reached from Secondary Route 17 off of Route 219.
The Williams River is located on the Cowen, Webster Springs; Webster Springs SW & SE, and the Woodrow U.S.G.S. Quadrangle maps. These maps are offered for sale and may be obtained from the Forest Supervisor's Office.