Locks and Dams

On the entire length of the Upper Mon Water Trail, you will encounter five locks. All recreational vessels may use the locks without charge, and passage through usually takes about 20 minutes if no other vessels are in the lock. 

Carry an appropriate line (at least 5 to 6 feet for a kayak or canoe, more for heavier boats) to secure your boat to the floating bolyard (A big pin on big steel float) within the lock chamber wall.


Put you rope around the pin and hold it. Do not tie to lock structures because if something gets stuck, (and even floating bolyards can stick occasionally ! ) your boat can be pulled under water or lifted into the air!


You can let the lockmaster know you want to pass through by pulling a signal rope within a ladder on the approach lock wall. This is well marked. 


If you have a VHF Marine radio, make contact on channel 13.You may also use a cell phone to call the numbers listed below. Lockmasters prefer radio contact because  they can hear radio messages while out on the plaza.

Boaters should stay behind designated points on the approach wall to the lock until the lockmaster has opened the lock gates and signaled. Tell the lock personnel if you need help: they are friendly people who will be happy to assist you.

The Corps of Engineers has additional locking advice on


This information below indicates which side of the river the lock is on. Stay on that side as you approach between the black & red buoys. The dam is on the other side and has very dangerous currents, so steer clear of it.

GRAY'S LANDING - Mile 82 - Phone 724-583-8304 - right descending bank

PT. MARION -Mile 90.8 - Phone 724-725-5289 - left descending bank

MORGANTOWN - Mile 102.0 - Phone 304-292-1885 - left descending bank

HILDEBRAND - Mile 108.0 - Phone 304-983-2300 - left descending bank

OPEKISKA - Mile 115.4 - Phone 304-366-4224 - right descending bank

The Corps of Engineers has detailed information on each lock and dam at


The Morgantown and Hildebrand pools (the water backed up by the dam) are unique, secluded pools that offer the best opportunities for canoes and kayaks.

Tailwaters: The area immediately below a dam attracts fish because of the turbulent currents, and is the best spot for bank anglers.