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The Coal River is a tributary of the Kanawha River in southern West Virginia. It is formed near the community of Alum creek by the confluence of the Big and Little Coal Rivers, and flows generally northward through western Kanawha County, past the community of Upper Falls and into the Kanawha River at St. Albans. The Big Coal River rises in Raleigh County as two streams, the Clear Fork and the Marsh Fork, which join near Whitesville. The river then flows generally northwest through Boone County, past the towns of Sylvester and Racine. It is the second largest river system flowing entirely within the states borders.