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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for sugguestions on where to start and also the diferances in the whitewater in the Tennessee area as compared to colorado.

I have just broken into the class iv here in colorado, I do not have a ton under my belt and I do not want to roll into the south east with the idea that it goes right down the middle.

can anyone compare these areas and simmilar runs or rapids for me to relate to? i am trying to gauge how it will be, the first thing i learned is that being rain fed there is no real steady flow, it seems to be rising or falling with a day or two and could be to high or dropping out by the time you get to the put in?

any help is appreciated, i found housing.

Also, does anyone know what level it takes to bring in the center line on little river canyon falls? 30'er in GA?

any falls i could run that i dont know about, in the area or a days drive? I am in cookeville area.
 

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You are in the Cumberland Plateau area, my personal favorite. All free flowing, lots of classic remote runs on the Plateau and Waldens Ridge closer to Chattanooga.
Almost all of the stuff in eastern TN is pool drop, some more continuous stuff in the Smokies. Depending on water levels, some of the stuff down here may seem easier than CO runs, some may feel harder.
Plateau classics...class III-IV...
Caney Fork near Crossville.
Daddys Creek near Wartburg. Catoosa Rd is closed a lot to hunting but will open up again in March.
Crooked Fork Creek..Island Creek...Little Clear Creek...Big South Fork...too many options to list.
a great resource, other than BoaterTalk and AW...
WaldensRidgeWhiteWater

The Smokies has some of the best kayaking in the southeast in the Park. Lower Big Creek will feel more like home to you, and the Middle Fork of the LIttle Pigeon (Greenbriar). Little River is another classic over there. Tellico River is the easiest waterfall run in the SE, falls and ledges and only class III+/IV- depending on level.

You also have Little River Canyon in Alabama.

We travel down every other weekend to TN to paddle on the Plateau and the Smokies, mostly III/IV stuff. Feel free to get in touch.

Brandon
 

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If you are in Cookeville, just south is Rock Island where Jackson Kayak is located. Great play, waterfalls, and class 2-5 whitewater all around you on the Cumberland Plateau. Northeast of you is the Big South, Obed, and Emery Rivers with good sections for your abilty. Little River Canyon in Alabama has good intermediate sections. I don't know flows of the top off my head. Chattanooga is also an amazing area with North Chic and many other fun funs all around.

I would say the main difference in the southeast would be the amount of undercuts compared to Colorado. There seem to be a lot more of them there. Also runs are more rain dependent instead of snowmelt driven. Some are dam controlled also. Be careful, but have fun! Check out Rock Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga, and I believe Riversports is still in Knoxville. There are some fun runs in the Smokies as well. Check out the Chattooga on the boarder of South Carolina, and Georgia.
 

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Bob,


Not super close to you but not that far, check out the new play spots on the Chattahoochie in Columbus /Phoenix City.Says they run year round. Cutbait looks kinda' scary at high flows.Pics and beta on AW.

I am picking up a mini van in Florida around mid March....hope to hit Columbus and some easy access /simple logistics III -IV,preferably creeky, runs in Alabama and Arkansas (I found some stuff in Oklahoma that sounds interesting too) along the way....maybe you 'll know some runs by then and be willing to loan me a creek boat I can fit in for a run...I 'll have my Force ducky....can anybody recomend any campspots on or very near easy creekin ' between Columbus and Memphis?
 

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Most of the SE creeks do not go "down the middle." The old rock beds in the SE are typically filled with undercuts and sieves, so be very careful if you don't know what you're doing and you don't have a guide out here. Otherwise you can bet that most of the runs out here are more "technical" than the ones out west, but that you should have plenty of down time to recover after each rapid. Lots of drop/pool on the creeking scene out here.

I think a lot of runs out here remind me of Bailey in terms of consistency, boogie, and tighter lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you, and are you still around the GA area? i'd like to pick your brain about some obscure stuff my friends have mentioned. I am aware of the undercuts and will be heads up while i feel out the area. i am so excited to paddle a new place. i will be there next week.

is there anything right off that you could think of where i could show up and shuttle with folks pretty easy? i have to be at work next mon, so i was thinking thurs fri sat?

thanks gang...
 

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It will depend on rain. Things are primed down here right now, wont take too much. Ideally some weather moving in next thursday/friday will bump up some goods. Keep lurking BoaterTalk and check the weather every 10 minutes...get used to that. If TN is wet next weekend we will be on the Plateau. Join us.

Desertrat75 at gmail.com
 

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As mhelm said, Rock Island will be in your back yard. Great play spot(s) and a perfect 20ish footer, dam release. The Jackson crew is always available for tips. Good guys, take advantage of what they have to offer and you could probably even boat some easy stuff with them.
 

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I am picking up a mini van in Florida around mid March....hope to hit Columbus and some easy access /simple logistics III -IV,preferably creeky, runs in Alabama and Arkansas (I found some stuff in Oklahoma that sounds interesting too) along the way...
I am not trying to discourage you but anything in Arkansas or Oklahoma is going to require a lot more rain than just about any of the runs out east because our drainages are significantly smaller. You are also going to have to be in the area to catch something, i.e., I wouldn't plan on driving to Arkansas or Oklahoma the day after a rain event hoping to get on something. That being said there are some really incredible rivers and creeks in both the Ozarks and Ouachitas. In the Arkansas Ouachitas I would keep an eye on the Cossatot, Baker Creek, the Little Missouri, and/or Crooked Creek (this run being the more difficult of these). In the Ozarks I would keep an eye out for Richland Creek, Hailstone, East Fork of the Little Buffalo (EFLB), and any of the EFLB's tributaries (if you are looking for Class IV and up whitewater). My personal favorite run in the area is Clear Creek in Oklahoma, it is very elusive high quality Class IV-V steep creeking with some real noteworthy drops, this creek would be a gem just about anywhere in the country. Here are some links to help you with connecting with paddlers in this area and beta/river levels:

- Arkansascanoeclub.com • Index page - Arkansas Canoe Club message board

- Ozark Creek Information Summary - River Levels

One last piece of advice is do not rely on the river levels shown on the OWPs website for steep creeks. Generally the gauges are way down the drainage system, so by the time water has reached them it is out of the steep creeks (unless it is just a massive event). Also for Alabama check out:

Alabama Whitewater Paddling Guide

I would recommend South Sauty Creek, Short Creek, or the Chairlift Section of LRC if you are looking for things in the Class III-IV range there that run with decent frequency.

Hope you get some good stuff!

- Matt
 

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Thanks Farpastgone! I know that Arkansas flows are notoriously unreliable but want to drive that route anyway (more interesting than I -70) hopefully I can at least get on something.The good thing is we have the net to check things at the last minute.

The Alabama Whitewater page is excellent.Seems 'Bama should be a lot better odds of catching something.
 

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You will want Little River at 2500+cfs to run the center line at the falls. HOWEVER, I would caution that although it looks fairly simple, that is actually a difficult class V drop with a very hard lip and a very green landing. It would be easy to break your back there if you landed wrong.

I would recommend hitting Rock Island and working some of the lines over Great Falls there before attempting higher/harder drops. The sedimentary rock on the plateau makes for a lot of waterfalls, but it also makes for a lot of hard lips.

In general, the whitewater in the area you are moving to will be less continuous and more dangerous (sieves, undercuts) than what you are used to in Colorado. Whitewater here requires more careful consideration/line planning and less seat-of-your-pants reaction than paddling in the Rockies does.

Your best bet for catching whitewater between Colorado and the SE is the St. Francis in Missouri. It's right at the low end level right now, but a little rain could get it going depending on your timing.

The Little River Canyon, Rock Island, and the St. Francis are all in my North America guidebook, which is linked in my sig at the bottom of this post.

We also have a rive gauge page that has all of those included so you can go to one place and see which ones are running:

River Gypsies' Flows Page

Welcome to the Southeast!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Leland, thank you for the information. I have your guide book, G.G.N.A and N.C.R.C.

I have been reading cover to cover trying to find runs that are classics, so many choices. I will be leaving on monday, and arriving weds.

I will start with great falls, and run as much as I can leading up to LRC. The picture of Adam in your book inspired me, and from what I found online, it looked straight forward enough. Can it be melted or penciled in? is there a chance of coming up behind the falls? I cant wait to practice my waterfalling!
 

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Yes, LRC center line can be penciled - but it's VERY difficult to set that angle and not boof it.

Yes, I have a friend who wound up behind the falls once. However, the main risk is landing flat in green water and injuring yourself that way.

Great Falls at Rock Island is a great place to practice. Lots of opportunities in the 15-22 foot range there so that you can learn techniques. I need to go back and practice more this spring as well...when I ran LRC falls a few weeks ago, I was not quite vertical on landing (very close, though), and it was a very hard hit. I definitely need more practice running drops with hard lips.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will paddle with you whenever it works for you, who better to learn from, the guy that wrote the book. I sent you my information.
 
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