Trail Fork, Tennessee, US
Boomer to USFS Border
||V (for normal flows)
View from the putin bridge
View from the putin bridgePhoto of "" by Keith Kugley taken 09/01/06 @ med-low
This creek is one of the best in Tennessee. It is the Road Prong's easier and
smoother cousin, with matching gradient and a more channelized streambed.
Overall, it is amazing this creek was just now run (Fall 2006). First scouted in 1998 by Daniel
Talley and Eric Ralston, the run was cleaned in Summer 2006 and first run a few months later.
The first mile is all bedrock and requires suprisingly little water to run. The last 3/4 mile is
boulders and requires more water, since there are many pin spots and shallow dechannelized
There are roughly 20 quality bedrock rapids of anywhere from 8 to 25 feet in gradient. There are
three that definitely qualify as class 5, and most of the others are in the 4-4+ range. Still,
the drops are right on top of each other with no breaks and this is a class 5 run for sure. This
is a solid step up from Brush Creek. The third drop is a sketchy 16 foot off vertical falls with
a must make tight line to the right. A portage trail has now been cut on river left, up and
around the falls. A rope is now in place that will assist with the 25 foot descent back down to
creek level. There is another rapid that has a tight turning pinch halfway down and another with
a juicy pocket halfway down. The run has now been cleaned out, and excepting a possible portage
at brown pants, there are no portages, unless something new appears. There is a wheelchair move
to make through a log jam on the right below a 15 foot slide. There is also a sketchy slot cut
out of another logjam on river left that is runnable, but cuation should be exercised. This is a
few hundred yards above Penalty Box. There may be one log jam left in the few hundred yards above
the takeout. We ran out of light on the final clean up day, so watch out down there. The quality
stretch is all clean now.
All drops are runnable and only a few have serious consequences. The big theme is to watch for
newly developed log jams and strainers. Hiking out is not an option, and the gorge walls are
straight up in most places. The putin is on USFS land on a side road that goes to Boomer, TN. The
takeout is currently not worked out, and it is advised that boater presence be minimal and low
profile. Don't trespass and treat the locals with respect.
Page 29 in the Tennessee Gazeteer shows the run and the surrounding region.
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Last Updated: 2010-07-04 15:06:26