The Old Stone Fort is located on a peninsula created by the confluence of the Duck River and the Little Duck River (the section of the Duck River upstream from its confluence with the Little Duck is sometimes called "Barren Fork"). The Duck River system spills over a limestone-rich shelf of the western Cumberland Plateau known as the Highland Rim. As the Duck and Little Duck approach their convergence, they rapidly drop in elevation, and have cut relatively deep gorges around the peninsula upon which the Park is located.
The first people to have run this in kayaks are Justin Owen and Steven Wright. I originally found out about this run because of a post on a blog at Jackson Kayak by Justin found here: http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2011/01/24/justin-owens-duck-river-drops/ .
Everything can be scouted from the trail on river left, there is no reason to not scout these drops before you boat. Quite a few of these drops land on rock shelf and it is recomended that you come at low water to scout the rock so you know where to run.These rapids come and go at different water levels, but Big Falls has been run down to 300cfs and still goes. It is a bit of a hit at this level. At higher levels there become several low head dams and should be avoided unless you are feeling luckly. It is completely non commiting and is a very good park and huck that does not take a bunch of time.
This is a old Dam that can be run on the far river right at higher levels. The best way to scout this one is to putin above the dam and paddle accross the lake to the shore on the other side.
Ape Line ~20 stair step drop that pushes you into an slightly undercut wall by a leftward side current. Point boat about 10 oclock and paddle hard to keep from being swept into under cut at level above 900 cfs. Below that, just hold on and roll up no worries. Scout this one when you scout the Dam Rapid.
Middle Line : This is a series of drops that channel in the middle. Pretty straight forward. scout from river right on trail.
River Left Line : It looks like a great boof, but sadly lands on rock shelf that extend 3 feet out from the base. It may go at huge level but I have not seen it be done.
Photo taken at 800 cfs
Run in different places on river left depending on flow.
A friend and I were here on April 28, 2013 with plans to run the falls, and the river was at approximately 2200 CFS. At this level the holes for all of the drops are really chunky and look very retentive. Th undercut on the 'Ape Line' also appeared nasty as well. Lines were present, but you should definitely exercise extreme caution if you plan to make an attempt at that level.
Tell us about this gauge by leaving a comment.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The directions are really simple.
If you coming from Nashville: get off of I-24 at exit 105 and head right off the interstate. Drive a couple of miles untill you cross over a bridge and turn right on Stone Fort Drive. Follow the road down untill you see the parking lot and the visitor center
If you are coming from Chattanooga: Get off of I-24 at exit 110. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp to cross over the interstate. Drive about a mile and turn right onto 41. Drive less than half a mile and turn left on service area road. Follow the road down untill you see the parking lot and the visitor center. If service area road is closed drive down just a bit and turn onto Stone Fort Drive.
The shuttle is straight forward. Just park your vehicle in the parking lot and hike back up when you are finished.
Boof above Big Falls
Falls on second rapid
Undercut wall after Ape Line
Ape Line, Paddler Jason Pomeroy
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!