From the put-in bridge to Toecane is approximately one half mile and fairly flat. At Toecane, Cane creek enters from the right adding more flow and then the river narrows somewhat and the gradient picks up and the rapids start. Most are in the class 2-2+ range. At higher levels some are 3-. The action is fairly continuous but there are plenty of pools. There are a couple good surfing spots.
Soon you will come to the relatively new rte 197 bridge. The best takeout is about 100 yards below the bridge on river left. Those who are youthful and adept at climbing over boulders & up large rip-rap can also take just above / at the bridge on river right or just at / below the bridge on river left. There is a space to load / unload boats at the "good' takeout but you are not allowed to park there as space is quite limited. A sign directs you to nearby approved parking. There is also a large roadside pulloff between 197 and the river near the bridge.
There are two gauges that can be used to judge the flow in the Toe Gorge. I have listed the USGS gauge on the Nolichucky in Embreeville. It is about a days (flow) travel downstream. When the river is falling moderately or quickly the Toe Gorge may be too low before the gauge drops. The alternate gauge is the USGS - South Toe in Celo; use 140 cfs as a minimum and around 800 as a maximum. This second gauge is upstream of the gorge but doesn't include flows from the North Toe or several creeks.
Takeout is on river left about 100 yards downstream from the rte 197 bridge, a couple miles south of Red Hill, NC. From the takeout, follow 197 across the river and take a right turn on rte 226. Follow 226 until just after an old mill, you will see Toecane Rd. Take a right on Toecane RD and follow it through the community of Toecane and on to a bridge which crosses the river. The best put-in appears to be on river right, just above the bridge.
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