As stated before this is a beautiful run with virtualy no development. At high levels it is a blast with huge wave trains and a great surfing wave (aka Craig's Bunny hole) mid ways down. Below this is the island that is washed through at 7 feet USGS. There is a smaller ledge below the bunny hole. If you flush off the hole, hit the eddy fast or you have to get out of your boat and climb over a rock to get back up. Definitely worth the trip if the level is good! I paddled this one other time at 3.4 USGS on a sunny day. Lots of flat water paddling with a few rapids. The sun is low in Novemeber when I did this and I found myself going through several of the rapids not being able to see anything, so bring some sunglasses!
At 8' plus, the aforementioned hold becomes a diagonal wave, and the flat rock starts getting washed over. <br />
At the bottom of this rapid, which I shall officially name "Fluffy" for Craig McKinnon's description of the hole at 7' as a "Fluffy Bunny Hole", is an island which can be a hazard at high water. You just have to be aware of the basically river wide strainer. There are lots of slots through it, but you could be in trouble if you miss the slots. <br />
Also at 8'+, there are plenty of giant waves and deep holes scattered about, and bank eddys are scarce, making this a class IV run (imho). <br />
This run begins to show great play potential above 5' on the gauge. The wave/hole Paul mentions is OK from 5-7' and just gets better the higher the water goes. There is perfect eddy service on river left of the hole, with a large flat rock to spectate/video/spot logs from. If you want to avoid some of the logs, go when the river level is past peak and dropping. Otherwise, have someone standing on the bank spotting and yelling "LOG!" like we did.
Wave 2/3rd's way along the river near island on river left becomes an incredibly good wave/hole at 7 feet on this gauge. Very friendly and retentive enough to spin. At this level you will need to watch out for logs coming downstream.
There is a visual gauge - a graduated stick in the water - about 2 1/2 miles downstream from the put in on river right.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Log broached at Little Ocoee Rapid
Zack Miller Loop at Bunny Hole
Blunt Bunny Hole
Loop at Bunny Hole
Surfing the big wave
The Big Wave
Put In Bridge
You should have seen it yesterday
Focused on the Flat
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.
The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)
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!