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Difficulty I-II
Length 72.25 Miles
Flow Range 200 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 15 minutes ago 770 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/21/2009 3:01 pm

River Description

Many alternate access points exist for shorter runs.

Rapid Descriptions


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Shad Wheatley
2 months ago

Kids age 10 to 17 and I kayaked from New River State Park, Wagoner Rd. Access, 1215 Wagoner Access Rd Jefferson, NC 28640 United States to Kings Creek Public Boat Landing (about 20 miles on the South Fork of the New River) . Flow was 600 cfs with water moving at about 2 mph. It took us just under 6 hours at a mild to moderate paddle rate with no significant breaks. Beautiful scenery, minimal rapids, tons of tubers and fishers. Minimal wildlife because of all the people, but it was July 4th weekend. Pulling out at the 221 bridge would have cut the trip in half and made it quite a bit more enjoyable.

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Robert Eckhardt
4 years ago

Paddled the South Fork of the New last weekend from where Windy Hill Rd first intersects the river about 2 miles above the bridge crossing to the Hwy 163 bridge. River distance about 14 miles. The shuttle was on Idlewild Rd following Bob Benner's book. We paddled open canoes at 359 cfs. The trip took 6 and a half hours. About two thirds of the trip is pastoral thru developed farmland with several miles of undeveloped woodland in the middle. There was no whitewater, 1-2 mph current and occasional riffles. We portaged 3 low water bridges up steep banks. Water quality was good. Lots of birds and waterfowl. Pleasant trip but would not do again.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports



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A Close Look at Cheoah River Fatalities

Charlie Walbridge

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)




Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195856 08/21/09 Rob Update length (based upon listed section name and via Google Maps)
1195855 08/21/09 Rob Add lat/lng for put-in/take-out + Length (from GoogleMaps, based upon listed section name)
1190899 08/26/01 n/a n/a