Tar, North Carolina, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||10 fpm|
|Max Gradient||20 fpm|
|TAR RIVER NEAR TAR RIVER, NC|
|usgs-02081500||3.00 - 9.00 ft||I-III||00h33m||2.2 ft (too low)|
See A Paddler's Guide TO Eastern North Carolina, by Bob Benner and Tom McCloud.
This stretch of the Tar runs through a very rural area with only a couple of houses and one bridge to break the wilderness feel. The scenery is mostly deciduous forest covered, rock studded, hills ranging from 60 to as high as 150 feet above the river with occasional small cliffs and rock outcroppings. The area is abundant with many species of flora and fauna. The river averages around 50 feet or less in width, occasionally spreading a bit and becoming split into as many as 5 channels around islands. Strainers and clogged passages are always present and should be watched for. Most of the whitewater is located below the Granville county 1622 (Cannady Mill Rd) bridge. It consists of mostly rock gardens and small ledges. For the best run and most free passages run river right above 1622 and extreme left most of the way below 1622. About 3.7 miles below the putin The river narrows considerably and at lower levels flows between rocks located on both sides. This rapid is known as "Schoolbus" because of an old bus parked at the end of a field on river right below the rapid. at lower levels this is a fairly straight forward class 2. At higher levels above 5 feet, it develops large waves and holes as it becomes a class 3. Note: Schoolbus rapid has changed since The publication of the Benner/McCloud book due to recent hurricane flooding.
The rest of the run is flat water.
This area is used heavily by local hunters in The fall and has a few Tree stands overlooking the water, so a little "blaze orange" isn't a bad idea. Water flow below the entrance of Little Fishing creek is subject to large increase when that creek is running high and this is not accounted for by the gauge for this section. There are no stores in the imediate vicinty so be sure to have ample gas and other supplies before heading out.
Shuttle directions: From putin. Go south (river right) on NC route 96 to the first paved
road on the left and turn left onto Granville county 1622 (Cannady Mill Rd.).
Continue to the second paved road on right. Turn right onto Granville county 1620 (Gray Rock Rd.). This road becomes Vance County 1102 (Wilton Rd.) after crossing the county line. Go to the stop sign and take a right on Vance County 1101 (Charlie Grissom Rd.).
The next bridge will be the Tar river and the takeout.
This road becomes Franklin County 1203 (Greenhill Rd.) after crossing the bridge and ends at NC HWY 56 near Franklinton.
Granville County 1622 (Cannady Mill Rd) can be used as an alternate putin to skip a lot of the flatwater contained in this section while still catching most of the whitewater.