Tar - Downtown Rocky Mount

Tar, North Carolina, US


Downtown Rocky Mount

Usual Difficulty I(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 1 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02082585 100 - 10000 cfs I(IV) 01h10m 1520 cfs (running)
See comments.

River Description

Data from Joe Greiner, local expert

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-12-15 14:53:57

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 20 2009 (3468 days ago)
x (1)
I ran the section below the dam back in '01 at flood stage somewhere around 15'. Looking back at
some of the dumber things I have done, I now realize that this was pretty high up. I remember
accidentally dropping into a hole that was as big as a small car, fortunately my 90's boat was
bigger and I punched through. I have paddled a lot of bigger water since then but this section is
full of hidden hazards which include debris/ rebar from construction of the dam I assume. Its just
not worth getting impailed or strained! If you are thinking about it... Go to Weldon instead
February 24 2005 (5075 days ago)
Steven PearceDetails
I spent a great deal of time monitoring various flow levels below the dam trying to find some good
playable features, but sadly there really arent much of any. What I did find is that this can
potentially be a very dangerous swim. At higher flows after periods of heavy rain,the water is
fast,furious,and chock full'o'strainers. Here we dont see the classic deadly hydraulic created by
most dams however, and if youre crazy enough Its probably runnable at around 6-9' or so. The far
right side of the dam gives way to a sloping rock ledge that doesnt look too "user
friendly". The center is even less inviting, with a plethora of rocks and logs. The left side
is the most clear drop which gives way to a tight, tricky channel through the trees. Here, you can
observe a very erratic, surging boil line likely indicating shallow water and an uneven ,rocky bed.
With enough speed and a textbook landing, this spot may be your best bet. For the truly
April 13 2004 (5392 days ago)
Tiffany MozingoDetails
The Tar River is mostly a flat water run, with very little gradient. The only real rapid on the
river would be the Falls dam, which is right beneath the bridge crossing at Battlepark. It's
extremely unadvisable to run this. The base of the dam looks to recirculate, and the boulders to
follow would make for a very bumpy ride.
At extremely high levels, over 7ft min on the gauge there is mild park and play just beyond the
dam, and perhaps the dam could be run at levels over 9ft.
This is a great paddle, although not full of too much whitewater. The Tar River trail runs along 6
miles of this river with county parks at each end.
There is a put in at Sunset park off of Riverdrive, and there are alternate putins along the Tar
River Trail.
Aside from portaging the dam, you can easily paddle this river down to Martin Luther King park and
take out.
Watch out for strainers on this run under heavy rains.