Wilson Creek, North Carolina, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||95 fpm|
|Max Gradient||100 fpm|
|JOHNS RIVER AT ARNEYS STORE, NC|
|usgs-02140991||500 - 5000 cfs||III-IV||01h06m||347 cfs (too low)|
Some of the bigger rapids include: Mank Above 10ft, Ten Foot Falls, No Name, Boatbuster,
Thunderhole, Triple Drop, Bitchslap, Hidden Eddy, Razorback, and Huntley's Retreat
Between these drops are numerous large ledges with accompanying large ledge holes.
The best description of the river can be found in William Nealy's classic guidebook "Whitewater Home Companion, Vol. 2"
Benner and Benners Carolina Whitewater has an excellent discription of the river.
Appalachian Whitewater : The Southern States
AFWS Current Rainfall Data for Caldwell County.
Gauge 1835, Edgemont, is at the beginning of Section 2 of Wilson Creek.
Note added by Garrick Taylor:
Go to either http://www.boatingbeta.com/cgi-bin/myflows.cgi or http://syotr.org/?s=l to find a virtual gauge based on an AFWS gauge located on Wilson Creek. This virtual gauge is far more accurate than relying on the USGS gauge on the Johns River.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||Mank Above Ten Foot.||IV|
|0.3||Ten Foot Falls||IV|
|1.2||Approach to Razorback||III+|
At the end of a good sized pool, the river will become choked up with boulders. Starting in midstream look for a slot on the right (above Idaho rock) that isn't really wide enough to punch thru. Hug Idaho rock, line up and bang on down. Just below is the entrance to ten foot falls.
(aka Unrunnable Rock Jumble)
Start with a 4 foot tall boof, into a tricky class 3 entrance rapid. Then take a left and line up for the big plunge. A ten foot tall 45 degree slide into a sometimes interesting hole followed by a large pool. At lower water, you want to skirt just left of the right center in-stream boulder and stay right of the curler on the way down.
Ledge drop with a few sneak lines. Sneaks are far right or far left. Boof on the right side of the center of the drop into a very sticky hole backed up by a large underwater boulder. Especially sticky around 0" on the Adako bridge gauge. If you pencil here, a beatdown may ensue (sight of a near drowning in 2006, see accident report 2006-01-07 description). If you pull, the hole will try to keep you and possibly recirculate you. There is a more forgiving slide down the left side of the center drop.
Boatbuster & Thunderhole are two back to back drops with some pretty fast current. Run both of them left of center above -2". At lower water (<-2") run the far right side boof at Boatbuster.
Usually run left with a little right angle. Can also run the sides at higher water.
The ledge below thunderhole with a man-made wall on the left. There are several lines depending upon water level. Above zero there is a right angling rail with a sharp left turn at the bottom (more fun to slide the rail). At lower water run the diagonal slots starting river right but don't flip or you may have teeth sticking through a new hole in your face.
Triple drop is (you guessed it!!) a three tired drop. The main thing to avoid is the sticky hole at the bottom. The hole is backed up by a rock about 8 feet downstream that keeps everything kicking back into the hole. There are two slots that can be used to enter this rapid. Below -5" the submerged rock in the middle drop can launch you or push you into the left wall eddy.
Another really tight one. Pick your way left to right between the really narrow rock slots or run the right side from the top eddy to the river right eddy halfway down.
(aka Boulder Clog, aka Unrunnable Rock Jumble, aka Fat Lady Squeeze)
At the end of a large pool after Bitchslap where you can look up on river left and see road traffic there is a 4 foot ledge. On the left side of this ledge is a large undercut boulder. Sneak this ledge to the left of the undercut boulder or on the far right of the ledge. Most boaters boof the middle of the ledge over a little chip with some right angle.
Above -5" run the left side auto-boof, but watch the flip rock if you don't get far enough left. Otherwise, run the right side boof into the "hidden eddy" on river right or the left to right slide into "hidden eddy". If you piton the wall get ready to roll.
(aka The Wall, aka Billboard)
The largest drop in this section has a piton rock in the center, safely avoid it by boofing the right side.
Another big sliding ledge drop, with a shelf that extends out from the right bank - just to give you something to piton into. The standard line is run about 8 feet off the right bank, then boof left toward the bottom of the slide. At higher water a couple of lines open up, one far left and one on the left side of the main horizon line.
Another large ledge drop. Run left at normal flows. Below 0" you can run the slot between the boulders from left to right.
Railslide is after the big pool known as the "Bathtub" where you can do a fun rockslide on river left. Railslide can be boofed on the left , backslid or frontslid down the sloping ledge or run standard as a sharp S-turn
Wilson Creek Hearing on Development
August 22, 2007
Development Proposed on Wilson Creek (NC)
August 8, 2007
Wilson Creek Development Proposal Withdrawn!
August 23, 2007
Wilson Creek At-Risk Land To Be Protected (NC)
March 19, 2008
Catawba River Access Enhancements to Begin (NC/SC)
January 8, 2018