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Difficulty II-III
Length 5 Miles
Flow Range 750 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 20 minutes ago 381 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 08/05/2015 8:28 pm

River Description

Put-in is above the gorge, where 1328 bridge crosses the river.
Take-out is the parking lot used for the gorge put-in, or wherever the rapids start to get scary.

The entire run is roadside and can be car scouted.

Rapid Descriptions


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frank garrett
15 years ago

this is an awsome run at 900 cfm!!! It's draggy below 350.

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frank garrett
15 years ago

I love this section of the creek! I put in about 100 yards south of Hwy 90 and Brown Mtn Beach Rd intersection where the river turns left away from the road. I pull out at the top of the gorge. It's easy to recognize the pullout by the stone chimney that is located on a small beach just before you reach the take out. There is also a noticable change in the river as the banks start to turn into rock walls rather than grassy hills.

It is easiest to stay to the right of all the islands/forks you come to since the left side tends to be more shallow. All the rapids are easily scouted as there are pools that form at the tops to allow bankside access for viewing. There are only 3 that need to be looked at before you run them because the approach is blind. The first is called "Lunch Stop". You will make a straight run/drop under a bridge to a large pool. You will be able to see the top of the rapid and watch it disappear to the left. The water is pushed down the rapid and piles into a slightly undercut rock directly in front of you. Once you run the chanel and hit the small drop at the bottom you will need to paddle hard left to pull out of the current in order not to be pushed up against the rock.

The second rapid of challenge is marked by a very large boulder sticking straight up that looks like a spade. You will hear this rapid before you get to close to pull out and scout. The best eddie is on the right side up against the boulders. You will also see a path on the right that leads up to the road. This rapid is a solid class III that is a vertical drop of about 4 feet. If the water isn't flowing straight over the top between the spade boulder and the chanel on the right...think twice. I have seen boats get stuck in the right chanel. The water at the bottom of the drop in center is about 6 feet deep and clean at the base. On the right there is a large pillow that hides, waiting to flip you.

The last rapid is also a boulder garden that has a tricky far left entrance into a shoot that angles back to the right. There is a good sized pillow at the base so a quick left turn is required.

Watch out for fishermen and there lines. There are lot's of em'.

Gage Descriptions

The gauge is on the bridge piling where Adako Road crosses Wilson Creek. Zero would be a minimum level, but the creek could probably be run down to minus 6.

If the Johns River gauge is over about 750 cfs the river might be running. Wilson Creek is a tributary of Johns river, and the gauge is about 7 miles below the confluence.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2015-09-29 n/a Near Miss/Rescue High Water Read More



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Wilson Creek Development Proposal Withdrawn!

Kevin Colburn

The proposal to build over 200 homes on 650 acres bordering North Carolina's Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek has been withdrawn.  The land has not been sold, and will be retained by its owner at least temporarily.  In response, the Caldwell County public hearing originally scheduled for Monday, August 27th has been canceled.  Public support for protection may ultimately lead to protection of this land. 
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Wilson Creek Hearing on Development

Kevin Colburn

As AW recently reported, a large development is being planned on the banks of North Carolina's Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek.  The Caldwell County Commissioners will decide whether or not to approve the development at a public meeting being held on Monday, August 27th, at 6pm, at 905 West Avenue in downtown Lenoir.
article main photo

Development Proposed on Wilson Creek (NC)

Kevin Colburn

A large housing development is in the early planning stages for the banks of North Carolina's Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek.  The development, as planned, would lead to roughly 250 homes being built near the Creek on a 650 acre private lot that encompasses nearly 2 miles of Wilson Creek.

Wes Yow


Kevin Colburn


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190941 07/13/04 Wes Yow n/a
1205191 08/05/15 Kevin Colburn map accuracy