Bee Creek, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-V (for normal flows)|
|virtual-6555||500 - 2500 cfs||III-V||01h03m||33.2 cfs (too low)|
This is a beautiful river with many cliffs that remind me of the great Russel Fork. It has the classic emerald green water that the plateau is famous for and enough vertical to keep life interesting. Bee tends to runs a little longer than the Caney Fork because it is steeper and channels very well. This run is harder than the Caney Fork and I venture to say harder than Cane Creek (Fall Creek Falls). Bring your Boof stroke and boat control on this one. Some of the most consistent rapids on the plateau once in the gorge. This run often gets overlooked because of the lack of beta and shuttle length. DO NOT WRITE THIS RUN OFF. Hopefully my updated shuttle situation will shed some light on this place so more boaters can experience this great run as I did.
If you use the Bee Creek putin you have a 1-1.5 miles of flat water before you get to the dam. Walk the dam on river left and there is a graded road on the left to the river bank at the bottom. Once you put in below the dam the rapids start. there is a 5 foot ledge, then an awesome class 4 slide. there are a few more smaller rapids untill a class 4 that is right at the confluence of Glade creek. After Glade comes in on the left there are several class 2 and 3 rapids for 3-4 miles. If you were paying attention you will have noticed a building and no tresspassing signs on river left after the 3-4 miles of the class 2-3. Very shortly after the buildings and signs the gorge will start. You will start to see horizon lines and rock jumbles. Several of these rapids are boat scoutable, but when in doubt, GET OUT AND SCOUT!!!!. As with any run in the southeast with lots of gradient there are several sieves and undercuts. After the gorge you have maybe one mile of class 2-3 until you get to the Caney Fork / takeout.
Take-out is at Caney Fork confluence. On the shuttle you have to pick the lesser of two evils.
One option is to have a long drive to HWY 285 ( also called Glade Creek Rd, or Lonewood Rd) to
put in on the bridge where the road passes over Glade creek. The other option is to put in on Bee
Creek where it crosses Nelson Ln. The Bee Creek putin option cuts 30-40 minutes off the shuttle,
but you have to paddle some flat water until you get to a dam. Once you get past the dam the
rapids start. I would much rather spend time in a kayak than the car so the flat water paddle
option is the one I choose. Scott's Gulf Road to the Bee Creek confluence is now graded and
graveled to the bottom thanks to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Some cars may not
be able to drive all the way to the bottom, but should be able to make it 85-90% of the way.
Additional information on the Caney Fork River take-out at Bee Creek, the Scott's Gulf Road access, and the Firestone-Bridgestone Centennial Wilderness can be found at Scott's Gulf.
Please check the dates of managed hunts for deer (Nov-Jan) and turkey (April) that may impact access to the Caney Fork/Bee Creek take-out. Discussions are in progress that would not restrict access for kayakers during managed hunts. To my knowledge kayaking is alowed even in deer hunts ( I have been going here for three years and never have been told otherwise)
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|