Cumberland, Big South Fork, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||40 fpm|
|SOUTH FK CUMBERLAND RIVER AT LEATHERWOOD FORD, TN|
|usgs-03410210||400 - 5000 cfs||II-IV||00h34m||760 cfs (running)|
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Google Map of Big South Fork|
|0.2||Undercut Rock Rapid||III|
|0.4||Triple Wave/Boof Rapid||III|
|0.8||First Drop of Double Drop||III+|
|0.8||Second Drop of Double Drop||III+|
|1.6||Honey Creek Rapid/Kreckels||III|
|1.8||Hand of God Rock||I|
|2.2||Rion's Eddy/A*s Kicker||III+|
|3.4||Jake's Ledge Hole||III+|
|3.5||Canyon Rapid a.k.a. Moonshoot||III|
|6.2||Leatherwood Ford Take-Out|
Boofing opportunities exist at this rapid. Simply line up left of center and BOOF!! The other line is run from right to left through 3 waves.
Double Drop is the first of three rapids known as "The Big Three". The main line is on river right with a series of two drops. Catch an eddy on river right above the first drop then ferry across and drop off beside a rock on the left side. This will land you in a boiling eddy where you will then paddle aggresively down the center to run the second drop with a little left angle.
The alternate Double Drop line is extremely far river left. This line is a class II read and run line that lands in a large eddy.
One of the better play spots is located just above this rapid. It is a low-angled, fluffy hole that is great for today's short boats.
You must paddle aggresively at levels below 1000 cfs due to a pin rock that sits about two feet of the right bank. The second drop will surf you into the rock where water will pile up on your stern. Then, you are jambed into the crack stern down. Several paddlers have gotten pinned vertically in this spot.
Washing Machine is known for it's twisting and sticky action at levels below 1000 cfs. It's a 10ft wide chute that drops into a twisting hole. An alternate route can be cheated on river left over a small ledge. However, this ledge can develop into a nasty hydraulic above 1,500 cfs. At levels above 1000cfs, the sticky hole in the main line disappears and the rapid is simply run from left to right.
The Ell is the last rapid of "The Big Three". Start from an eddy on river right to boat scout this one. Look for a rock on river left where the river curls from left to right. This marks the final drop and is where you want to aim. Drive hard toward this rock a little left of center while the river tries to pull you to the right. Then, get ready for a ninety degree turn to the right for the final drop. If you flip in this one, tuck hard at levels below 2000cfs due to "Cheese Grater Rock" being only a few feet or less underwater immediately downstream. The center and right side of the final drop is a large hole that can be sticky.
You'll have to look upstream to see this rock. It makes you wonder who might have created the Big South Fork gorge.
There's a cave under this rock that you can paddle through at 400cfs.