Cumberland, Big South Fork - Station Camp to Blue Heron, KY (19 miles)

Cumberland, Big South Fork, Kentucky, US/Tennessee, US


Station Camp to Blue Heron, KY (19 miles)

Usual Difficulty II+(IV) (varies with level)
Length 19 Miles
Avg. Gradient 5 fpm

Dancin' with the Devil

Dancin' with the Devil
Photo of Zach Nelson by Jay Thomas taken 05/30/05 @ 350

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03410210 500 - 10000 cfs I-II 00h36m 459 cfs (too low)
Boatable, but marginal whitewater.

River Description

It should be noted that this reach (as listed here) has a fair stretch of mostly flatwater, but which contains a good (class III/IV) drop, Devils Jump. Photos of that drop do exist on the photo tab.

John Foy contributed:

Great canoe camping river. Give yourself two days for Station Camp to Blue Heron, three for Station Camp to Yamacraw Bridge. Basically flatwater/lake beyond Yamacraw. Good fishing for smallmouth and catfish along the entire river. Be careful during rainy periods as this river rises very rapidly. I like it best between 100 and 500 cfs at Stearns.

A fine reference for this is Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Streams of Tennessee, B. Sehlinger



StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2013-09-14 03:31:25


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
7.0Piss Your PantsII+
8.0Chicken's FootII
18.9Devil's JumpIVHazard Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Piss Your Pants (Class II+, Mile 7.0)
This rapids name comes from the scare you'll get after paddling the predominantly flat/class I water before. No real danger, it's just a long wave train that should be run right and then left at the bottem to avoid some rocks.

Chicken's Foot (Class II, Mile 8.0)
A three chute drop that us prone to having wood in the middle chute. Run the far left line, the right usually is too low to run, unless the water level is over 2500 cfs.

Devil's Jump (Class IV, Mile 18.9)
Noted by two high overlook platforms on the rim of the gorge on river right. The river narrows down to about a 10 ft chute and drops about 4 feet and then washes into an undercut rock at lower levels. The higher the water the easier to avoid the undercut. The rapid requires an S-move similar to Nantahala Falls. At flows above 1,000cfs a right class III line opens up, but use caution if you are not a class IV boater, because getting out of the main current and into the big eddy above the right line is difficult. This line has a 4 ft drop onto a slightly undercut rock that with enough momentum will be missed completely. There's a pretty good recovery pool at the bottom.

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