Directions: Putting in at Highway 68 yields a fair amount of flatwater, though there is quality scenery. There is an alternate putin that starts you right at the top of the good stuff. Coming from Tellico Plains south on 68, make a right onto Monroe County Route 628 a couple of miles after going through Coker Creek Village. After just under a mile, bear left next to a cemetary, then after half a mile, veer right at the Y. Go 2.5 miles, then make a left onto Forest Road 2138, which drops a mile to the putin. For the takeout, go back to the previous intersection, make a left, and go a few miles untill there is a turn on the left, which will lead down to the takeout almost at the Hiwassee Dries. To not miss the takeout while on the river, simply takeout below the bridge where the John Muir Trail Crosses and hike up on river right. The first drop is a 4 foot boof followed by Coker Creek Falls twenty feet later. At about 18 feet, the falls is best run with a right to left motion, catching a kicker 10 feet down, and landing close to flat and sideways at the bottom. Following are some scrapy ledge features, then another cascade which can be run on right or left, depending on flow. This one is about 12 feet high. A hundred feet of bang and scrape later is an interesting drop. Called turkey tail, this rapid drops through a miniature notch, then fans out over a domed ledge dropping 10 feet and then going right or left. Left has a submerged pin rock that can be an issue at lower levels. The right is good to go. At higher levels the hole can be pretty nasty. Aftewards is an 9 foot waterfall that lands on rocks on the right. Maybe with enough water it will go. On the left is a narrow groove that can be run, though some Mountain Laurel will hit you in the face. There is a rough, troughy small slide following, and then scout the slide. The slide starts with a 5 foot slanted drop onto a low angle slide for twenty feet into a big curl on the left thowing to the right. Go with the curl over a 15 foot bouncy slide, and then finish the rapid on the left channel, or catching the eddy on the right, and then ferrying in front of Reynold's Rock, which separates the left channel from the others. At higher water, above 3 inches, Reynold's Rock is a serious undercut, with six inches making the drop runnable only by boaters able to maintain complete control on the slide up top to avoid the pin. This is not easy. At these levels, 99% of the water goes into the undercut. At lower water, and without any push, it is quite easily avoidable with no worries, but beware at more solid levels. Below here end it by bouncing down through the many waterpark type channels. Loads of fun. Next is a blind ledge drop best run on the left, and then it chills to busy class 3 water with a fair amount of strainers all the way to the Hiwassee Dries. This run reminds me of the Nantahala Cascades, just toned down a little bit. It runs all the time, and is beautiful. The steepest half mile clocks in at 300 ft/mile, providing some good creeking similar to the easy rapids on the Green.
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Although never publicized except by word of mouth, other names for the rapids on Coker Creek have been in use for several years now. Bubble Notch has been called Turkey Tail, The Clapper is also known as Hidden Abashment, and Slidosaur as The Serpentine Beast or (yet another) Snakedance. As for Reynold's Rock...well, it can go by several names, depending upon whether or not one makes the turn. I bestowed a whistling "Whew!" epithet to it my first time down.
Ran it 12/30/2018 at around 5" on the visual gauge. Sketchy riverwide log in the ledge beneath the notch drop (easily seen from the trail), and all kinds of various wood on the runout. We were able to boat scout, eddy hop, and duck most of it, might be more of an issue at higher flow. Had one or two log portages near the end
Ken don't you know it doesn't matter what the first person to run the rapid named it. Its name is what the streamkepper says it is.
2.2" of rain had fallen at the Coker Creek rain gauge (see flow beta) in a fairly short period of time about 20 hours before we put on. It felt like a medium-low to medium flow to me. It had been an unbelievably wet fall and early winter in the SE - tons of rain during what is often a dry spell. Cool run! Looking forward to returning some day .......
11 years ago
There is a gauge on the Hwy 68 bridge. Zero is paddling zero, 3 inches is nice, and 6 inches is getting sizeable. A foot would bump the rating up a bit.
Alternatively, if the Tellico is at 3 feet, then this is very likely runnning, depending on rainfall patterns.
The watershed is 21 square miles and flat up top, so it runs quite frequently. An inch of rain will get it going for the day.
Check out this rain gauge
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The Big One
Left Side of Hiding Place Falls
Coker Creek Falls
Turkey Trail- Low water
Good Boofin' Fun
Running the Notch
Turkey Tail from above
Hiding Place Falls (right line)
Hiding Place Falls
Coker Creek Falls @ 6 inches
Coker Creek - 2
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