Coker Creek - Highway 68 to Hiwassee River

Coker Creek, Tennessee, US


Highway 68 to Hiwassee River

Usual Difficulty III-IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 80 fpm
Max Gradient 300 fpm


Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03518500 3.00 - 5.50 ft III-IV(V) 00h46m 1.88 ft (too low)

River Description

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.


For more information please click on the link below:

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-09-27 14:36:39


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1First DropIII+
0.1Coker Creek FallsIVWaterfall Photo
0.2Hiding Place FallsIVWaterfall Photo
0.3Turkey TailIVWaterfall Photo
0.4Hidden AbashmentIII+Hazard
0.5Snakedance5.0Hazard Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

First Drop (Class III+, Mile 0.1)
this is a straight forward 4 foot ledege drop, best run boofing right, to set up for the next drop.

Coker Creek Falls (Class IV, Mile 0.1)

Coker Creek - 2

Coker Creek - 2
Photo of Will Reeves

Run driving right to left, waiting for the bounce half way down. Let it keep you flat and angled left.

Hiding Place Falls (Class IV, Mile 0.2)

Hiding Place Falls

Hiding Place Falls
Photo of Will Reeves

Some troughy entrance ledges that can be very shallow precede this 12 foot drop that can be run right or left. On the left there will be some bounce!

Turkey Tail (Class IV, Mile 0.3)

Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail
Photo by Kirk Eddlemon taken 02/07/04 @ 6 inches

At the top is a kinder smaller less undercut notch from the Green, fanning out onto a domed ledge dropping 10 feet. I like to boof with slight right angle, and finish right. There are a number of lines, but there is a pin bottom left to be aware of

Hidden Abashment (Class III+, Mile 0.4)
This drop lands from nine feet onto rocks. There is a line on the left that is currently unpleasant due to the mountain laurel and ill place pin rocks, but you wont have to get out of your boat

Snakedance (Class 5.0, Mile 0.5)
This is out of context. It's long and complicated, so take a look your first time. At levels of 4-8 inches, seriously consider walking, no matter how fun it looks. The undercut is sicko.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
January 2 2019 (14 days ago)
mjackson8 (156896)
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
December 20 2009 (3314 days ago)
Alex ZendelDetails
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 .......
March 3 2008 (3971 days ago)
x (1)
Josh and Tyler... We attempted to run the creek on 03/01/08 extremely low level...we scraped over
Coker falls and decided to just scout the rest of the big stuff, finding ample new trees in the
run...It looks like hidden abashment has 2 new logs making it a portage and the intro to snake
dance has a good sized pine blocking it as well. If we would have had a good bow saw and a few more
hands, most of the trees could have been removed with in a reasonable far as the rest of
the run, we ran out of day light to continue. most of the other logs we saw wouldn't effect the
upper section too much...Just keep your eyes's an awesome place and well worth the trip.
February 14 2004 (5450 days ago)
Ken and Fran StricklandDetails
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.