Crooked Fork Creek, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||40 fpm|
|Max Gradient||90 fpm|
|EMORY RIVER AT OAKDALE, TN|
|usgs-03540500||3500 - 10000 cfs||III-IV||00h32m||190 cfs (too low)|
Lower Crooked Fork is a great intro-creeking run.
Many people who feel apprehensive about running the upper section choose to only run this section while others choose to run both the upper and lower sections of Crooked Fork. The run starts with an easy descent over Potter's Falls into a deep pool. You'll want to scout the next rapid, Lower Potter's Falls, from here also. The next mile is class III with a few scattered class IV rapids. Then, the next 2-miles is class II-III. But, don't think it's over because the final mile begins to drop again with the river's final descent into the Emory River gorge. This final section includes class III rapids with a few class IV's. The remainder of the run is a 2-mile paddle down the Emory River to the take-out at Camp Austin.
Creek-boats and open-boats are recommended for this plateau gem but, a play-boat could be an option on a high flow day.
Articles and web links:
Potter's Falls made the front cover of the Summer, 1973 edition of American Whitewater Magazine.
The Crooked Fork Tennessee Paddle Page
The put-in is located at the Potter?s Falls Bridge. From Wartburg, Tennessee go south on Hwy 27 a few miles until you see the Crooked Fork Bridge located at a sewage treatment plant on the right. Cross the Crooked Fork Bridge going south 0.1 miles and make a right on the first road to the right. There is an Armes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church sign at the road.
Go 0.9 miles and make another right, which is the first blacktop road on the right. There is an Armes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church sign at this road also. Go another 0.8 miles and turn right at the next road.
The Potter?s Falls Bridge and put-in is 0.4 miles down the hill.
Put-In to Take-Out at Camp Austin:
Go back across the Potter?s Falls Bridge and up the hill 0.4 miles and make a left. Go 0.8 miles and make the next left. Go 0.9 miles till you come to US Hwy 27. Turn right and go south 4.8 miles to the junction of S.R. 328. Make a right following the signs to Oakdale.
Go 3.7 miles and make a right on S.R. 299 at a convenient store.
Go down the hill 0.2 miles and make another right just before you cross the Emory River Bridge in Oakdale.
The Take-Out at the Camp Austin Bridge over the Emory River is 5.3 miles.
There used to be an alternate shuttle route to the Camp Austin takeout but it is now blocked.
Camping can be found in the nearby Obed Wild and Scenic River area at the Rock Creek Campground located at the Nemo Bridge. This is the take-out for the Lily to Nemo section of Clear Creek and the Obed Junction to Nemo section of the Obed River.
Probably the closest campground is found in Frozen Head State Park. It's only a few miles away offering not only campsites but also hiking trails to some cool waterfalls.
For more information please click on the link below:
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.1||Lower Potter's Falls||IV|
|0.2||The Next Mile||III+|
|2.0||The Class II Section||II|
|3.0||The Surprise Hole||III+|
|4.1||The Last Ledge||IV|
|4.2||Confluence with the Emory River||II+|
|6.2||Camp Austin Bridge Take-Out||I|
This 15ft waterfall is one of the easiest to run in the Southeast. Though it can be ran most anywhere, the common line is run in the center over a small curler which lines you up for a rock finger. The extreme right side of the landing zone is shallow. Caution: The center line is easy to boof so watch your landing.
Other information on Potter's Falls.
This is a small ledge that lands on a rock shelf at lower levels.