What a terrific run! The first couple of miles has a lot of flat water with several Class II to Class III- rapids to get warmed up. The confluence with Yellow Creek on river right is the sign that the difficulty will soon pick up. Within a quarter mile you will see the clifts of the "canyon" section with super whitewater in the form of ledges and play holes. The big one here is "Rattlesnake" (Class IV+) which as you might guess is a double curved rapid with a ledge at the end. By the way, the rattle is at the front and the "fang" is the last ledge drop of the rapid which is ususally run center to right center.
Rob Martin contributed:
The scenery is spectacular! The water is emerald green. The whitewater is challenging without being extreme. Just mentioning Daddy's Creek Canyon will bring a smile on anyone's face who has experienced this place.Caution!! Access to Devil's Breakfast Table is controlled by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Catoosa WMA is closed for Feb 1 thru March 27, 2015 for a wildlife rest period and access to the WMA is closed to all users and no vehicle access is allowed. December 4-7, 2015 is closed for a deer hunt. April 10-12, 14-16, 18-19 (Young Sportsman Hunt), 21-23, 24-26, 28-30 and May 1-3, 2015 are turkey hunts. During these hunting days, the Catoosa WMA access is restricted to all but hunters. There are usually signs posted during hunts and rest periods alerting you that the area and roads are closed to access. If you are uncertain, check at the NPS Obed Wild and Scenic River office in Wartburg or with TWRA. TWRA has fined boaters in the past for driving to and parking at the Devil's Breakfast Table parking area during these hunts and restricted times. The fine has been as much as $142 per person.
TWRA Contact: Jim Lane (931) 456-2479.
An alternate access point below Devil's Breakfast Table is located about 2 miles downstream on river left after the confluence with the Obed River, known as Obed Junction (OBJ). The carry-out is up a 3/4 mile steep, rocky trail. The shuttle from Antioch Bridge to OBJ is 43 miles in each direction. OBJ is very isolated with little traffic and has been the site of vandalism in the past. Don't leave valuable items in your vehicles.
For more information about the creek, please click here.
To know the TSRA hunting schedule, please click here and look at the top header.
The following video shows this rapids with the river at 1.56', a relatively low flow, making this rapids much easier/more-forgiving than it's usual class IV rating.
Daddy's Creek 1.56ft. from christine blumberg on Vimeo.
Myself(filming),David,Jason,Jesse,Jill,John,Dave,George and others navigating the snake!!
We took a lap down Daddy's Creek the day Catoosa reopened (March 28, 2020). 1.7 was a great level for a R2 and a couple of canoes. There is still a dangerous log blocking the right boof at Fang. Everywhere else was clear of strainers; a beautiful, fun Spring day.
There are a few things to be noted that I will put here in the comments until I have time to edit this page.
Access to Daddys Creek for paddling has been greatly expanded thanks to American Whitewater and local volunteers. For more details on when it is and is not OK to access Devils Breakfast Table as a take out, please see the following link and be sure to click on "A letter to American Whitewater" as well:
Note that you can put in at Antioch Bridge and paddle 18 miles down to Nemo on the Emory year round.
Contrary to popular belief, although the difficulty drops to class II-III, Daddys Creek is good down to 1'. Some of the lead in rapids will be a little scrapy, but if you take your time, you can generally find a channel. All of the major rapids go just fine. Two tips about low flow: 1. Spike is worthy of a quick look...run it FAR left (like bow up on the rock far left). 2. The best line at Fang is definitely the right side boof.
Also noteworthy is Daddys Creek Go Fast Day which occurs on the first Saturday of the year when Daddys has a flow between 1.4'-2.4'. For more information, go to and follow Daddys Creek Go Fast Day on Facebook. This is where you will get information on the details of the event and is also where Go Time is announced.
Ran it at 3ft back in April. Left side of Fang was good to go with threading a needle between two rocks as you punch the left hole. Didn't see that line mentioned anywhere else so wanted to point it out too. Watch for the pin potential.
This is a run all should put on their list of plateau gems! We ran this one at high water (2.6ft @ the bridge) which is at the very high end of recommended levels. At this level it was very pushy and squirrely, and the unnamed rapids below Rattlesnake and Rocking Chair became massive holes surrounded by hard eddy lines. The Canyon itself is one of the most scenic places I've ever paddled! You can check out footage of our run here: https://vimeo.com/91223555
2 months ago
by Chuck Estes
by Alex Zendel
The USGS gauge is new as of July, 2001.
Your friends at American Whitewater (in concert with the USGS) helped make this happen. You are a member...aren't you??
A boater's gauge is on a main bridge pier on Antioch Bridge: Low 1.0' - High 3.0+'. Though the creek can be run as low as 1.0' on the Antioch Bridge, normally a level of 1.3' to 1.5' is needed to have sufficient water to minimize rock hits.
We are trying to get data to correlate the boater's gauge at Antioch Bridge with the new electronic gauge. Please submit comments on observations you make between the boater's gauge and electronic gauge to help us correlate.
We have the following observations:
Also, subtracting 1.7 from the USGS level gets within .2' of the Antioch Bridge level.
If the electronic gauge is down, or for further info, check the Emory Gauge: Low 1300 cfs, High 6000 cfs
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Big fun at 3' - the hole flushes
Hole above Fang
Body of the Snake
Below Rocking Chair
First Drop of the Canyon
Fang boof too shallow
Daniel White scouting the log duck at the Rocking Chair
Lunch Stop at the Crack.
In the Rockin' Chair.
Daddy's Creek Canyon scenery
(RM) Rocking Chair
(RM) An Easy One
Head of the Rattlesnake
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
For well over 20 years paddlers have sought improved access to a beautiful section of Daddy’s Creek flowing through Catoosa Wildlife Management Area near Crossville, TN. Daddy’s Creek only has enough water to float after significant rain, which typically happens in the fall, winter and spring. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) road and area closures related to hunting during this timeframe have limited paddling use. Earlier today TWRA notified American Whitewater of a recent decision to expand public access. We would like to thank the TWRA for supporting the Tennessee residents and visitors who cherish Daddy’s Creek, and we are grateful for TWRA’s partnership approach.
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