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!!
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.
GPS coordinates are backwards. What's listed as the put in is the take out, what's listed as the take out is the put in..... I'm pretty sure.
2011-11-25 The log in the Rattlesnake is gone
4/7/15, 2.4ft, rainy but never rained on us on the river, temps in the mid 60's. G and Eli in the Grabner inflatable canoe and CT in the kayak. It was big and splashy but very doable and fun. G and Eli sytled most every rapid. We ran the left slot at the rattle (the first drop in the rattlesnake) and the hole flipped them with G landing almost out of the water on a rock and we recovered quickly. We then went to the next eddy on river right and paddled around the right side of the fang island and G portaged. Eli and CT had good lines through the fang. Rocking Chair was easily run down river right. Eli "self ejected" on some dink rock above the last rapid in the race course (the one with the nasty pin spot on river right at lower flow), he self rescued and it went easy down the center slot. Doable level for maxi me and perfect for the grabner. 2.5 is our max and it could be run in grabner down to 1.8 or 2 ft. Awesome day, some swims and lots of smiles.
Daddy’s Creek Canyon: 2ft - 2.5 on the put in gauge would be the level for a raft trip, we were there at 1.75ft. The best setup would be the hand breaker or maxi with 3 people and 2 safety boaters. Most portages are on river right. The first 3 miles would be doable for G in a canoe, with about 3 rapids he may not want. Then it gets too big. There are 3 structures on river right that must have some kind of access (Simon they are upstream of that trail that we ran all the way down to the river on and downstream of "mama said no"). There is a bit of flat water after the cabins. After yellow creek comes in on river right the action picks up. At the tight constriction rapid we can sneak or portage on river left, then there is a great portage on river right to get around the middle of the serpent (aka the play spot hole) and the fang boof. We can run for a bit then go river right of the island and drop G off to portage the bottom of that rapid. There is one more that G would walk on river right then a few rapids to run with a gross undercut rapid that’s snuck on river left. Eli thinks this is doable for our group but i am only keen on the idea with strong paddlers and a few safety boaters. The length (6miles) is good, and the shuttle is about 30 min.
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.
Daddy's Creek Canyon: Class 3-4 (listed on AW as Daddy's Creek - 3. Antioch Bridge to Devils Breakfast Table Bridge)
- Run is from "Antioch" Bridge (aka Peavine Road Bridge, TN-101 bridge) to Hebbertsburg Road.
- From Coal Creek Farm to put in: take 68 north west, stay right and go north on 127/28, right on 392, it becomes 101/peavine road in about 10 minutes you will cross the put in bridge for Daddy's Creek.
- Flow minimum is 350 cfs on Daddy's Creek near Hebbertsburg TN gauge.
- Flow max is about 1500 cfs on Daddy's Creek near Hebbertsburg TN gauge.
- 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 cliffs of the "canyon" section with whitewater in the form of ledges and play holes. There are 3 bigger drops in here (Class 4 in nature).
- Total Distance is 6.8 river miles.
- Access issues: The Catoosa and Keys-Harrison wildlife management areas will be closed during these days:
Deer: Archery Oct 15-17 18-20, 21-23 Oct 29-30
Deer: Gun Oct 29-30, Nov 10-12, Nov 17-19, Dec 1-3, Dec 15-17
Wildlife rest period Feb 1,2011 to the last Friday in March, 2011
Turkey - Apr. 6-8 13-15,17-19,24-26,27-29.
Turkey - May1-3
These closures prohibit access to DBT. DBT to Nemo and Daddy's Creek runs.
Daddy's Creek the lower section: Class 2+. Put in on Hebbertsberg Road and take out on Potters Chapel Road (aka Obed Junction) (not listed on AW)
- Runis from Hebbertsburg Road bridge (Devils Breakfast Table bridge) to Obed Junction.
- Distance of about 1.5 miles.
- Flow minimum is 1.5 ft on Daddy's Creek near Hebbertsburg, TN.
- Flow max is 4 ft on Daddy's Creek near Hebbertsburg, TN.
- Not much info.
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
Ran Daddy's today and here is the USGS cfs reading to Antioch Bridge gauge correlations I observed. USGS online 7:15 reading:542 cfs ; we launched at 9:30am and the bridge reading was 1.9 ft. I checked the online gauge after our run and at 11:15 the USGS was reading 513 cfs. I wished now that I would have checked the bridge gauge when leaving. So anyway what is being observed now differs from what is noted on AW. Something to look into on future trips to understand the true correlations.
Ran Daddy's for the first time on Jan 5, 2013 with six other boaters who'd all run it at least 2-3 times, mostly at higher water levels. I routinely paddle class 4 in a Nomad 8.5 Level was 1.4feet at the Antioch Bridge. Several of the more experienced in our group commented that, while it was Low , it was still a fun level. There was no griping about it being a waste of time. As a newcomer to the river I found all of the rapids very manageable. As others have recently posted there were no logs/strainers during our run. The canyon/cliff section had several spots pulsing eddies and swirling eddy-lines that reminded me of Chattooga Section 3's "The Narrows" when paddled at higher water levels. Most of our group either ran left or right at the Fang of the Rattlesnake as the middle Boof was too shallow. Ideally I'd like my next run to be in the 1.7 to 1.8 range of the bridge gauge.
The first 3 miles, of this section, are suitable to our needs; we need to takeout before the confluence with Yellow Creek. From Pevine Road down there are about 10 class 2 rapids, with 3 class 3 rapids sprinkled throughout.
The best access for takeout is close to the area Simon and I drove around in. From the river I saw 3 riverside houses/trailers that were big enough to have direct road or 4x4 access all the way down to the river. I think it is downstream of the people we talked with ("mama said no"). It is downstream of McNeal road, Sawyer Ridge Road, Henry Hill and Turner Bluff Road. I found 2 of these structures on google earth but I could not see where the roads are that access these. They are directly down the hill from a driveway that is the first left off of Bowman lane. To clarify, take Hebbertsburg road, go left on McNeil Road, right on Bowman Road and its the first left. Maybe Harold's velvet tongue can sweet talk us an easy takeout.
Minimum flow for canoes and kayaks 400 cfs on USGS Daddys Creek Near Hebbertsburg, TN gage; that's 1.4 of the bridge gauge at Peavine road. Minimum flow for inflatables is 500 cfs, that's 1.6 on the Peavine bridge gage.
It was so brutally cold that I could not get my fingers to work to take pictures or notes. Its the first time while kayaking that I have had water freeze in my goatee. I will try to get back up there and collect a more detailed account of each rapid.
7 years ago
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
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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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