Hiwassee, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|HIWASSEE RIVER AT CHARLESTON, TN|
|usgs-03566000||15.00 - 30.00 ft||II||00h47m||11.74 ft (too low)|
The Hiwassee River is designated as a Tennessee State Scenic River. The river is beautiful, clear
and wide. As noted by William Nealey in his Whitewater Home Companion. Southeastern
Rivers. Vol. 1, "this is an excellent river for family outtings, canoeing, tubing,
rafting and beginning whitewater instruction."
This five mile plus section offers several playful Class II rapids, and with its width, the opportunity for many lines. For the most part, the best water is near river left and on the left channels around the islands.
In addition to the internet link for the TVA above, one may obtain the predicted release for the following day by calling the TVA flow number: 800-238-2264 (toll-free) then pressing 4, then 22, and then the # sign. If you call on a Friday (after 6pm) then you can obtain the release predictions for Saturday and Sunday.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.6||Thread the Needle||II|
|2.1||Mary Nell Point||II|
|3.1||Little Rock Island||II+|
As the river bends to right, there are another series of shallow ledge drops. Soon the river is divided by Big Island. The most common line is to take the river right channel. The channel drops over a 2-3 foot ledge with three chutes. An excellent place to catch eddies and to suff.
Continue down the left channel around Big Island. The channel widens and then begins to both drop over another series of ledges, as the channel constricts. The fast current and turbulent water form Devil's Shoals. As you work down the ledges, there are eddies that can be caught on the right. As you work down the rapid, a ledge appears on river left, work down the center of the channel for this last section.