Hiwassee - 2. Appalachia Powerhouse to Bridge at Reliance

Hiwassee, Tennessee, US


2. Appalachia Powerhouse to Bridge at Reliance

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 5.8 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03566000 15.00 - 30.00 ft II 231d15h51m 17.88 ft (running)
See the TVA Appalachia Dam release schedule. Flows can change hourly. See TVA Appalachia Dam release schedule. Flows can change hourly!!!

River Description

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.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-02 03:07:03


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.6Thread the NeedleIIPlayspot
2.1Mary Nell PointIIAccess Playspot Photo
2.5Stairstep RapidIIPlayspot Photo
3.1Little Rock IslandII+Playspot
4.0Funnel RapidII+Playspot Photo
4.6Devil's ShoalsII+Playspot Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Thread the Needle (Class II, Mile 1.6)
Soon after the mouth of Towee Creek (on river right) the river descends over a short series of ledges, before being diveded by Cane Island. Work to the left, taking the left channel. This chute is in turn divided by a rock jumble. Go to the left or to the right.

Mary Nell Point (Class II, Mile 2.1)


Photo of Russ & Nathan from Canoe Ky surfing by Michael Martin

As the river works around Big Bend, it approaches a 3 foot drop, most prominent on river left--Mary Nell Point. On river right, before the drop is the Big Bend Parking area.

Stairstep Rapid (Class II, Mile 2.5)

Stairstep Rapid

Stairstep Rapid
Photo of Stairstep Rapid by Chuck Spornick taken 2004

A series of ledge drops that last well over a quarter mile -- one of the common lines is to start river right and work over to river left.

Little Rock Island (Class II+, Mile 3.1)
As you approach the island, take the river left channel -- this line involves a short series of Class 2+ ledge drops

Funnel Rapid (Class II+, Mile 4.0)

Funnel Rapid

Funnel Rapid
Photo by belmontguy taken 06/01/13

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.

Devil's Shoals (Class II+, Mile 4.6)

devil shoals fun

devil shoals fun
Photo of jackyb taken 08/15/10 @ 0 cfs

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
January 17 2014 (1831 days ago)
Jonathan RyanDetails
Notes: Do not confuse the Applachia Dam with the Applachia Powerhouse. The Powerhouse is 8.8 miles
downstream from the dam. It gets its water from the dam via a tunnel. (Hiwassee dam is completely
different from either of these.) The dam may release water into the river at very high lake levels,
but it does not generate power, and has no scheduled releases. The Powerhouse is about 1/2 mile
above the put in, and is where all the water for paddling from the Powerhouse put-in to Reliance
comes from. (Unless the dam is spilling water.) The USGS river gauge on the Hiwassee is at
Charleston, below the confluence of the Hiwassee and the Ocoee Rivers, so it cannot be used as a
reliable indicator of water levels for either river, especially since both are dam controlled. The
link to TVA Applachia Powerhouse is: http://www.tva.gov/lakes/aph_r.htm TVA has a smartphone app
that makes it very easy to check all its dam releases.
September 24 2010 (3042 days ago)
Jamie HigginsDetails
Here's a video tour of the Hiwassee I did with the Georgia Canoeing Association on Memorial Day
Weekend 2010....check it out. It shows all the major rapids... http://www.vimeo.com/15007826
July 31 2010 (3097 days ago)
Doug DavisDetails
The for this river section is entirely wrong. Its showing the same put in and take out as the upper
Class 3 section. The take out shown on this map is actually the put in for the class 2 section.
June 7 2009 (3516 days ago)
Hiwassee Outfitters is at the typical takeout for this section. They should know all the details
you would want. http://www.hiwasseeoutfitters.com/
December 8 2007 (4063 days ago)
Michael SmithDetails
Ran this river on Nov 10th with just 1 GENERATOR, it was completely worth it and quite fun. The
flat sections are a little scrapy but there are some new playspots that show up at low water and
devil shoals has a change to it. Make sure the 1 generator releases for at least 2 hours, 3 is
better. We out ran the water and had to wait for it to catch up to us, so pay attention to the
level and enjoy.
June 5 2006 (4614 days ago)
Robert ButeraDetails
Shuttle Route.

From the Texaco station on TN 30. Turn right out of the station and take an immediate right onto
the bridge over the river. Take the first right turn after the bridge (Childress Creek Road, sign
for Roses' restaurant). Drive a few miles until you see a road off to your right - the two
businesses with signs are "Reliance Fly and Tackle" and the "Ocoee Outdoors Hiwassee
Outpost." Take a right here on the road between these two businesses. Keep on driving - you
will pass a few USFS parking areas, including the Towee Boating Site. You could put in here, but
you'll miss half the ride. When you reach the Powerhouse Boating Site, you've found the putin.

I don't know what kind of shuttle deal Hiwassee Outfitters runs. Webb Brothers (operates out of the
Texaco) charges $5 for a shuttle with kayak, $3 for just a person w/o a kayak. The shuttle ride is
short enough to drop off your boats at the putin, drive back, and take the shuttle back up. Or just
do that yourself.
June 1 2006 (4618 days ago)
A two unit release equals about 1200 cfs.