At 3.6 on the gauge I would rank this as III not II-III. It has several rapids equivalent to Lesser Wesser on the Nantahala.
ran this section at 3.04 ft on townsend gauge. very fun narrow creek with nonstop class 2-3 rapids and lots of playspots. didnt see any other paddlers, several fisherman and tourists however. couple of nice 3-4 ft ledges, and some class 3 rapids near the end. strainers are pretty common, and below the 2nd bridge was a mandatory not-very easy portage due to a riverwide strainer. matt hagan louisville ky oc-1
Why don't you replace the Maryville gauge information with the data and link for the Townsend gauge? The Townsend gauge is a lot closer and it appears that there is enough information about it to make the levels more accurate.
this section really should be re-ranked 2/4. The section right under the bridge has 3 nice rapids very close to each and with enough water easily make up a class 4 rapid.
4 years ago
by Meryl Stark
6 years ago
9 years ago
by Mark Singleton
A link to the above Townsend guage is much better, and can be found at:
For Elmont to be running look for levels of at least 2.8 feet and rising. A better visual guage is located at Elkmont Campground at the put-in bridge. Bottom of footing - Good
6" above - Great
1-2' - Big Water fun
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Little River - Above Metcalf Bottoms
Some Rapid on the Little
Stuck on the Rocks
Upstream view Elkmont Bridge
Scouting Bridge Rapid
Right below Big Sycamore Rapid
Guage at Elkmont Bridge
Downstrean view from Elkmont Bridge
Doug Johnstone at Elkmont put-in
Pinned on the Little
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.
The Little River near Townsend, Tennessee is one of the nicest class III-IV roadside runs in Smokey Mountain National Park. On March 11th an open canoeist flipped in the first drop of "the Meanies" just above The Sinks and washed downstream over a 6' ledge. He was swimming on his back, feet first, lined up with the current when he washed into the backwash and did not reappear. The water "planted" him vertically in rocks below the drop, catching his foot. Many paddlers who were on the river that day participated in the rescue, eventially using a complex live bait system to pull the man free. Click through for a detailed account of what happened.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!