New River - US 27 Bridge to Clear Fork River


New River, Tennessee, US

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US 27 Bridge to Clear Fork River (New River Gorge above Big South Fork)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 8.9 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
NEW RIVER AT NEW RIVER, TN
usgs-03408500 500 - 5000 cfs II-III 00h32m 204 cfs (too low)


River Description

Five miles of flatwater then 4 miles of II-III

Put In: at the U.S. Hwy 27 bridge between Onieda, TN & Wartburg, TN or more specifically between Robins, TN & Helenwood, TN (there is an access road on river right just past the bridge that takes you under the bridge to a concrete put in ramp with lots of parking)

Take Out: The take out is the same as the Put In for the Big South Fork if you are running from the confluence down. From the put in travel north on US Hwy 27 for about 5-6 miles & turn left at the Subway onto Niggs Creek Rd. Cross the RR tracts & take your immediate left onto Detour Rd. aka Helenwood Detour Rd. Go about a 1 mile & turn right onto Airport Rd. Take the left split at the Airport onto John Long Rd. The airport will be on your right and the road will be gravel as you go into the gorge. You will also pass a cemetery on the way. Eventually the road will end at the parking lot. (Taking out at the confluence requires carrying your boat uphill about a 1/4 mile)

Distance: 8.9 Miles (US Hwy 27 to Confluence with Clear Fork)

Description: This run gets overlooked due to the fact the the first five miles are flatwater and the water quality is suspect. However people are overlooking the bottom 4 miles which have about 12 Class II and 2-4 Class III. The first five miles are completely flat and are barely broken up by a few class I shoals. Finally, rock banks instead of mud banks and obvious gradient signals the start of the whitewater section. A few class II's lead to an obvious horizon line and the first Class III. This rapid is a 2-3 foot ledge on the left 2/3's that has pin rocks all over the landing zone and a spiral hole at one point that feeds an undercut. The middle has a pourover boof move and the right is a large shoal. Scout this rapid as it has undercuts & pin rocks on the leftside(see photo). Several more Class II's takes you to the 2nd Class III, WaBash Cannonball, the biggest rapid on this section. This rapid constricts the 70 foot wide river to about 30 feet causing a flume that gets pretty pushy. 1/2 way down the rapid is a large wave/hole that must be punched followed by another ledge just before several megaboulder pillow rocks to dodge.(see photo) This rapid marks the start of the last two miles which is where most of the gradient is lost. Immediately below is a Class II surfing ledge followed by another Class II + ledge. This ledge is marked by a huge pile (20-30 feet tall) of small boulders on river left that chokes the channel. The rapid has a tree blocking 3/4 of the ledge from river left.(see photo) There are a handful of more Class II's down to the take out at the confluence with the Clear Fork.

If you look at a topo map it looks like the last 2 miles could be accessed from John Long Rd. a 1/4 mile through the woods from the cemetery. Never tried it, but it would shorten the shuttle to a mile & would cut out the flat water.

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-08-08 13:39:05

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
5.05 Miles of FlatwaterPhoto
5.7First Class III LedgeIIIPhoto
6.0Typical of the Class IIIIPhoto
6.3More Class IIIIPhoto
6.5Solid Class II DropIIPhoto
6.9More Class IIIIPhoto
7.1Wabash CannonballIIIPhoto
7.5Surfing LedgeIIPhoto
8.0Class II+ LedgeII+Photo
8.3Class II near the endIIPhoto
8.6Final Class II dropIIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

5 Miles of Flatwater

5 Miles of Flatwater

5 Miles of Flatwater
Photo of Allen Brown by Scott Sandidge taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

This is typical of Miles 1 - 5

First Class III Ledge (Class III, Mile 5.7)

First major ledge

First major ledge
Photo by Scott Sandidge taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

River right is a shoal and is not shown in the photo. Middle and left is this 2-3 ft ledge. The pourover in the middle (left in photo) is a nice drop. River left (right in the photo)is peppered with pin rocks throughout. There is a nasty hole on the far river left (can't see it in the photo) that feeds into the undercut rock in the middle right of the photo.

Typical of the Class II (Class II, Mile 6.0)

Typical Class II stuff

Typical Class II stuff
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

Typical of the Class II stuff following the ledge. At this level the whitecaps below are 2 ft. waves.

More Class II (Class II, Mile 6.3)

Another Class II

Another Class II
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

River left and middle are a medium shoals. River right (circled in red) is a nice 2 ft. drop into a rock garden.

Solid Class II Drop (Class II, Mile 6.5)

Another solid class II

Another solid class II
Photo of Allen Brown by Scott Sandidge taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

This is a solid class II. Not all Class II rapids are pictured, but the pictures are in order. See C1 boater at the top for scale.

More Class II (Class II, Mile 6.9)

More fun Class II

More fun Class II
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

More fun class II. Not all rapids are pictured, but the pictures are in order.

Wabash Cannonball (Class III, Mile 7.1)

Havin' fun on the New

Havin' fun on the New
Photo of Scott Sandidge by Allen Brown taken 07/23/05 @ ~750 cfs

The is the biggest rapid on the section and there will be an obvious horizon line. Punch the wave/hole, drop over another ledge and then dodge those nasty pillow rocks at the bottom that may be undercut. Rollercoaster ride.

Surfing Ledge (Class II, Mile 7.5)

Rapid below the big one

Rapid below the big one
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

A nice little class II surfing wave.

Class II+ Ledge (Class II+, Mile 8.0)

Another Class II+/III

Another Class II+/III
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

This is a 2-3 ft drop followed by some nice waves. Yellow line shows a strainer blocking river left 2/3's. Red circle shows the meat of the drop.

Class II near the end (Class II, Mile 8.3)

More class II near the takeout

More class II near the takeout
Photo of Allen Brown by Scott Sandidge taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

Class II boogie water near the end.

Final Class II drop (Class II, Mile 8.6)

Last one before the takeout

Last one before the takeout
Photo taken 07/23/05 @ ~750

Looking upstream at the final Class II drop before the confluence and takeout. You can keep going down the BSF Gorge for a 16 mile day.


User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 13 2017 (7 days ago)
Drewavan (158200)
I had a crew of three ran this river yesterday, and the level was 2650. At this flow, the class 1
shoals at the top become a good 2, and Wabash Cannon Ball becomes a 3+ or 4-. It is a big and pushy
rapid at the higher flows. Several of the rapids upgrade at these higher flows. Overall it is a
great run at this level, and the flatter water at the start moves quick. I would do recommend this
run when BSF gets a bit washed out. It is a blast.
March 26 2012 (1973 days ago)
MGentry81 (154183)
I ran this river today, March 26th, even though the sewage spill advisory is still in effect (I am
just too impatient!). The water - by all visual accounts, seemed very clean. It was running at
1350cfs - nearly twice the running rate as the pictures on this website. It was a fun run with the
latter half being very active. The last class III has a high potential for pinning, so be careful.


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