Nolichucky, North Carolina, US/Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||31 fpm|
|Max Gradient||57 fpm|
|NOLICHUCKY RIVER AT EMBREEVILLE, TN|
|usgs-03465500||500 - 3000 cfs||III-IV||00h45m||828 cfs (running)|
The Nolichucky is in an incredibly beautiful, deep, mountain gorge that offers lots of great
play, especially within the first few miles. The Noli's punch is at the beginning, then it
mellows out to a mostly class III run allowing ample opportunity to enjoy the scenery. The gorge
is remote with the only opportunity to walk out by a railroad track that parallels the river.
Parking at the takeout: Private boaters can park at the Nolichucky Gorge Campground for a fee (which includes a hot shower - nice on a cold winter day) or at USA Raft. Please do not park at the other rafting companies as parking is tight and the priority goes to their paying rafting customres. As of 2017 "day use", which includes parking at the Nolichucky Gorge Campground is $4 per person (not per car) and include acces to the showers and changing rooms. You can also park at USA Raft if you are using their services (e.g. shuttle). There is also free parking about 3/4 mile downstream at the US Forest Service Chestoa day use area. It's not bad but a little less secure than USA Raft or the campground.
Shuttles The one way shuttle is around 30 mintes meaning an hour at the end
of your day if you don't use a shuttle service. Given the time, gas & wear & tear on
your vehicle, most boaters will choose to use a shuttle service rather than make a 2nd trip at
the end of the day. Noli Gorge Campground can arrange shuttle drivers for you for $20;
their phone number is 423-743-8876. USA Raft has multiple options one is to get a shuttle driver
($20) and use your vehicle. Another is that they can sometimes take a boat & boater to
the Poplar put-in on the rafting bus for $5 if there is room available - you need to call ahead
to find out when this bus leaves and to reserve a space. The can also arrange for a van or bus
for larger groups - price varies with the size of group / vehicle. For example on a recent trip,
we had a group of 8 split a $50 van and didn't have to use our cars. the van w/ trailer could
have held 10-11.
Call in advance if you are checking on availability of space on the rafting bus or want a van / bus for a larger group; their number is 800-872-7238.
USA Raft also has a bunkhouse where you can rent a room or the whole bunkhouse. http://www.usaraft.com/nolichucky-river Camping is (obviously) available at the Nolichucky Gorge Campground http://www.tnvacation.com/vendors/nolichucky_gorge_campground_cabins/
For further information and the most incredibly accurate and specific shuttle directions known to the western world, see Chris Bell's excellent boatingbeta.com website. Note that Chris no longer maintains Boating Beta very much. A lot of stuff has fallen out of date.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||Last Chance a.k.a. Entrance||III+|
|0.6||On The Rocks||III+|
|4.9||Railroad Wall a.k.a. Lost Cove||III|
|5.3||Sousehole a.k.a. Maggie's Rock||III|
|8.0||Nolichucky Gorge Campground||I|
Scout from the small beach on river left. The initial 3-4' drop is run from right to left on the tongue, then immediately go left or right to avoid a large rock. Going left is usually the easier of the two. Going right there are two slots to choose from, usually the first is too hard to hit without prior knowledge of its location, so most go with the second slot which is a 2-3' drop. At EXTREMELY low levels beware of undercut hazards here; however at normal to high flows the undercuts don't pose a major problem. Also, don't run the initial drop far left...pin city. Good recovery pool at the bottom. Depending on the water level many fun waves can be found toward river right all the way to Jaws.
Identified by a large rock outcropping on river right and preceded by a good playspot on river right after a long pool. Start this rapid on far river right angling left to avoid the hole quickly downstream on the right. Eddy out on the right just past the hole and get big enders if you've got a boat with some length to it, but roll fast. From this eddy, ferry hard towards the left to cut behind a large rock located downstream left of center.