This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV
Length 9.8 Miles
Flow Range 1000 - 8000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 32 minutes ago 421 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 03/23/2018 5:00 am

River Description

Logistics: To reach the take-out from the town of Wartburg (where there is a National Park visitor center), follow the signs to the Nemo Access from Old Highway 27. Head out the southwest corner of town and continue 6.0 miles to the river. A day-use area with ample parking, changing area, and picnic tables can be found upstream river left of the old Nemo Bridge. This makes a great meeting point, and place to hangout after your run.

You have options for put-ins depending on how long a trip and what type of run you're looking for:
A) Drive directly to Obed Junction (listed put-in for this run).
B) Run Daddy's Creek from Devils Breakfast Table (if the wildlife gate is not closed for the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area) to the Obed confluence.
C) Run Clear Creek to the Obed confluence.
D) Run beginning further upstream on the Obed.

From Obed Junction (which is at the confluence with Daddy's Creek), the river contains class II/III rock gardens until you reach a one mile class III/IV section containing 'Ninety Right-Ninety Left', 'OmyGod!', 'Rockgarden' (be aware of the dangerous spot that exists on the right in this rapid!), and 'Submarine Falls'.

Soon after these drops, Clear Creek enters from the left. You will encounter four more class III rapids (separated by calm stretches of river), the last two of which are known as 'Keep Right' and 'Widowmaker'.

After the confluence with the Emory River its just a mile downstream to the take-out at the old Nemo Bridge.

Here's the official Obed Wild & Scenic River Map with all the put-ins and take-outs.

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage area: ~332 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

At the listed put-in drainage area is ~332 square miles (as calculated by USGS StreamStats 4.2.0 software).

After 4.6 miles (after confluence with Clear Creek), the combined drainage becomes ~514 square miles.

After another 4.3 miles at the confluence with the Emory, drainage becomes ~613 square miles for the final mile to the listed take-out.

Class II-III rock gardens

Class - N/A Mile - 0.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Randomly strewn throughout the first three miles you will find numerous brief class II-III rock-garden rapids.

Nintey Right-Ninety Left

Class - III Mile - 3.24
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Enter from the left and execute two 90 degree turns the last being on the lip of the main drop.

Oh My God

Class - III+ Mile - 3.34

This rapid lies in a gentle left-hand bend. It's rocky at the top, pitches over a ledge at the bottom, then heads directly for Oh My God Rock which juts upstream from the river-right shore.
(Unknown if the rock is undercut or not. There is a good sized pillow on the rock where the current slams into it, and a turbulent eddy on the upstream side, against the river-right bank, implying that water is not going under it. Still, if I was swimming, I'd swim like he!! away from it.)


Class - IV Mile - 3.69

Scout this rapid on river right. At lower flows the water tends to push you towards the right where some of the rocks are undercut. Over 3,000 cfs the rocks are better covered.

Submarine falls

Class - II+ Mile - 3.94
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Just above the confluence with Clear Creek, this is a short drop through a narrow spot between two boulders. (Class II+ at low-to-moderate flows, Class III at higher flows.)

Confluence: Clear Creek

Class - N/A Mile - 4.53
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Clear Creek enters from river-left.

Canoe Hole Rapids

Class - N/A Mile - 5.06
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Keep Right

Class - N/A Mile - 6.12
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Widow Maker

Class - N/A Mile - 6.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Confluence: Emory River

Class - N/A Mile - 8.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

From here it is just about a mile (of largely flat flowing water) to the take-out.


default user thumbnail
Jonathan Ryan
3 years ago

I ran from Obed Junction (OBJ) to Nemo on 2017-03-04 The river gauge listed for this run, Emory River at Oakdale, is 9 miles _downstream_ from the takeout at Nemo. The proper gauge for this run is Obed at Lancing,,00060. You paddle right past this gauge on river left about 1.3 miles above the confluence with the Emory--look for a galvanized culvert-like column on the left bank and a cable crossing just downstream. If you want to know the flow in the section above the confluence with Clear Creek, add the flow from Clear Creek at Lilly from the Obed gauge.

default user thumbnail
Simon Krzych
6 years ago

Obed River, Potter's Chapel Road to Catoosa Road Class 2-4 (listed on AW as Obed -4. Obed Junction to Nemo) - Minimum flow is 1000 cfs for canoes and 1200 cfs for the Avon Ranger on the Emory River at Oakdale, TN - Max flow is 8000 cfs - Run is 10 river miles - AW says "From Obed Junction which is at the confluence with Daddy's Creek, the river flows through 2.8 miles of class II/!!! rock gardens before you reach a one mile section containing Ninety Right-Ninety Left (class III-), OmyGod! (class III+), Rockgarden (class IV) Be aware of the dangerous spot that exist on the right in this rapid, and Submarine Falls (class II+). Soon after these drops you will pass Clear Creek which enters in from the left 4.2 miles into the run from Obed Junction. You will encounter four more class III rapids separated by calm stretches of river, the last two of which are known as as Keep Right and Widowmaker."

default user thumbnail
Sandra David
7 years ago

Rock Garden - The scout from river left is easy, and more importantly, in my opinion you get a better view of the entire rapid. There's a good line on the far left side, but it's advisable to check this line for wood, which may not be visible from the river right scout.

default user thumbnail
9 years ago

I have opened a hostel for paddlers and climbers at my home, a five minutes drive from Lilly Bridge (Clear Creek). Check it out at:

default user thumbnail
10 years ago

ran lilly to obed at 800cfs great time relatively safe for intermediate rafters then obed to nemo bridge 4500 cfs relatively sale for intermediate rafters had a great time george esteban debie sue etc...

default user thumbnail
11 years ago

It should be made clear that you cannot drive down to Obed Junction. This is where Daddys Creek comes into the Obed and there has been no vehicular access from at least 1971 to the present time. When we paddled Daddys in spring 2009, we hiked up the trail to the road. Do not leave a car there since there have been multiple break-ins. We left ours at a nearby house and gave them some money.

default user thumbnail
11 years ago

May I suggest that the 2002 whitewater clinic pictures do not show enough of the Obed to be useful?

Gage Descriptions

Gage: 03540500 Emory R at Oakdale
Runnable Oct-May
1000 - 7000 cfs Suitable for canoes and kayaks, Rafts at higher flows

Directions Description

Here's the official Obed Wild & Scenic River Map with all the putins and takeouts.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2014-01-12 n/a Near Miss/Rescue Cold Water Read More
1975-04-22 Medium Fatality Other Read More






Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209117 03/23/18 Rob reposition start/end points (which were out in fields)
1191569 06/18/08 n/a Added gauge info and added in some GPS coordinates