This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-IV
Length 10.4 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 09/27/2010 3:14 pm

River Description


Rob Martin:
"T
his is not the creek to be on if you're out of shape. It's not a good creek to test your skills on.
"There is one section that is class IV-IV+; the rest is class II-III (not hair). But this run is
long, physically demanding and remote. But it is a beautiful place to play."

 

High Water comment from Geoff Kohl 06-13-2002 at 8ft

At about 8 feet, this river has some rapids that are class V and last for lengths of a football field or more. At this level, there are a couple drops that get what I would consider possible terminal holes. What's more, these nasty drops are in the middle of pure screaming hair, often giving paddlers the choice of one eddy before them. Having paddled this at that level, I would not recommend this level for anyone who doesn't know the run fairly well. We didn't know what was around some corners and were lucky enough to stop before we met a few huge holes. In addition, this is not for the faint of heart, as it's possible you will bomb down a series of huge haystacks playing slalom with holes that want to make swimmers, with no foreseeable end to the rapid in sight. Portages lead up through thick forests and over huge chunks of sandstone. At this level, it would compare to running Pillow Rock on the Gauley blind without the nice pool at the bottom, plus with bigger, nastier holes. I'd do it again at this level, but I know quite a few who would not, and they are probably better men because of that. (Note: this refers to the old gauge, before the takeout bridge was rebuilt. The corresponding level from the current gauge is unknown.)

 

Ed Note: The highest I know of was at 10 ft in the Winter of 1993, and was a handful all the way to the take-out. With water levels this high, and after our run I recommend Little Soddy.

 

John Tansil shared:
"Some early history - The Piney River was first paddled in 1972 (late 71?) by Martin Begun, other members of the East Tennessee White Water Club, and guest boaters, mostly from the upper Midwest, who traditionally came down to paddle with ETWWC on winter/spring holidays. Friends from that initial trip related details of the first descent to me on my first Piney run in spring 1973.

"Martin B scouted the whole run by foot before paddling it. The first descent was an 'epic' with high water, a big group of 17 (starting out), and lots of carnage. They were in composite K1s or C1s, mostly homemade since both groups had active boatbuilding programs. Kenny Cooper broke his boat in one of the drops and had to walk out. 'Hungry Jack' was (I think?) named for Jack Wright after a trashing. Don Jared painted the first gauge on the bridge at the take-out. The Piney quickly became a favorite run but ETWWC didn't publicize it.
"For several years after, the only groups on the Piney were people from the first runs and a few others. When I paddled it in spring 1975, we were again the only group on the river even though none of the other creeks further south on Walden Ridge had been discovered. Over the next 10 years, plastic boats and the warm water of the Ocoee contributed to a sharp rise in both the skill and number of southeastern paddlers.
"Two guidebooks on Tennessee whitewater, one by Mayfield and another by Sehlinger, helped to popularize the Piney during the early 80s. When I paddled the Piney in 1987 with Lee Belknap and others, it was fairly well-known. The initial rating of class IV-V was as much a statement about boat design and boating skills at the time as it was about the difficulty of the run. The Piney shuttle map is on the front cover of the Tennessee Gazetteer (1989 DeLorme version) except that most is obscured by a logo. The Piney was discovered at about the same time as the Caney Fork/Bee Creek combo and these three were the first Plateau creek runs other than Obed tributaries. Both the Piney and Caney Fork are true classics that should be enjoyed by everyone with the skill to paddle them."

 

For more information click on the link below.

 

http://www.waldensridgewhitewater.com/waldensridge/pineyriver.htm

 

 

Anyone having more details regarding this run is encouraged to either provide them (via the "Add a comment" button, which should appear for registered, logged-in users of this site) or (AW members only) sign up as a StreamTeam Volunteer to "adopt" this section of river.

 

 

 

Rapid Descriptions

Hungry Jack

Class - Mile - 0
One of the last big ones, with more water it gets more of a bite

Signal Falls

Class - Mile - 0
The first major rapid after Moccasin Creek

Begin of Slide Section

Class - Mile - 0
This is your landmark, for the Slide rapid that is coming up

Moccasin Creek putin

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The alternate putin, where Pine Creek Rd. crosses Moccasin Creek. Lat/long coords are approximate, from Google Maps.

Comments

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Justin E Abel
|
1 year ago

4/15/18 We paddled down at 5.5/6ft on the gauge. Heard it rose to 7ft while we were on it. Very non-stop action with massive waves and holes. Serious consequences for any swimmer or upside down boat in the steep section. The main rock at the bottom of Hungry Jack was only sticking out of the water a few feet for perspective. As previous descriptions note, it was very much like any big Upper Gauley rapids only with no flat water between drops. Some rapids were slightly bigger than the Gauley, no kidding. Didn't believe it til I saw it.

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Crisler Torrence
|
2 years ago

4/1/17 rafted the Piney at about 3.5 on the far left side of the gauge, flow was quite brown. Ct, G, and Josh in maxi me, Eli OC1, it went so smooth. There is still wood below the river right slide about 1/3 of the way in, its the rapid that usually has wood, you can run it down the left to avoid but its technical. it was less than 3 hours to do the whole run. We bumped a bit but the level was great for a raft.

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Matt Kuckuk
|
2 years ago

I'm one of the "upper Midwest paddlers" who ran the Piney in the 70's, with Fred Young, Mark Hall, and Jackson Wright. This was one of our favorite rivers when we came to Tennessee on our college holidays. I especially loved the drive to the put-in, being a flatlander. We could see the valley far below, and knew we were going to descend there from the top of the plateau! The Piney is a beautiful Class IV river, a classic and top 10 in the country, in my now more well-traveled opinion.

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clay wright
|
4 years ago

Great run! 3.8'' that am and 3.2'' when we got off. I would call it high or medium high as it was pushy, continuous and plenty deep with wave-trains to the end. Moccasin Creek needs a gage, but it was 8'' over the cement 'bridge'. We spend 2.5 hrs on the run and 2 hrs just on shuttle as the road is slow, though passable in any sedan. No wood on Moccasin, one log across the right hand channel (where most water goes) just below the 'slide' 2 drops before 'hungry jack.' Marked the spot with orange tape, ran down far left into next fun rapid. Lots of dangling wood from bank in run-out of Piney but all easily missable at this level. This is a great, incredibly scenic and under appreciated run that I would consider a step up from Tellico / Daddy's / Spring / White's Creek or Clear Creek due to the length, isolation and continuity but a great warm-up to Caney Fork, North Chick, Island etc. The individual rapids are fun but the number of them and length that it carries that same class 3 difficulty is impressive. The action is solid 3+ from that first 4' ledge down to the ledge, the slide, the tougher rapid above Jack with the logs on right and Hungry Jack (4+?). Some big water fun stuff below Hungry Jack then it drops down progressively to 2-3 then 2 with occasional 3 to keep you on your toes. Overall a class 4 run at this level due to the remote nature and long day. Bring your breakdown, food and headlight! A pinned boat could mean hiking further than you would enjoy. Trail starts at Duskin Creek. The scenery is magnificent - 100' Hemlocks tower over the river and rock walls up to 60' high flank the sides off and on with waterfalls cascading down them. No trash, but an old rock road can be seen crossing occasionally making me wonder who lived up here. So glad I took the day off Bear to check out this class 4 gem I will definitely visit again. Clay

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John Tansil
|
12 years ago

Some early history – The Piney River was first paddled in 1972 (late 71?) by Martin Begun, other members of the East Tennessee White Water Club, and guest boaters, mostly from the upper Midwest, who traditionally came down to paddle with ETWWC on winter/spring holidays. Friends from that initial trip related details of the first descent to me on my first Piney run in spring 1973. Martin B scouted the whole run by foot before paddling it. The first descent was an “epic” with high water, a big group of 17 (starting out), and lots of carnage. They were in composite K1s or C1s, mostly homemade since both groups had active boatbuilding programs. Kenny Cooper broke his boat in one of the drops and had to walk out. “Hungry Jack” was (I think?) named for Jack Wright after a trashing. Don Jared painted the first gauge on the bridge at the take-out. The Piney quickly became a favorite run but ETWWC didn’t publicize it. For several years after, the only groups on the Piney were people from the first runs and a few others. When I paddled it in spring 1975, we were again the only group on the river even though none of the other creeks further south on Walden Ridge had been discovered. Over the next 10 years, plastic boats and the warm water of the Ocoee contributed to a sharp rise in both the skill and number of southeastern paddlers. Two guidebooks on Tennessee whitewater, one by Mayfield and another by Sehlinger, helped to popularize the Piney during the early 80s. When I paddled the Piney in 1987 with Lee Belknap and others, it was fairly well-known. The initial rating of class IV-V was as much a statement about boat design and boating skills at the time as it was about the difficulty of the run. The Piney shuttle map is on the front cover of the Tennessee Gazetteer (1989 DeLorme version) except that most is obscured by a logo. The Piney was discovered at about the same time as the Caney Fork/Bee Cr combo and these three were the first Plateau creek runs other than Obed tributaries. Both the Piney and Caney Fork are true classics that should be enjoyed by everyone with the skill to paddle them. John Tansil

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Paul Butler
|
14 years ago

4-11-05

ran the Piney 4-9-05 with a gauge reading of 3ft--it was equal to about 1.8 or so on the old gauge

I'd look for a new minimum of about 3.25

Paul B

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Alex Zendel
|
14 years ago

Got to run this for the first time today (4/9/05). Lots of fun and will definitely be back

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Wade Harrison
|
14 years ago

There is a miss print in Gazetteer Topo for the putin creek flowing into the Piney.The roads are all the same as mention but if you check it has Youngs Creek as the putin creek and there is a gap between Moccasin Creek and Youngs Creek and it shows as the two never confluence.This is an ERROR in Gazetteer Its Moccasins Creek but I think the error In the commonly used Delorme Gazetteer Topo should be worth a mention...

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Geoff Kohl
|
17 years ago

At about 8 feet, this river has some
rapids that are class V and last for
lengths of a football field or more. At
this level, there are a couple drops that
get what I would consider possible
terminal holes. What's more, these
nasty drops are in the middle of pure
screaming hair, often giving paddlers
the choice of one eddy before them.
Having paddled this at that level, I
would not recommend this level for
anyone who doesn't know the run fairly
well. We didn't know what was around
some corners and were lucky enough
to stop before we met a few huge
holes. In addition, this is not for the
faint of heart, as its possible you will
bomb down a series of huge
haystacks playing slalom with holes
that want to make swimmers, with no
forseeable end to the rapid in site.
Portages lead up through thick forests
and over huge chunks of sandstone. At
this level, it would compare to running
Pillow Rock on Gauley blind without
the nice pool at the bottom, plus with
bigger, nastier holes. I'd do it again at
this level, but I know quite a few who
would not, and they are probably better
men because of that.

default user thumbnail
robert martin
|
18 years ago

This is not the creek to be on if your out of shape. It's not a good creek to test your skills on. There is one section that is class IV-IV+, the rest is class II-III (not hair). But this run is long, physically demanding and remote. But it is a beautiful place to play.

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

There is a gauge painted on the bridge piling on Shut In Gap Road at the Piney Takeout. The Min. is 3.0' (boney). Max might be around 8 feet, but this isn't well known at this point.

 

Permits

NA

Directions Description


From a comment:

There is a misprint in the Gazetteer Topo for the putin creek flowing into the Piney.The roads are all the same as mentioned but if you check it has Youngs Creek as the putin creek. It shows a gap between Moccasin Creek and Youngs Creek, as though the two never confluence.This is an ERROR in the Gazetteer. It's Moccasin Creek, but I think the error In the commonly used Delorme Gazetteer Topo should be worth a mention.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1991-02-02 High Near Miss/Rescue Solo Paddling Read More

Alerts

 

News

user-avatar

mark cumnock

user-avatar

Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191578 02/22/07 mark cumnock n/a
1197897 07/03/10 Matt Muir Added text from comments; changed gauge description; added abstract.
1198197 09/23/10 mark cumnock added a link
1198229 09/27/10 mark cumnock cleaned up fonts
1197898 07/03/10 Matt Muir Added comment about DeLorme to "Directions" tab.