Tellico - 3. Bridge below Jared's Knee to Ranger Station

Tellico, Tennessee, US


3. Bridge below Jared's Knee to Ranger Station (Middle Tellico)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 5.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 50 fpm
Max Gradient 80 fpm

Bridge Rapid

Bridge Rapid
Photo of unknown hand paddler by James Locke taken 09/19/04 @ 2.5 feet

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03518500 1.40 - 4.00 ft II-III 00h31m 1.03 ft (too low)

River Description

Logistics: From Tellico Plains head east on Highway 165 out of town and at mile 5.3 you will come to the Oosterneck Day Use Area that is generally used as the take-out for this reach due to the ample off-road parking. Continue on up the road another 0.1 mile and turn right on FR 210. The Ranger Station access is at mile 0.4 but there are numerous roadside pullouts and any of the ones in the first two miles make good alternative take outs particularly for those who are continuing from the ledge run that starts above this one. The great thing about this run is you can pick your access point depending on how much time you have and what you want to run. The traditional put-in for this middle reach is at the bridge at FR 210 mile 5.3. Put-in on upstream river left where you will find a good pullout. If you want to run 2 miles of quality class IV you can check out the next run upstream that includes Baby Falls and several fun ledge drops.

Description: The Lower Tellico provides paddlers with a unique opportunity to choose from one of several different possible runs by selecting from multiple access points. Those looking for more of a challenge start their runs further upstream, while those who don’t want to get things started right away with challenging class III drops can find an access a short distance downstream. The convenient roadside access makes it easy for folks to join the group wherever they feel most comfortable. The gradient over the 5 miles of this run averages 50 fpm but gradually ramps down in the one mile segments as follows: 80, 53, 45, 40, and 32.

The run starts right off with a bang at the first class III rapid at the bridge. The hole under the right side of the bridge can get mean at higher flows. Only a short distance downstream you’ll find the next class III known as Ledges. The next rapid is Bounce off Boulder (BOB), notable by a large sloping rock on the left. Long boats can get enders in the hole at the base of the boulder, short boats can get nearly looped. Turkey Creek which enters from river right 0.8 miles into this run serves as an alternate access that avoids these more challenging drops and is also an alternate take-out for those running the upper run.

Below this point the run is mostly class II with occasional class III drops including Crack in the Rock (class III), Gregs Nose (class III), Submarine (class III-), and Pylon Rapid (class III-). Reeders Rock is another named class II that comes after these. This rapid is noted for the keep right sign and the deceptive undercut wall on the left. The nasty undercut is the rock that the sign is on, but the walls downstream are undercut as well. There was a drowning here in 1989. In another mile you’ll reach the Ranger Road access. Paddlers typically continue another half mile downstream to the access at the Oosterneck Day Use Area.

See Julie Keller's excellent article for additional information as well as Grateful Ed's Virtual Tellico Tour.

The Tellico is a great river for a group as just about everyone can find something to enjoy, and even if the water gets high you can check out other sections. In addition to a couple of tributary creeks, the other Tellico runs include:
1. Trout Hatchery to Bridge above Bald River (Class II-III+),
2. Bridge above Bald River to bridge below Jerod's Knee (Upper Tellico) (Class III-IV+)
4. Ranger Station to Tellico Plains (Class I-III).

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-04-28 07:25:00

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Put-inPutin Photo
0.0Bridge RapidIIIPhoto Video
0.0Reeders RockN/AHazard
0.1The LedgesIIIPhoto
0.4Bounce off BoulderIII+Photo
0.8Turkey CreekIIPutin Takeout Access

Rapid Descriptions



Photo by James Locke taken 09/19/04 @ 2.5

The put-in eddy is just below the parking area. This is also the take-out for the upper run.

Bridge Rapid (Class III)
Click Here For Video

Bridge Rapid

Bridge Rapid
Photo of unknown hand paddler by James Locke taken 09/19/04 @ 2.5 feet

Easy Class 3 that is usually run down the river right side.

The Ledges (Class III, Mile 0.1)

1st rapid below Put-In (The Ledges)

1st rapid below Put-In (The Ledges)
Photo of Kevin Thomas by Rob Maxwell @ 700

At normal flows run down the left.

Bounce off Boulder (Class III+, Mile 0.4)

Bounce Off Boulder - Tellico

Bounce Off Boulder - Tellico
Photo by Chris Gorman taken 06/03 @ ~3ft

Run down the right, then ride the curler off the large sloping rock on the left. The hole at the bottom is good for enders, and the occasionally flushy cartwheel.

Turkey Creek (Class II, Mile 0.8)
A popular access point. A large creek comes in on river left. Carry up under the bridge on the downstream side and up to the cars.

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