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 01h10m 1.88 ft (running)

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 1 2018 (290 days ago)
Jim KnowlesDetails
Reeders Rock was the site of a fatal accident on 7-29-89. AW has incorrectly identified this
accident in the Ranger Station to Tellico Plains River Section. I have reported this to AW, but no
action has been taken yet. Here is the link: The accident is actually
in the Bridge below Jared's Knee to Ranger Station Section, (1.0 mile upstream of the Ranger
Station is where Reeders Rock is located on the Tellico River). This is a serious undercut rock on
river left. It is more like a cave when seen at low water. Reeders has a wide opening on the
upstream side and a very small (smaller than a kayak) exit opening on the downstream side of the
rock. Do not take Reeders rapid lightly, it is most dangerous when the level is around 1.2' - 1.8'.
There is a Yellow Warning Sign - KEEP RIGHT attached to a tree located on the Cave. On low level
runs the best route is to portage across the rocks on river right.
March 30 2018 (292 days ago)
Judith RanelliDetails
The section from the bridge below Jared's Knee to the Pylon rapid is a fun, pool-drop, easy intro
to creeking run and is one of my favorites. This section has class III drops sprinkled amidst many
class II and III-. I would call the section as a whole class III-, not class II-III, but that's me.
The rapids are all forgiving, but be on the lookout for wood. I park a take-out vehicle at Pylon,
or at Wonderwoman rapid just above Pylon. At lower flows the river past Pylon to Oosterneck can be
a slog. Parking where I mentioned also takes the hassle/worry of Reeder's Rock out of the picture
if you have newbies along. I've heard tales of an OCA canoe disappearing under Reeder's for a few
days, so I give it a wide berth. I've run this section as low as 1.4, but 1.8 is fine, 2.3 is
better, and 3.0 is a hoot.
May 19 2014 (1703 days ago)
simonkrzych (155765)
3/15/14 Tellico was great. We put on at about 3.5ft we did the bridge below Jared's knee to the
ranger station. Mini me, maxi me, and safety kayak. Everything was great for rafts, maybe to big
for George in the canoe.
January 12 2009 (3656 days ago)
x (1)
There are two new strainers at the beginning of the run. The first strainer is just before the
entrance the Bounce of Boulder. There is an opening river right that can be use to avoid strainer
(tree). The second was about .6 miles from the put in and is a downed tree that was about 4 inches
off the surface river wide. Portage was river left just before the log. Everyone be careful.
July 16 2008 (3836 days ago)
x (1)
There is a tree down a mile or so into the run and was difficult to get through. There was not alot
of current there and not in a major rapid. Be careful. There is another tree down right above
Submarine Rapid. You can sweep around the left side and still make it back to river right for the
right hand drop.
March 8 2008 (3966 days ago)
x (1)
I took a run down on Sunday 3-2-08 and the log at BOB had jammed up further down stream. I think
the high water flow over the past week could have potentially swept it on down stream. I am curious
to see its position tomorrow!
February 24 2008 (3979 days ago)
x (1)
The log is located at Bounce of Boulder (BOB) and should be portaged . It's hard to see upon entry.
This hazard was removed on weekend of Feb 9th. The log at Bounce off Bolder was removed by Steve
Smyth and friends almost two week ago.. Always scout..
January 12 2008 (4022 days ago)
x (1)
January 12 MAJOR log in rapid about one mile below J Knee MADATORY PORTAGE. Look for on drive up.
March 10 2004 (5425 days ago)
For good class 4 boaters the lower tellico is a great time at flows when the upper starts to get
really scary. On those days when the rock in diaper wiper is kicking up a 10 foot roostertail and
Jarrods knees is three riverwide holes....but you don't have time to drive over to citico (or
citico is dry) then move on down to the lower. One area to pay close attention is the hole under
the put-in bridge. The river right side starts to get evil about 1200 cfs and generally keeps
getting more nasty.
My experience runs out at about 3000 cfs, but at that level most of the run was still boat

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