This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II(III)
Length 11.6 Miles
Flow Range 150 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 173 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 09/12/2018 11:03 am

River Description

This is a brisk meandering float through the high piedmont countryside, with every kind of scenery there is: farms, pastures, fields, forests, houses, hunting shacks, and a few roads.  A great day trip for pairs or small groups.  The river changes from rocky riffles to wide sandy bottoms throughout the reach, with some rapids sprinkled every so often. 

One Class III rapid exists just over halfway through this section and should be portaged by inexperienced paddlers as there is no good access in the area.

Other trip reports:

Rapid Descriptions

Coiled Cobra

Class - III Mile - 6.65


Class - N/A Mile - 11.45
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

"JP" provides:

There is a dam just before Jessups Mill (with "no portage", according to the guy who works at the mill).

Aerial views (via Google Maps) show a small dirt road by riverleft just above the dam that looks like it could be used for take out and/or portage, although it lies within private property. It's also important to note that there is no take out at Jessups Mill due to it being downstream of the dam.

This could possibly lead to issues.


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1990-12-24 Medium Near Miss/Rescue Cold Water Read More



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A Close Look at Cheoah River Fatalities

Charlie Walbridge

The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not  going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)

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Attention Virginia Boaters!

Jason Robertson

During the high waters of Spring 2003, there has been a noticeable increase in reported confrontations between boaters and property owners in Virginia. Please remember to be respectful and courteous to property owners; do not trespass; and avoid confrontation in order to preserve access in the future.

Brandon L Price


Matt Muir


Tony Allred Jr


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1205132 07/28/15 Brandon L Price BLP
1191722 03/31/06 n/a n/a
1210327 09/12/18 Tony Allred Jr 9-10-2018 - adjusted order number
1210329 09/12/18 Tony Allred Jr 9-10-2018 - adjusted order number