A unique canyon accompanies this run,and yes the rapids are in the last 2.5 miles.
A quick access to the lower 3 miles just above Devil's Pond (rope swing) can be reached by taking Rt. 9 W (cr 17) to "Mountain Lake Road". Then turn right into Sleepy Hollow subdivision treading lightly. Take Maverick Lane on right. Follow it to the end and you will find access to state property . Park here and hike in 3/4 mile to stream.Trail is @the lower left of 1st clearing. Paddle to Spruce Pine Hollow roadside park on rt 9 W. Its the only place to park and is on the tuscarora trail . Things pick up after Devils pond drop. The drops get bigger and climax just above the take out. We only portaged logs 2x on 3-16-10. at a medium flow. Hardest part is catchin it runnin.
Caught this 4/20/07 a few days after a huge storm. It was a bare minimum. The valley is completely isolated and wild and scenic. The guidebook says that this section is 8.5 miles. If so, then the first 6 miles or so are Class 1-2. I portaged around logs 21 times, mostly (@18 times) in the easy, higher section. There were probably twice as many additional log jams, for a total of about 60 log jam encounters. Higher water might not reduce the number of portages. The last 2 miles or so are nice whitewater, although very low on this day. The rapids grow to around Class 3 (mayber harder with more water) just before you reach a rope swing. Just downstream is a trail/road on the left. Soon you come to a wooden picnic platform cantilevered over the creek on the left. The crux rapid is just downstream close to the road. A 4-foot-high-and-wide slot leads to an undercut rock on the left, leaning out to the right, exactly in the way. This is followed by a nice Class 3 section above and just below a road crossing. A sloping, 4-ft ledge is downstream. A footbridge is just above a steep rapid that is filled with branches and should be portaged. Another, sharp, 4-ft ledge is just downstream. Some 1-2-ft ledges, including a concrete road crossing, lead to Sleepy Creek. The road is Ironmine Lane, 937, and there is some development that claims that it's private, although it seems like a county road, so the legalities of access are doubtful. It might be enjoyable if you like just being out in the woods and being severely tested, but start early. Most people will want to avoid it. Perhaps a better access could be devised for the last 2 miles or so, although this seems problematic.
This rises and falls very fast, sometimes. It peaked one night (crazy-high) around 4 am and was too low by 8 am.
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on Sleepy Creek, Meadow Branch @Sleepy Creek Dam to bridge on CR9
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