Crooked Fork Creek, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||60 fpm|
|Max Gradient||100 fpm|
|-||1000 - 2500 cfs||III-IV(V)||cfs|
|EMORY RIVER AT OAKDALE, TN|
|usgs-03540500||3500 - 10000 cfs||III-IV(V)||01h12m||4890 cfs (running)|
Crooked Fork is a tributary of the Emory River on the Cumberland Plateau just south of Wartburg,
Tennessee. It is considered to be a part of the Obed River System.
If you are into waterfall creeking action, then the upper section of Crooked Fork is the run for you. This section hosts one 20ft drop (Class V) with a mandatory line and one 15ft drop (Class III+) which can be run almost anywhere. The rest of this run is class III-IV while the first mile is class I.
Some choose to run both the upper and lower sections together while others choose to run only the upper section.
Creek-boats and open-boats are recommended for this plateau gem but, a play-boat could be an option on a high flow day.
Articles and web links:
Potter's Falls made the front cover of the Summer, 1973 edition of American Whitewater Magazine.
The Crooked Fork Tennessee Paddle Page
Waldens's Ridge WhiteWater information:More web information
Upper-Put-In to Take-Out at Potter?s Falls Bridge:
The Put-In is located at a sewage treatment plant a few miles south of Wartburg, Tennessee on US Hwy 27. From the Crooked Fork Bridge on US Hwy 27, go south 0.1 miles and make a right on the first road to the right. There is an Armes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church sign at the road. Go 0.9 miles and make another right, which is the first blacktop road on the right. There is an Armes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church sign at this road also. Go another 0.8 miles and turn right at the next road. The Potter?s Falls Bridge, which is the Take-Out for Upper Crooked Fork and the Put-In for Lower Crooked Fork is 0.4 miles down the hill.
Upper Put-In to Take-Out at Camp Austin Bridge on Emory River (Lower Section Take-Out):
From the Crooked Fork Bridge on US Hwy 27, go south 4.8 miles to the junction of S.R. 328 and make a right following the signs to Oakdale. Go 3.7 miles and make a right on S.R. 299 at a convenient store. Go down the hill 0.2 miles and make another right just before you cross the Emory River Bridge in Oakdale. The Take-Out at the Camp Austin Bridge over Emory River is 5.3 miles. Park across the bridge on the left side of the road or if you have 4-wheel drive, turn right at the end of the bridge and pull down next to the river (mud riding will be required).
There used to be an alternate shuttle route to the Camp Austin Bridge on Emory River (Lower Section Take-Out) but it is now blocked.
Camping can be found in the nearby Obed Wild and Scenic River area at the Rock Creek Campground located at the Nemo Bridge. This is the take-out for the Lily to Nemo section of Clear Creek and the Obed Junction to Nemo section of the Obed River.
Probably the closest campground is found in Frozen Head State Park. It's only a few miles away offering not only campsites but also hiking trails to some cool waterfalls.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.6||1st Boulder Garden||IV|
|1.8||2nd Boulder Garden||III+|
Launch this 20 ft drop off the rock finger in the center. Making your line is a must since the landing zone is only about 10 feet wide. Rock shelves exists under the falls. As long as you launch off the rock finger, you will clear the rocks. Stay away from the right side of this falls due to the rock shelf. The portage is on river left. A path leads to the base where you can walk under the falls.
A grist mill once stood on the river-right cliff of this falls back in 1895.
Other information on LaMance Falls.
This rapid is a boulder field that is divided by an island. The left line can be run at higher flows but at low water, there is a narrow chute that has several pin rocks. We portaged it at 4.6ft.
The right line seems to carry more water. Just be careful in the entrance as there is a badly undercut boulder on the left that a lot of the water going under. Many portage the entrance, walk 20ft and seal launch back in.
Just pick your way through this field of boulders. A few are undercut. You might need to take a quick scout.
This 15ft waterfall is one of the easiest to run in the Southeast. Though it can be ran most anywhere, the common line is run in the center over a small curler which lines you up for a rock finger. The extreme right side of the landing zone is shallow. Caution: The center line is easy to boof so watch your landing. This is also the takeout for the upper section.
Other information on Potter's Falls.