Roaring Creek, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV+(V) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||126 fpm|
|Max Gradient||220 fpm|
Roaring needs a good 1.25” inch of rain in winter (Nov.-Mar.), or 1.5”-2” of rain in the summer.
There's a gage at the bridge in Montague.
This stream has one Class 5 rapid called "Fuzzy Bunny." Lots of good boaters are happy
to walk this one.
The creek can be seen on the video "Falling Off Walden's Ridge. It was first run by Micheal Cawood (OC-1), Jeff Richards, (OC-1), Steve Smith, and myself.
This one drops quickly with it's water. I have put on with the water too high, and watched it drop while paddling to the takeout. Roaring is a good creek run on the Ridge that might not kill you. A run for the jaded creeker and beginning creeker to make a run together, if you are hair boater you won't be slumming here. If you are trying to paddle harder runs before you tackle, say, Little Possum, Roaring is for you.
Roaring Creek makes the local news a lot for flooding the local trailers. And it's in danger on becoming a candidate from the state for "stream improvement." "Improvement" is the new buzzword. Another problem for Roaring is that the clear-cutting and Mountain Stone Mining have hurt the headwaters. It didn't used to drop as quickly.
The first rapid is is a fast slide beside a cliff--paddle hard here, because it gives you the flavor of what's coming. The first major rapid is Crunch-n-Munch. Munch can be walked on river right; it's the first solid Class IV. After Munch, the pool/drop nature of the run kicks in. Here the jaded creeker can teach boat scouting to his up-and-coming buddy.
Once the gorge becomes more defined, your concentration level needs to pick up. The rapids are now solid Class IV, and you will be dealing with drops and eddies, then a slide comes up. Eddy out and scout on the river left. The major rapid here is Polecat, named after a local swimming hole. Know where this at! Polecat is a drop that lands on a clamshell-looking rock shelf. You need to know this because.......
Fuzzy Bunny is coming up; you will notice that the river is going river right. The valley will start to appear, take your time, and scout on river left. The less mortal will get their rear end handed to them here.
A little history here: I thought Fuzzy Bunny would be a cool name for a sic rapid. The second trip paid off. We boat scouted and then yelled, for the group to: "Get out and scout, mandatory scout". I'm asked "What's coming up" I yell back (and you can see this coming, right?) "FUZZY BUNNY" !!! I loved the look I always got.......It was a Kodak moment every time.
Roaring can be run at extremely high levels , and if the others around are too high, this is the place to be. The nature of the run completely changes and reminds me of a West Virginia run.
Please note that the put-in is on Shaver Road. The Shaver family owns the property there. Be extremely professional here. Yes Sir, and No Sir will be your passport. If you lucked out, the gate for the Mountain Stone company will be open , and they will let you park there.
The take out: Hmmmmm...if the bar is open, park there. Trust me: the owners are cool, they want to hear about the run, and it is a good place to get warm. If you make friends you may get a phone number to see if Roaring is running for next time..
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