Wildcat Creek (Tellico Tributary), Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||100 fpm|
|Max Gradient||135 fpm|
|TELLICO RIVER AT TELLICO PLAINS, TN|
|usgs-03518500||5.00 - 7.00 ft||III-IV+||01h09m||1.1 ft (too low)|
Really fun, tiny, and incredibly scenic run. Lots of trees throughout. The run has two distinct sections of class 3-4. The first section starts with the V8 minigorge and ends shortly after Reconnection, a good boof-to-slide affair of 12 feet. Some class 2 shoal rapids follow for a mile or two with maybe a sporadic class 3, then towards the end you get two to three more good class 3-4 boulder jumbles ending with The Icing--an 8 foot ledge with a great fading boof on the left shoulder--just 100 yards above the confluence with the Tellico. There is no class 5 in here as long as the water is not high. You will get the feeling of being one of the few to have done it.
From Put In #1 (referenced in the directions) to the start of the V8 minigorge is approximately 0.6 miles. The gorge starts when the creek makes a hard, blind left turn through some faulted bedrock (will be hard not to notice). This is a must run. The gorge is 10 feet wide all the way through, narrowing to an exit just a little bit wider than your boat. If wood collects in here it will be difficult/impossible to avoid. From an eddy on river left about 30 yards above the start of the gorge, you can easily get to the overhanging lip and scout the entire length from this vantage point. Could portage from this side as well, just would take a little while.
For a good runnable level, look for Tellico to be 5 feet and rising, or for 2-3 inches of widespread low elevation rain in the past 12 hours. The Tellico should probably peak at least 6 ft for a medium level. Timing is important and putting on more than two hours after the Tellico has peaked may be too long. I would rate this run 3-4+. Good fun. Best run in the Tellico watershed. Don't put on too high, because of the wood though.
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