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Difficulty I(II)
Length 3 Miles
Flow Range 100 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 11.3 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/30/2001 1:53 pm

River Description

Very short stream with surprising gradient for length. Takeout on dirt road that approaches Buckhorn Dam. Creek continues on into confluence with mainstem of Cape Fear River. Area is famous for deer and turkey hunting , sometimes during in and out of season, and also many horse lovers ride the many trails in this semi-remote area. Stream is subject to bank to bank strainers. Very, very underpaddled stretch of water to be so close to heart of Carolina Canoe Club domain.

Rapid Descriptions


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Le Scott
10 years ago

Pay no attention to the take-out specified by the Streamkeeper. There is no Route 1921 takeout to Buckhorn Creek. It dumps you into the Fear about a mile+ below 1921 and you cannot paddle up the half-mile of Buckhorn Dam rapids. The only way back is a mile+ towpath full of ditches and puddles and some bulldozer intrusions. Fortunately, I made it out just at dark........................... There is only set of rapids, class 2, with surfing holes-- right at the end. Otherwise, I portaged three times for strainers...I did notice a marsh area river right just before the confluence. It may be possible to paddle through the marshes and back to 1921. If that is true, the next time I go, I will put in on 1921, a half-mile from Buckhorn Dam, play in the only rapids on the river, skip strainers and paddle back via the marsh where I will cross the towpath and put in at the Dam and play in Buckhorn Falls, a half-mile of class 2-3 surfing holes, then paddle back through the marsh again. le scott, Dec 09

Gage Descriptions

This gage is downstream from the Shearon Harris Lake, originally designed to be source of cooling water for four nuclear reactors at the Harris Nuclear Facility, but reverted into a prime bass fishery and hunting area around the lake when the three of the reactors were scrapped. gage is visible from the Highway 42 putin.

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.

No Accident Reports



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A Close Look at The 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)


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1193262 06/30/01 n/a n/a