Pristine Wilderness Creeking!
Trail 464A is over a 2 mile hike-in and permits you to run the entire 5+ miles or so. This upper section is mainly technical boulder gardens with many strainers. 2.5 miles in is a steeper section less than 1 mile in length that starts with Hunt Fish Falls (Class IV+/V-) and culminates with Air Baker. Hike back up the MTS trail (TR262) and huck it again. Nice hike & huck!
If you want a shorter hike-in, less strainers, and get right to the hike & huck you should use down Trail TR263 (Hunt Fish Falls trail) to trail TR262 and put-in a drop or 2 above Hunt Fish Falls. There are strainers in the class II/II paddle out - but at last check in February 2008 only 2 required portages at low water.
Watch the water level because you don't want to run the 2 miles class II/III paddle out at low water. Very beautiful, with many "Lost Coves" along the way. You may bump into boaters coming down from their Dragstrip induced adrenaline rush. If so, too bad you missed out on Gragg Prong (GP) which has a much smaller watershed/window than LCC.
From this point just cardio it down to the bridge by Wilson Creek.
Please send visuals, and the date and time of your trips with a comment about the level to email@example.com (L,M,H,VH...) Thanks!
This 18 foot double-drop is the most difficult drop on the creek.
An 8 foot vertical into a very short but deep perpendicular-left flowing ledge & eddy followed by a steep ten foot slide with a bottom left piton flake and ending in a big pool. At low water we run the top drop right to right center. At higher water you can land a sweet boof on the far left and stay in control to slide on the right and avoid the piton flake on river left.
You tell us, some say it is IV, some say IV+ and some say V-, some guidebooks say V.
Below Hunt Fish there is another half mile or so of fun slides, troughs and slots before Air Baker. We don't know if they have names but immediately below the Hunt Fish falls pool is a 12 ft slide, then a tight slot/trough type of drop followed by a boulder garden.
Since it has a name it must be a IV - someone please share the story of the name.
Ran this creek today, Wilson was at 18" when we drove by on the way up, and 21" when we took off, it might have been higher at some point based on the water on the bridge. We hiked in the Hunt Fish Falls trail (Mainly just not knowing any better) but I think it is a shorter hike. All major rapids below Hunt Fish falls were clear of wood, there was a few pieces in some class 2 run out, mostly below the confluence with Gragg prong. The level was not to low but more water would have been nice.
Ran this on 9/20/09. Wilson was +14 and falling. We hiked in on the Hunt Fish Falls trail and found the creek low but doable. As with most small creeks, there is a lot of wood. The mile or so starting with Hunt Fish Falls was fun and probably worth a hike back up to run an extra lap or two. After Gragg Prong comes in, it mellows out to Class II for the most part.
A good option when Wilson is too high but you don't want to tackle Gragg or one of the other Gnarly runs up that way.
2.18.08 - LCC Hike & Huck was scrapy runnable 12 hours after a 1" rain. 1 strainer portage above Hunt Fish Falls and 2 strainer portages on the paddle out. Hike & Huck section was gtg but on the low side. Not a soul around.
Lost Cove has the most beautifull and pristine class III-IV gorges i've ever seen on any run in the southeast. Unfortuately it's only a half-mile long and sits in the middle of a 5-mile class II run with a 2 mile hike-in(serious 4WDrivers can make it shorter). Most of the lead-in is a mess of trees, islands and shallow shoals, with most of the paddle out about the same but deeper. I counted about three class IIIs, and two IV's. The first is a IV+ called Hunt-Fish Falls, a stunning 8 ft drop onto a 6 footer. Definately the highlight of the trip. The run kinda reminded me of the Upper Green; alot of hard work for just a few drops but mayby a little more difficult run overall. IF you like wilderness runs, picturesque waterfalls and a full body workout this might be your cup of tea.
Well Bell, You oughtta know what I ran 'cause you were with me. After meeting in Hampton and seeing the Watauga and Doe on their way to 4k cfs, Lee Belnap led us over the hill and through the woods to Cabin Cove Creek, a trib of Wilson's. A
2 mile carryin (with the open boat) to a lovely 5 mile run on the creek which drops at 100 ft per mile but with most of the drop in the middle 2 miles. Maybe 7-8 big drop/pool class IV rapids, lots of tight woody places. I walked one cause I did not like the strainer but everryone else ran everything. I swam one after coming out of my thigh straps while getting hammered in a hole. Broke my boat a little; banged up both elbows, scratched my face on trees, All in all, a great creeky run.
The carry in is a bitch, the paddle out is long, class II romp in the trees and you need a lot of water but if that is your cup of tea then this is a super run with no super hard drops but lots of challenge, at least for me.
(This was Saturday.) Chris Kelly
Permits are not required for this reach.
Most boaters come from Wilson Creek up Brown Mtn Beach Rd. (CR1328), turn left on NC-90 @ Mortimer, pass Pineola Rd. a bit and put a vehicle near the intersection of Roseboro Rd. (FR981) and NC-90 by the take-out bridge in Edgemont. Then head back south on NC-90 and turn right on Pineola Rd.
Both put-in access trails TR464A and TR263 (Hunt Fish Falls trail) are on the north side of Pineola Rd (FR 464) between NC-181 (btwn Jonas Ridge & Pineola) and NC-90 (Edgemont).
Hunt Fish Bottom Drop
Bottom drop Hunt-Fish
Slide Below Hunt-Fish
Hunt Fish Falls
Beau at Hunt Fish
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