Doe, Laurel Fork - Dennis Cove to Hampton


Doe, Laurel Fork, Tennessee, US

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Dennis Cove to Hampton

Usual Difficulty IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 160 fpm
Max Gradient 295 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Doe at Elizabethton, TN
tva-a4681 1100 - 3200 cfs IV-V(V+) 6y303d23h46m 160 cfs (too low)


River Description

From Dag Grada:
It's many rivers ago that I ran this so I can't feed you a decent description but I can give you the basics. The run's from near the Dennis Cove Campground to a trailer park on the east side of Hampton. There's a very chatty women there where we would park that has a great story about running the Doe gorge in a horse trough years ago. I recall the Laurel Fork having flow when the Doe was medium to high. Check water levels visual at the highway 321 bridge. You want doable but not high as the stream is wider here than above. The run starts out and finishes with low gradient stuff with the concentrated gradient in the middle. The AT parallels the entire run on river right though often a bit above the stream. The meat of the run I remember as class III and IV in nature. The one drop that stands out in my mind is a cool vertical of maybe 6'-8' with the lip angled hard towards parallel to the current. This drops into a narrow flume which runs out straight. This necessitates "walking the plank" out to the far tip of the ledge and dropping off sideways, lateral boof, much fun. I have a vague memory of some other ledge sequences in there but stands out in particular. At the end of the interesting gradient, there's a big falls. The falls is a cascading drop, maybe in a 30'-50' height range, big enough that we didn't consider it. The falls sneaks up on you so caution is needed to avoid an unintentional 1st D of the drop, probably survivable but... I recall a low ledge sequence that turns to the right less than 100 yards above the falls so the falls is not apparent until you're almost on top of it. There's a brief pool between this and the entrance to the falls. At high flows this would be nothing more than a dash for an eddy. A pre-run scout from the AT might be a good idea to lock in some visuals to recognize this spot. Portage right, lowering down a ravine. Nothing but shoals and trees from here to town.

We meant to float the section down to the confluence with the Doe for grins sometime but never got to it. There's still gradient but likely nothing big.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-02-01 21:36:16

Rapid Descriptions

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