Above 800 cfs, I would call this a solid class 3 run with one four--the mill dam drop about halfway down to Alvarado. Ran it the other day at 2500 cfs--a solid class 3 with huge waves and holes. Even at 500 cfs, be sure to scout from the river right rocks above the ten-fifteen foot vertical drop at the mill dam. There is one slot at the center and another far right which will, with enough thrust off the top, avoid the hydraulics below. Otherwise, you may find some hydraulics asking you to stay!
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The true min for this run is about 200 cfs. I have done at 150 but it is a little rough, 200cfs there is plenty of water. This is a great run for folks just getting into the sport or for us who like staying local and having some great class II rapids. Very pretty stretch to.
Ran from Drowning Ford to Alvarado today June 24, 2007, at 148 cfs. Two boats - my brother and 2.5 year old niece in one, me and my 3 year old daughter in the other.
Scrapy several places, and almost had to get out at one, but I would say the minimum is somewhat lower than 148 cfs and closer to 100 cfs. My brother and I each felt there was ample water to get down it (although not enough to be a play run - but with little kids that was not our focus).
It was a delightful run - interesting drops and good gradient but nothing very big. I'll definitely run it again when in the area.
Very easy shuttle biking along the river on the Virginia Creeper trail.
I don't understand "Suggested Min. Level"; that sounds awfully subjective to me.
I think of "boating zero" as "the lowest level at which a boater, skilled to the class at which the stream is rated, can get down without having to get out of his boat (barring strainers and other ephemera). This is a fairly objective criterion.
By that definition, the minimum for this stream is somewhere below 430cfs/3.6', because on June 11, 2005 I ran ~9 miles from VA-724 to Alvarado at that level barely touching any rocks. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that boating zero is actually closer to 300 cfs.
It would be nice if AW adjusted this minimum to turn the S.F.Holston green at -- say, until better intelligence is in -- 400cfs, because this is a delighful pretty float for Class II paddlers, and it's a shame to send them elsewhere when it is boatable.
-Oci-One Kanubi, His Kanubic Travesty
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Surfing at Single Drop
John & Jason at the Yard
Terri at Triple Drop
Dan at Triple Drop
John surfing at Single Drop
Rapid Below Ironhorse CG
Kevin on the South Fork Holston
EHOP Adventure Winter Paddleing trip
Winter on the South Fork
Nice surf spot
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