This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I(II)
Length 7 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 06/08/2004 3:53 am

River Description

This is a Metro Nashville/Brentwood run and has lots of access points. I have described the sections between bridge crossings. This is my back yard run, so I am on it about 15 times a year.

There is a good Class II park & play at "Warner Rapid" inside Edwin Warner Park see description below.

Old Hickory Blvd runs the entire length of the run on river right & each of these access points are crossroads.

1.) Granny White Pike to Wildwood Valley Dr. - 2.0 miles - Class I with a I+. There is at least 1 riverwide strainer in this section. No parking at Granny White Pike so get dropped off.

2.) Wildwood Valley Drive to Hillsboro Pike(Hwy431) - 0.5 miles with an ok I+ surfing wave. There is ok parking at Wildwood Valley Rd. but you will be in a residential neighborhood. There is excellent access/parking at the Old Ante Bellum Church on Hillsboro Pike. The church patrons are very nice and will let you park there.

3.) Hillsboro Pike to Vaughn Rd.- 2.5 miles - Class I with one 200 yd Class II section where powerlines cross the river. There are small play waves and a couple of ledges where you can side surf. At flood stage this 2nd ledge creates one of the best waves in Nashville and pushes up to II+. The wave keeps you in it and you can do spins all day. No eddies, so you sometimes have to drag back up. There are a few other small shoals before Vaughn Rd.

Note: about 1 mile before Vaughn Rd. Edwin Warner Park will be on river right and will continue for the next 2.5 miles, and allows for multiple access points. Rangers allow boaters even at flood stage.

4.) Vaughn Rd. to Hwy 100 on Big Harpeth River - 2.0 miles - Class I with one very solid Class II called "Warner Rapid". At flood this will push up to Class III. This is the best rapid I have found in Metro Nashville. This rapid is the park and play. It can be accessed by turning right into Edwin Warner Park from Vaughn Rd and driving all the way back to the end of the Park. The rapid is right next to the 2nd-to-last picknick area/shelter. Warner Rapid is a broken 2 foot ledge. The left side is a straight drop with a sticky hole at high water. The right side is a slide that developes multiple play spots/waves. 25 yds downstream is another Class II- that develops another good 360 wave at certain levels. More people play here than in Warner Rapid. The last mile of the run is Class I to the confluence with Big Harpeth. You will have to paddle 100yds of the Big Harpeth. There is a State of TN sponsored access point on river left just before & at the Hwy 100 bridge. I think there is a fee box, requesting around $3. I always run Hillsboro Rd. to below Warner Rapid and take out in the Park.


Rapid Descriptions


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7 years ago

As of 11/7/2009, the river in Edwin Warner Park is free of strainers all the way to the Harpeth. It hadn't rained for 5 days, but there was still enough water to make it through without getting out of the boat. When the water level is barely enough to paddle, your best surfing wave is at the confluence. Also, a greenway on river right now connects the picnic shelters to Hwy 100. This makes it easy to set up a bike shuttle if you are only using one car. You will need to bike across the bridge and then walk through a field to access the greenway.

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11 years ago

This is an awesome website

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Geoff Bennett
11 years ago

This runs great at 1.5" of rain when you cannot get out of town. It will empty in a day so you have to hit it right after the rain. You can run it for a few days, but plan to get stuck, and not really see any rapids. I ran this over Thanksgiving and there is a bad strainer in the middle of warner park. If you put in at your first left in the park you will hit 2 other nice little rapids before hitting warner rapids.

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Allen Brown
14 years ago

The picture above is of Tunnel Rapid on the Big Harpeth.

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Allen Brown
14 years ago

The picture above is NOT from the Little Harpeth. That picture is of the "Tunnel" at "Narrows of the Harpeth" State Park on the Big Harpeth. The "Tunnel" was created before the Civil War by explosives. The "Tunnel" does terminate in a 5 foot waterfall but collects cave strainers and has jagged exploded rocks in the landing zone. It gets run far to often, especially by people without helmets like in the picture.

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Minimum: Visual-Takes good 1 inch of rain.
Maximum: Flood Stage
(This runs 30+ times a year even during summer rains)



Directions Description

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No Accident Reports





Allen Brown



Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1194110 06/08/04 Allen Brown n/a