I've run New Hope a few times at the "I'm desperate" level. With about 1.25" - 2" of rain in 24 hrs you can catch a bubble if you time it right. Doing the whole thing from Turkey Hill Farm is pretty scrapy and loses the fun factor by the time you get to the big stuff.
I've also walked in from the Concrete Bridge Rd. off of Whitfield. It's about a 1/2 mile hike in but at least it's downhill...you get the big stuff and beautiful scenery of Duke Forest. Parking there also makes shuttle walkable. I've decided that if there water covering the trail underneath the Erwin Rd. bridge then it's runnable. A few inches below the trail = barely runnable. Another visual are the sketchy metal fence posts, if they're covered then water's good. If 10-12" are exposed = lower runnable / desperate. Would hate to swim and get impaled by one of these.
It rained just over 6" in the last 2 days. I'd say the creek came up at least 4-6 feet if not more. As a WNC boater, I was dubious about said Class III, but it was definitely there (reminds me of last part of the Narrows on Big Laurel). Fun scenic run. There's a little play along the way and the "rapids" get bigger throughout the run until they are actual rapids. Reminiscent of the Nanny in some points but more creeky, continuous and full of trees. Some wood to portage but easily scout-able and most of it you can go underneath/ over. Cane Creek gauge flashed to about 6 feet today and it dropped while I was on it but New Hope is still gushing even after the official gauge was at 71 cfs.
Kayaked New Hope for the first time yesterday, rained close to 2 inches the previous couple of days, guage at Cane Creek was approx 65 CFS at the time. Creek was very runable at this level. Portaged 4 times from fallen logs, streamers. Excellent run, excellent rapids.
Ran it today, 6/14/2006. It was maybe medium level, hard to tell. There was about 2 inches of water going over the low water bridge. No decent play spots found. Nice rapids and good scenery. Lots downed trees but we were able to either get over them or go under them, no portage necessary. It took about an hour to run.
We put in at end of Mimosa Dr., had to hike down the hill bush wacking to get to the creek. It was fun.
Just got off the NHC. It was a high flow run. What a GREAT little run. It's about 4 Miles or so and took @2.5 hours at this flow without straggling. You do need to pay attention to the strainers, there is a certain amount of wood, but not so much that it caused problems. There are 2 unavoidable portages where trees cross the river, but they are easily seen with easy eddies and accessible banks. They only caused a 5 min delay each. This is a creek with a lot of blind bends and turns. Each turn seemed to be accompanied by the next small rapid most all of them class 2. This provides for some fairly continuous paddling and limited flat water. There is one honest to goodness class three. About half to two thirds of the way down you first come to a hard left turn followed hard right turn. The second rapid (the hard right) should be scouted. There are strainers and you can
This may be a little outdated, but I ran this section of New Hope Creek after Hurricane Fran in 1996. The entire section was choked by strainers and windblown trees. The run took about 5 hours and ended in a muddy slog through the dark. It looked to have been such a beautiful run through a small and intimate gorge, but the hurricane ended that.
Despite the countless portages, there was one nice playspot (small hole) in the very heart of the section near the point where a trail forded the stream. I think Nealy even noted it on his map of New Hope Creek.
Does anyone know if the run has been cleared since 1996? I heard tale of plans to have a volunteer unclogging before I moved away in 1999, though I can't imaging Duke allowing such alteration to the Korstian Division of its forest.
Gauge is for the Cane Creek which is 2 miles away from the watershed for this run.
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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)
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