Little Emory, Middle Fork - Stephens to below Coalfield

Little Emory, Middle Fork, Tennessee, US


Stephens to below Coalfield

Usual Difficulty III-IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 60 fpm
Max Gradient 200 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03540500 15000 - 50000 cfs III-IV(V) 00h51m 1110 cfs (too low)

River Description

This stretch is just really 2 different park and huck options. The top one begins right under the Hwy 62 bridge with a 20 foot waterfall. It has supposedly been run, but you need LOTS of water for the veil to clear the rocks underneath. Shallow landing too. Next is tight blasted class 3 boogie with pinny rocks everywhere. Soon after there is a small bedrock slide rapid. Drive right away from the undercut left wall and then get ready for a sweet 10 foot boof. Not sure of the depth here either, so get a good boof. After this there are a few more junk rapids and then it calms down and starts going through backyards. I recommend taking out at the dumping station on the other side of the road at the bottom of this 3/4 mile stretch.

Next, you can drive into Coalfield and past the High School and see the double drop known as Coalfield Falls. Right below where the road crosses Middle Fork, the creek drops off a 16 foot waterfall. The landing is shallow, so hold that boof and keep your weight forward. MOre water is better, as the lip is like most plateau lips, grabby. Below here is a 20-25 foot cascade that drops into a mini-canyon Run down the left, as this is the only non-painfull line. Its a fun bouncy slide. After this, hiking out would be through someone's yard, so truck on down a 1/2 mile to a bridge takeout. Consult with the landowners before parking at the takeout, and if you are scouting at the top of the stretch, you will be on someone's private land on river left as well. They seem like nice folks though, so just let them know what you are up to and it shouldn't be a problem. The paddle out is boney and class 2.

Have fun, This is a good run when you have only an hour and are on your way home or on your way somewhere else.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-04-04 11:38:38


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Middle Fork Falls5.0Putin Portage Hazard Waterfall
0.310 footerIVWaterfall
2.4Putin for Coalfield FallsAccess
2.5Upper Coalfield FallsIV+Hazard Waterfall
2.6Lower Coalfield FallsIV+Hazard Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Middle Fork Falls (Class 5.0)
Shallow landing and must need high levels

10 footer (Class IV, Mile 0.3)
Bedrock slide entrance into a 10 foot ledge. Depth unknown

Putin for Coalfield Falls
There is room to pullout on the road easement on/next to the bridge

Upper Coalfield Falls (Class IV+, Mile 2.5)
16 foot waterfall. Shallow landing, grabby lip

Lower Coalfield Falls (Class IV+, Mile 2.6)
Far left is only sane line. Big bounce, cool mini canyon at the bottom

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 28 2011 (2819 days ago)
The description of the put in on Hwy 62 is ambiguous and there's no marks on the map. Hwy 62
crosses lots of upper branches of the Middle Fork. Is the one for this near the intersection of
Corbin Hill Rd and 62, on the northern end of Coalfield? If so could you mark it on the map?