Intermediate
Creek Run —

White’s
Creek, Rhea County, TN (SR 68 – Highway 27)
Section: State Route 68 Bridge to Highway
27 near Spring City
Scenery: Beautiful & isolated
Appropriate
for: Solid intermediate – advanced
Miles on River: ~ 10
miles
Months Runnable: Winter, spring or after rains.
Difficulty:
III+ (IV at high water)
AWA Point Scale: 24 points
Gradient: I
estimate 60+ feet per mile
Gauge: TVA 1-800-238-2263 (3) (Emory @
Oakdale)
Gauge painted on bridge piling at Baker Bridge Runnable
Level:
Minimum: Emory ~ 3,000 cfs – Baker Bridge gauge
~1′
Optimal: Emory 7,500 cfs – Baker Bridge gauge 1.5 –
2′
Maximum: Emory > 10,000 – Baker Bridge gauge >3′
Hazards:
Difficult rapids, boulder sieves, holes, undercut rocks, strainers.

Scouting:
Boat scouting possible at all major rapids as are bank scouts.

Portages:
Possible at most rapids but may be long.
Rescue Index: Relatively
isolated and rough terrain.
Distance from Atlanta: About 5-6 hours

First run with CGRR 4/4/98

White’s
Creek is a nice solid intermediate to advanced skill level steep
creek, which I discovered during the Central Georgia River Runners
Spring White Water Camp. It is well known to those who paddle the
Emory/ Obed system, but I have been unable to find it in a guidebook.
If you’re in the area when things are honkin’ and you liked Daddy’s
Creek, you must try White’s. White’s Creek is not part of the Emory
system and should not be confused with White Creek (a lazy class II
float).

White’s
Creek comes off Walden’s Ridge and is joined by the Piney (a class
IV/V run) near Spring City, TN. It starts fast and very small and
stays fast but gets a lot bigger. It has several nice but not
terribly extreme drops and several long technical class III+ rapids.
White’s is a notch more difficult than the upper Nantahala, a notch
less difficult than Little River in the Smokies, and the bottom half
has more volume than either of them.

White’s
Creek runs through an incredibly beautiful and isolated canyon. I did
not ascertain the names of the rapids, but they are virtually
continuous starting right at the put-in. At the beginning White’s
Creek is small, technical, and almost constant. There were several
strainers which had to be portaged. Eddies are small and may hold
only one boat, so be alert for what’s coming. The creek gets bigger
and bigger as feeders add volume. About half way through is Baker
Bridge, the alternate put in.

By
this time White’s Creek will have considerable volume and be rather
pushy. The major rapid of consequence occurs 3 or 4 miles after Baker
Bridge. It will be obvious by a long technical approach which caroms
off a massive overhanging cliff on river right. The cliff is severely
undercut! A sneak route on river left winds through a long relatively
technical boulder garden.

It
is easy to capsize if you elect the sneak and, if you unass your
boat, it is not impossible to find yourself being sucked through the
chute on river right and into the undercut. Alternatively, other than
pucker factor, it is relatively straightforward to enter from the
right, angling river left at the top of the chute, and eddying out in
a large pool just below the undercut. There are several places to set
safety along the middle and bottom of this rapid.

To
get to White’s Creek, take I-75 north from Atlanta for about four
hours to I-40, just west of Knoxville, Tennessee. Take I-40 west
through Harriman (the home of Dagger Canoes) and exit onto highway 27
south, towards Rockwood and Spring City. Just past Rockwood, highway
70 will intersect from the right. Continue on 27, White’s Creek
passes under the highway (before Roddy) at a rather major divided
bridge at the confluence with Watts Bar Lake. This is the take-out.
Exit right, before crossing the bridge, onto an obvious frontage road
that leads to a large parking area (field) under the bridge.

To
get to the put-in, continue on Highway 27 to Spring City. In Spring
City turn right onto State Route 68. Continue through Grandview. 68
crosses White’s before Alloway. Put-in is at the bridge.

There
is an alternate put-in which will cut the run in half and allow you
to just run the larger portion. Take 68 to Grandview. In Grandview
look for Opossum Trot Road.Take Opossum Trot to the right and follow
it for several miles until Baker Bridge. The bridge has a gauge.

by
William C. Reeves (The Hawk)
From The Eddy Line, June 1998