In Progress…………………………….

This section of the Broad is the top whitewater river that is suitable for new paddlers. Many beginner paddlers take their first swim on the Broad.  Typically, a river level of 3 – 4 feet on the Carlton Gauge is suitable for beginners.

  • River Difficulty: Trained Beginner (Class I-II)
  • Distance: 5.6 miles (Hwy 281 to Hwy 172)
  • Avg Gradient:  7.9 fpm
  • Minimum Suggested Level: 2.0′ on Carlton Gauge

Rapid Description:

First Ledge –  There’s a rock island in the middle where you can scout your lines. Run river left at levels below 4 feet. Lines also open up everywhere on river right at 4 feet and above. If you go river right below about 3.5 feet, you might be doing some kayak assisted hiking since you’ll probably get stuck on rocks. There’s a fun wave train and a good surf spot at the end of this rapid.


Lunch Stop – you’ll know you’ve nearly reached this rapid when you see a pole sticking out of the river near the center rocks. Some people climb the pole and jump from it into the pool at the bottom of the rapid. Usual line to run this rapid is from the middle of the river with an S turn from left to right. At levels above 4 feet, lines open up on river right and river left. The usual route through the middle actually gets easier at higher flows (approximately 5 feet and up) since the rapid becomes washed out. When it was run at 6 feet on the Carlton Gauge, the normal left to right S move was definitely easier to maneuver since most of the rocks were under water. Be aware of the strong eddy lines at the end of the rapid at all river levels. It’s not uncommon for boats to flip in the pool at the bottom of the rapid if the paddler isn’t aware of the strong eddy lines ahead of time.


3 Falls/Slide: This rapid can be run either left or right of the island. Going left of the island takes you through some Class II shoals that have a few good surf spots. Below 4 feet, there’s a good line just left of the island itself. At levels over 4 feet, there are lines everywhere on the left side of the island. Going right of the island leads to the rapid called 3 Falls, also known as the Slide, a 5 foot vertical ledge. This side of the island can be run at levels as low as about 3.25 feet. At these low levels, the only line open is on the left. The center line opens up at levels of about 4 feet but has a very shallow rim. Higher levels would be better for the center line but be aware that a keeper hole develops on the this line at levels over about 6 feet. The far right line has a piton rock so if you run this line hug the bank as much as you can. 

More details coming soon on the following rapids:


172 Bridge:

River Information:

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USGS Water Gauge:

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Put In / Take Out Location:

From Athens:

GPS to put in: 34.18175N, 83.14640W 

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Nearby Outfitters:

Broad River Outpost

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