The Home for

East Tennessee




Post Gage Readings Here


Main Menu

Local Weather






The Creeks

( Guide Section)


Paddling Gear Store




Free Android App





Precipitation and Forecast


East Tenn. Regional Maps


and Watershed Maps)


National Watershed Maps











Blkberry Page






First Descents






Earth Mashup


Contact Us






We need your pictures, and articles, you don't need to know HTML or other computer skills, submit your articles via email and we will post it here! As long as you know how to e-mail we can handle the rest..

Our goal is to get information out as easily as possible


Also you will get full credit with your name on the article just like you would in a magazine.


Please submit your pictures for picture of the month.



We are needing a team of gauge checkers to help give us accurate readings for the flowpage. It's close but we want perfect. Please check the Forum Section






only search W.R.W.W.

 Soddy  Creek   

    Walden's Ridge                     


     The access at the cemetery is closed down forever.

The homeowners were broken in to.

The cemetery has been vandalized also .

NO PUBLIC ACCESS under any circumstances. No if ands or buts.

You trespass you get a free nights stay of public housing and married to the man with the

 most cigarettes .

You will need to put-on at Hwy 111 on Boardcamp Creek. Here is a link to the new put in for

 Big Soddy. 



Here is another option

  • Andy Mitchell I prefer to put in off 111 for Soddy and not on Board Camp, simple easy hike and some easy warm up before all hell breaks loose, Soddy one of the best in the area, but not for the weak
  • Mark Cumnock So you don't use Board for your access? You using the big bridge off 111?
  • Andy Mitchell yes, the board camp put in drops you into Soddy below some great rapids, the rapids at the top are spaced out but still challenging with some major hazards
  • Mark Cumnock That's where Brian and i use to put in at ...do you know of any land owner access issues?
  • Andy Mitchell this is where I have always put in, as far as i know there are no landowner issues, its just a quick 100yards down a rock drainage ditch, just make sure your parked well off the road at the end of the guardrail. As long as people dont screw it up I dont see any issues, its best to have just one car there. also I know the landowner at the takeout bridge on river right. have known him for over 20+ years and was my best man in my wedding. He has said some people have left trash, but didnt know if it was kayakers. He also said that some of the folks at the takeout are not to keen on people getting dressed there, so I would say to paddle on down to the lake and take out at the twin bridges or over to the the pine park. The pine park is a little bit more secure,



Water Quality (1 bad 3 good)

Scenery (1 bad 3 good)         




Watershed Map (to find location and size of creek) Click Here

Special thanks to Steve Zerfos for making the map.


Topo Map: Click Here


A special thanks to Randy Hale of NorthRiverGeographic for the map


Driving directions :to get you in the ballpark Click Here




Use the railroad bridge...at the takeout on Backvalley Road in Soddy-Daisy Tennessee. The concrete footer and water on top of the footer is a optimum level. See details below to know more on how to read the correct amount of water needed for Soddy. THIS IS A MUST TO KNOW...SEE BELOW!





              Picture of Andy Mitchell paddling rapid "Hoochie" Photo by Scott Shoup    





Paddler Shawn Malone.... Photo by David DeHart...on "Skywalker"







Class V.4




Paddler Shawn Malone.... Photo by David DeHart...........................





  The access at the cemetery is closed down forever.

The homeowners were broken in to.

The cemetery has been vandalized also .

NO PUBLIC ACCESS under any circumstances. No if ands or buts.

You trespass you get a free nights stay of public housing and married to the man with the

 most cigarettes .

You will need to put-on at Hwy 111 on Boardcamp Creek. Here is a link to the new put in for

 Big Soddy. 






A Special thanks to Randy Hale of North River Geographic for donating his resources, effort and time to make this map. To blow it up and for finer detail please click on the picture. You will need a PDF reader to enlarge the map.

*big file warning :)






From Matt Wallace:

Big Soddy Creek is by far the scariest thing I have paddled. It is also the best run on the ridge for a class V boater. This run has been on my radar for quite some time. After talking with several of the older and established boaters in the Chattanooga area, I got an overwhelming response of, ď Itís Dangerous and I donít like. I wonít go back.Ē I only talked to a few boaters that really LIKED the run. Being I hold them in high esteem, I knew this was going to be a good run.

Seldom do runs live up to the danger hype given to them, Soddy does! When Mark said, ĒThink Fist on the Russell Fork.Ē He wasnít lying, Fist would make some of these rapids look clean. This is not a place to test your limits or to prove yourself. Even the easy rapids have Class V+ consequences. Boat scouting is not advised for this run. This is a run where you take a solid crew and you watch your friends back. Ropes should set precedent over cameras here.

That being said, for all the danger there are rewards. For those boaters looking for complex boulder garden rapids in a pristine gorge, you will be pleasantly surprised. You are likely to see nobody else other than your group. For all the danger and intimidation of the rapids they flow together incredibly well. The highlight of the run is definitely Skywalker. This is a three part rapid, this is definitely the most rewarding and most consequential rapid on the run. There are no big drops on this run , there is only one slide; this is a boulder garden run. Everything is 100% run-able, but this doesnít mean everything has to be run to have a good day.
High water would be a nightmare in there also, when you are at the takeout be wise. There is no gauge there right now so use discretion or go with somebody who has been. Theyíll know if it is good to go.

In my opinion this is one of the three the best run in the Chattanooga area (the other two arenít Bear and Hendy). The gorge is beautiful, the water quality is good, and the rapids are phenomenal. This being from someone who enjoys mank. For a boater who is able to block out the dangers, stick the lines, and isnít too prideful to walk if things arenít going great Big Soddy will offer up a rewards. If you donít like scouting, sieves/ undercuts, and technical whitewater, this probably isnít the place for you.

I doubt this run will ever become popular, due to the extreme danger . When it comes to Big Soddy itís not if but when. BE CAREFUL, SCOUT, SET SAFETY!


Paddler Shawn Malone.... Photo by David DeHart...........................



From Ryan Allen :

A new bridge which consists of a felled tree at river level during low water (will be under water at high flows) with hewn boards on top and lots of rope on Big Soddy Creek, somewhere before the last big rapid. Looks like Cumberland Trail people put it there I wrote them and email. this one is at the bottom of a class III or easier rapid, there are some eddies to catch at low flows to avoid the "bridge". looks like it will get washed away eventually and all the rope will then be in the river bed. looking at their map they plan on installing lots of these "bridges" on creeks that are kayaked: Possum, Rock Cr., Deep Cr, Big Soddy Etc




(Editor's note and page update) We have updated this page since talking to Matt Wallace and Billy Smith , we felt it was time to let more of "the cat outta the bag" so to speak. We felt Soddy and still feel that Soddy is a dangerous run. Dangerous enough not to give much information out about it. We felt if you had the the skills to run it, you didn't need a guide book or our advice. But now that that is being explored once more, and now paddlers with the right skill set are paddling it .It will hopefully be networked and will help keep this run safe and access issues at bay. So we felt it was a good time to update this page with more detail and no more holding that information that we held under the table.

Our notes come from this author, and conversations from Tom Bowen, Billy Smith, Andy Mitchell,Scott Shoup and Matt Wallace. Special thanks to all who gave us pictures and their intel.



Paddler David Dehart.... Photo by Shawn Malone...........................



Big Soddy Creek

Its in my opinion this is the most dangerous run on Walden's Ridge. It's undercut...all of it. The undercuts are exposed undercuts too (ie. manky with screw-up rocks) and beckon you to join them. Even the fun rapids have penalty points, and the mentality on the this run is not if, but when. Class V skills are needed and you need to be in the mindset, that it could be the day. As Matt Wallace described: This is the place where the rule , "Don't look at the undercuts... look away from them" is used. (or you go straight into them )

Now the good part:


Soddy can also be run VERY LOW, the undercuts are more exposed, but when others aren't running this one will be. If it looks boney at the take out, you can still run it. This one once dialed in on your flowpage and gage reading skills ,it runs MORE than the North Chick. When the North Chick is on the LOW side, this is the time to go explore Big Soddy. Use the railroad bridge at the take-out.

Water hitting the footer of the river left side of the bridge is ALOT of water for a first time level. Make note of that reading! More have been hurt in the gorge by thinking it didn't have water. Well 9 times out of ten, its got more than you think. Just cause the others are low on Walden's Ridge , that doesn't mean Soddy is. Its watershed is bigger that you think, and it has some of the most protected watershed(s) on Walden's Ridge.

Note on a real paddler's gage...4 gages that I know of have been placed and removed, this is a swimming beer drinking hole in the summer so not much gets to survive there : )

Use our flowpage and the railroad bridge for readings.



Paddler David Dehart.... Photo by Shawn Malone...........................




The Run.
I always liked a strong group that you could count on. This is a good one to be in the mindset it's okay to walk some, get the run dialed in first then come back. Memorizing the lines on this one is very helpful.
Did I mention it was undercut? Think Fist on the Russell Fork, and you get the idea.

The put-in CAN BE had at the cemetery YOU MUST BE MINDFUL OF BEING A STEWART OF THE PADDLING COMMUNITY. Be mindful here. You use Gray Creek to get to where you need to be. BoardCamp Creek is not recommended.

This is the place where you practiced your lines and mental game to be ready to paddle here. You know you have the confidence to stick your lines and have the presence of mind to rescue yourself and can foresee problems before they happen. You know that you need to "set up a rope here...I have a feeling something could happen here" is your thinking of the day, and today is the day kayaking is a team sport. A strong group with rescue skills is needed for this run. You need more than a throw bag to be safe. You need to be the boater than sees his lines as wide as his boat and knows he can stick them without doubt or is timid .Bear Creek is a fun run.


From Billy Smith:

The nature of the run is that the holes are sticky and seem to feed back onto themselves and you need be comfortable with that , due to the fact beside that hole, is some mank in the approach with some undercut on the side once into or leaving the drop.

As with all Walden's Ridge runs it seems you will paddle awhile before the bottom falls out...then you will come to your first major rapid:


Photo by Shawn Malone...........................





Its an attention getter and your benchmark for the rest of your day. It gives it all to you. You get a boof that lands you into an approach with a big hole, with some run out heading towards another boof and as most holes on Soddy. It gives you the added excitement by feeding back into itself. MANY walk this one. The higher the water it just gets meaner. At lower water it gets mankier with some bite and wants to flip you and humble you. To remember this one for your first run, its a 10 foot boof into a hole then onto a 6 footer...the tight line for most is on the left. Many walk this one , there is plenty of more action downstream. I have know of three personal accounts of concussions and broken bones and near misses occurring from this rapid.

From Daniel Talley reflecting on Skywalker ...

New Years Day 2000 is when I almost lost my life at Skywalker. I was rockclimbing underwater on the river left boulder. The few times I resurfaced I thankfully found my buddy's rope. He then had to scramble off the boulder for a few minutes before he could pull me out. My boat (which was a serious part of the problem...riot glide...doh...plus juicy med./high level) stayed in the hole for at least 10 minutes only resurfacing a few times, wedged on the bottom. It's a VERY dangerous run"
Its one of the longest scouts of the day...plan for this.

Damnation Alley: a.k.a. Game On.

You just walked or ran Skywalker...but don't think you are off the hook.

The next section has about 20 + major rapids coming at you. This is the serious section that continues for 2.5 miles . Most groups swap leads, and swap scouting here to keep their pace going. This is a place to keep an eye on your friends mental outlook and paddling skills. Boat scouting this section could be career ending. Not watching your buddies back could be just as bad. Stay on your toes here. Soddy throws under cuts, holes feeding back into themselves and with little maneuvering room , and the need for hull speed with little time or room to get it abounds throughout this section. You need to be in good creekin mental and physical condition for the section also.


Named by Andy Mitchell. Pictures do this one no justice. . Scott Shoup has given us excellent pictures to help you visualize this rapid, but beware the pictures don't give you the dynamics of what is truly going on here. Beware of gateway of rocks for your approach to this rapid.

Note for you Deep Creek paddlers. This rapid is above the confluence with Soddy and its a straight shot to the car.

Speaking of pictures, Soddy doesn't let you take many...you're too busy.




Photo by Shawn Malone...........................




Soddy in the summer ...........................



                       At the Takeout Section in the Summer at the Bluehole on Soddy





                              Paddler Andy Mitchell running the mank on Soddy






                                                Photo taken by Scott Shoup



                       Top -Home



***Warning label***

Whitewater paddling is VERY Dangerous, and you should get instruction before ever attempting even to paddle flatwater. One of contributors to this web site has personally helped bury 3 kayaking friends, this isn't a joke. Whitewater paddling can ruin your life through accidents and can effect your family and friends throughout a lifetime.

The information on this page is incomplete, inaccurate, and very unreliable.   Use with caution.  Whitewater paddling is a dangerous sport and the information here is not a substitute for actual knowledge and skill.  The authors are not liable for your actions. Go ahead and kill yourself if you want to, but don't blame others for you actions and decisions that you will make on and off the river.

***Warning label***



Our hemlocks are dying on the ridge due to the woolly adelgid infestation. You can find out more at the Save Our Hemlocks website: http://www.saveourhemlocks.org/


To learn even more click here


The Picture below is depressing to say the least...






Picture courtesy of KnoxNews.com



                      Copyright 2008-Present  WaldensRidgeWhiteWater.com. All Rights Reserved.