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Cain Creek

Walden's Ridge Tennessee


View from the Cockpit

Photo by Alan Chestnutt


Barker Camp Rd. to North Chick

Class IV.6  6 miles Gradient 250 avg


Water Quality (1 bad 3 good)

Scenery (1 bad 3 good)         




View from the Cockpit

Photo by Mark Cumnock

First Descent







Here is some video of Paul Hubbard showing the lines on Cain Creek and the North Chick

 with a helmet cam.













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 from Google Click Here


Here is a Google Map...move your mouse around on it


                                                                                              View Larger Map




Need Directions? 

                                        Click on the map below that was  provided and donated by


                                              Thank you Randy Hale for all of your hard work          










 Here are some grid maps provided by Randall Hale of NorthRiver Geographic

Click on it to blow it up to make it bigger...................






























The put in:


Drive up from from Mobray Mountain road leaving the North Chickamauga Pocket Wilderness area (which is the take-out)

, then on your Gazetteer on page 24 look for Barker Camp road. You will leave the Pocket Wilderness parking lot,

turn left, head up the mountain. Once on top you will go past a pond on the right. POE ROAD is on the left, turn left .

 Once down Poe Road, you will drive under some overhead high voltages line, then into a curve with a guardrail. Be on

the lookout for GRANT ROAD. Continue on Grant Road, then you will come to a "Y" Turn left onto BARKER CAMP

ROAD. From here you will still be on pavement. Once on dirt you will go 2/10 of a mile. At 2/10 you will see the road

below. It is on the left. Park here and walk to the creek.  DO NOT DRIVE DRIVE ON THIS ROAD OR BLOCK IT.





As of lately there is now a sign at the put-in trail ...over the years signs come and go. There is a hunting camp on the opposite side of the road.

As website we have to tell you trespassing especially when posted is very illegal .

Back in the day, I would park up the road ,drag my boat and hit the trail running. This is not okay. This is not the way to do things and its not wise to do during hunting season. Which in the fall is deer season and spring is turkey season.

To play it safe, if you want to play it safe you need to hike to the Rockhouse rapid.


You do this by walking past the state gate (not driving) and use the state turn around area-parking lot and hike even more from there.

Note: If you donate to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail. They are trying to purchase a trailhead in the area , that will help us on legal access.



Photo by Chris King



From Ted Hayes:


The state has plans to put a gate at the end of Barker Camp Rd, blocking off access to the lower Cain Creek put-in

(Rockhouse) & Cooper Creek. They want to put a combination lock on the gate to ALLOW boaters the right to

access these put-ins. I'm going to e-mail the Ranger that I talked with on Sat, & find out when this will happen.

I'll post details as they take place.




So it didn't happen as of 31 May 2008


From Tom Montgomery:


"the old pine plantation used to be owned by Bowater is now owned by the state, part of the Cumberland state

trail system..  it is posted and is foot traffic only past the gate...  just a word up,  it is patrolled by park rangers

all rules apply....  so if this is one of your swimming holes i would think about what i was packing in there....  "




                              Here is the gate at the end of Barker Camp Road it is not legal to drive past this.





If you want PERMANENT access to this area and who doesn't.  CLICK HERE



The put-in gage:


After you put on the creek, look on your left for a stick gauge that Andy Turner nailed on the tree, you want a minimum

of 6 inches. If it is less than this , you need to take out cause you are going to have a long day.


First major rapid:


It is a 5 foot ledge that at high water has taken some boats; you run this ledge almost sideways


Then it's on...


Mandatory Portage Rapid:


Got it's name for trees always in the rapid assume there are trees!







      Photo of Tom Montgomery  photo by Jordan Rice                                                        



Mossy Creek:


Use this as a landmark just to know where you are at. It adds a lot more water into the run and starts helping give

Cain its push at good water.


Big Splat:


This one has broken ankles , so the trick here is to right the curler just to the right with about 5 degree angle.

And if a mishap occurs gather your gear quickly because Vortex is coming quick.



                                                                            Big Splat







                                               Paddler Chris Brigman    Photo by Matthew Wallace



The sieve before Big Splat:


On your Cain page, I think this sieve deserves a mention.  I ran it last week and we walked it on the right, although a few in the group wheel-chaired through some shallows.  Itís in between Mandatory and Big Splat.

 For details see this link.



Paul Butler




      Big Splat











Paddler Robert Smith    Photo by Paul Hubbard








Vortex Rapid:


The trick here is to walk!  For the brave the trick is to run the dry sandstone, into meat of the drop,

the washout will remind you of Gorilla. This one is over quick if you decide to run it.

This rapid in the 90's was cutting edge, today it is a benchmark for Class V boaters.




                                                                    Killer shots of Vortex









                                Photo by Jordan Rice  Paddler : Kelly Voncannon






                                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



                                       Paddler Matthew Wallace    Photo by Ben Davis






                               Paul Hubbard on Vortex photo by Robert Smith











          The rapid right after Vortex...notice the boil and the horizon line





                                Photo by Jordan Rice  Paddler : Sean Richards






After Vortex:


Is the run out, and onto a 5 drop ledge that is better to run on river right with lots of speed









                                      DrainPipe Rapid: Photo by Matthew Wallace     

                                                              Paddler Ben Davis



Drain Pipe: 


After the run out with Vortex , you will run a long series of  eddys that is better to eddy hop one eddy at a time,

and work your way down to the big one of drain pipe. Now you see how it got its name.

You can walk on river right but it is a total B*tch, so try to take on as many eddys as you can.


The trick here when at the bottom of the rapid is to have a driving hard angle onto the rock/boof on river right,

 you must drive on it high, even higher than you think. Driving high will make it easier to avoid the undercut waiting

on you on river left.I have never hit it high enough. If you do go too far left make sure to stick your bow into the undercut.

By doing this you will flush out.



                                                           Final Approach







                DrainPipe Rapid:


             Photo by Matthew Wallace  Paddler Ben Davis









                                       Photo by Jordan Rice  Paddler :  Ben Friberg





After Drainpipe Rapid:



You need to be aware of  the Rock House put-in on the left. (Which is a good place to put on on low water days)


From there, the next rapid....run straight on , and down the middle with a strong brace on your right....and do not run  on the river side there is a pinning, screw up rock that has messed a lot of people up.


I know of three people needing stitches and of one concussion.


From there it is straight on to the Chick....













***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


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