Walden's Ridge Tennessee
Big Soddy Trib
Is Dying...due to Rock Harvesting.
2.75 ft min Soddy gage, 400 ft avg. per mile 1.75 miles long
Water Quality (1 bad 3 good)thanks to the rock harvesters
Scenery (1 bad 3 good) thanks to the rock harvesters
Watershed Map (to find
location and size of creek)
Special thanks to Steve Zerfos for
making the map.
A special thanks to Randy Hale of NorthRiverGeographic
for the map
Driving Directions from Google
Map...move your mouse around on it...it will get you in the ballpark.
View Larger Map
Use the railroad bridge on
Soddy Creek...at the takeout on Backvalley Road
in Soddy-Daisy Tennessee. The concrete footer and water on top of the footer
is a optimum level.
Notice this footer a great waterlevel is when
it hits the top of
this footer at the Soddy take-out. Ignore the painted gage, it never lasts
due it being a swimming hole in the winter
Park in the Mowbray Community Association parking lot. It is owned by the county and you car is safe here.
Don't walk down this road...it's trespassing...walk thru the ball field
and head towards the creek confluence
Paddlers Bailey Johnson, Jim Little and Mike
The flatwater section trying to get to the gorge
Description : Another steep run off Walden's Ridge
Location: Mowbray Mountain: Walden's Ridge Plateau
Deep Creek and Soddy Creek are in DANGER!!!!
Please check out the damage being done to our creeks...thank you Ben at Steepcreeks.com for letting us know about this.
Deep Creek :
When I think of Deep Creek
When I think of Deep Creek, I get a smile on my face like the cat that swallowed the canary. This run is pleasure. The put-in is not difficult, you hike in, but it's not epic, almost fun, time to talk to your buddies, and think of the run coming up. It is all downhill. I think the Cain Creek walk-in is more difficult because it seems longer, maybe is, maybe it ain't. The paddle is creeky, with eddies, slides and boofs. Your paddle out when leaving the creek is a big-water flush on Big Soddy all the way to the take-out. The run is on the video Steep Creekin, and shows you a lot, but the rapids are out of sequence, and the video can't show the true personality of this run. And when it came to rope or shoot, the throw bag always came first. It is a warm fuzzy feeling run, even when in the meat of a Class V drop you know everything is going to be all right. To say I bonded with Deep Creek would be an understatement.
Creek photo by Brian "cock-o" Collins
Mike "Louie" Lewis
The put-in can be found by driving up Hot-water Road. From there find the old Mowbray School now the Mowbray Mountain Community Center and park there, it will be near the junction of Grant Road and Mowbray Road. From there look at your topo map again, you will be on page 24, on the Tennessee Atlas & Gazetteer. With the map you will know what I am talking about. Get your bearings, walk down/along the branch that you found on your map, leading to Deep, you will be coming in on river left. When the two branches come to a confluence, this will be your put-in point. Each of the creeks/branches don't have enough water, but when combined, Deep becomes a gem. The majority of the rapids don't stick out, oh sure there are some big ones, but the feeling of the run is catching eddies and making your next move, while taking all the beauty of the gorge. It is so pretty, that even in the Class IV stuff you see stuff that will inspire you and you will be constantly looking around; the beauty reminds me of Falling Water, a few creeks over by the way. The run to me has the feel of Polebridge without the epic portages, rapids without water, rapids where you can't spit, and penalty points. But still this is not a good description. The take-out is the same for the regular Soddy run, and Deep comes in on river right. 1.5"-2" inches of winter rain is a good sign, and when at the Soddy take-out if you are looking at the river and you are thinking it's too high to run Soddy, then Deep is a go.
Just a little history, the run was first run by myself, Jim Little (OC-1),who I raised from a pup, Bailey "Big Water" Johnson (OC-1), Mike "Louie" Lewis (OC-1), who raised me from a pup, Andy Bridge (C-1), and Brian "Cock-O" Collins. Brian was given that name for being cocky...and it stuck. One of my old partners in crime.
The run feels a little ditchie, if you put on too high on the upper portion. When at the confluence where you need to put in, the run immediately turns into a creek when the two branches pick up, from there you have some boogie water, and you are wondering if you read the topo map right, it seems too easy, then it starts to pick up and then you start wondering is it going to make it up all at once? It doesn't, the first rapid is Spin-out, a fast slide/drop that doesn't look straight forward but is, nail it though because the hard stuff is coming up and you want confidence. This rapid will decide how you feel the rest of the day.
From there you hit some bump-n-grind stuff, and you think it's going to be trashy for the rest of the run, once again, nope! The slot move/dry slide rapids come up, and once you had a taste of that, and thinking well this is how it's going to be, the big ones are coming now, and with all the first rapids you have just run you're ready for the next ones, now the run starts to feel like Polebridge, but remember , no penalty points. One of the best drops I remember in this section is a boof up on a tongue, sliding crux move into a big pool, like I said no penalty points. Kinda like Red Hot Chili Pepper on Morgan but with a soft landing. You get rewarded for a good line too.
Deep Creek Rapid :Log Photo by Brian "Cock-o" Collins
Things change again, the creek now spreads out, and the run now becomes a drop/short pool section with nice eddy hopping and boat scouting. When in this section all that hard work you did practicing creekin' on the Ocoee, when everyone else was playboating, now pays off. Try to catch all the eddies, it is a like a liquid playground. The most memorable rapid in this section is the rapid Log. This section has a make your move, catch your next eddy, and plot your next line feel to it. This continues all the way to Soddy, once on Soddy you can't believe what a nice run you just made.
Now for Soddy. You are thinking to yourself, where on Soddy are we at? Are we above the big stuff? You pick and choose your lines avoiding holes like the plague, which are set-up like land mines, it will remind you of the Upper Ocoee section below the race course when the Ocoee is above 8500 cfs. Just when you are starting to think of big water problems, and everyone in group is thinking it ....but won't say it, Soddy lets you off the hook and it's clear sailing to the car.
When you make to the car, look back at the mountain and you can see the mirco gorge you just came out of, knowing that you are one of the few to run one of the best runs I think on Walden's Ridge. I always imagined on getting this run wired like Johnnies in Alabama, and trying multiple trips. And like Johnnies this one is short and sweet. nothing epic about it.
Deep Creek photo by Brian "cock-o" Collins