Select Page

By Justin Owen

The rain has hardly let up in Tennessee… and I’m not complaining. Brave Wave has been running for weeks, lower drainages have been runnable more days than not, and a big rain event has settled in about every other week. With all this water, I have been on a mission to find cool unrun or lesser known drops on the Plateau. I definitely found one this last week with a little help on beta from Clay Wright.

Stinging Fork Falls is a definite gem of the Plateau but has a bad reputation. It was first run at lower water with long boats, and had some bad hits resulting in injured backs. Since that time there have been a handful of descents, Including Clay running it twice. When asked about the drop, he simply stated "It’s one of the highest quality drops in our area," that was all I needed to hear. A torrential rain arrived this week leaving limited options, but giving me the opportunity to give this one a go.

It is a hike in of less than a mile to the drop, and upon arrival I was pleasantly suprised. The waterfall was beautiful, and bigger than I thought. That was the easy part though. Above the drop is a snaking slide that drops at least twenty feet, checks off a wall, and then sets you up for the main drop at warp speed. As I stood scouting, I couldn’t help but think about how this was one of the best rapids around. At that point, I decided to give it a go. My good friend Justin Kleberg set safety and shot video as well. As I hiked out of the Gorge, I was a satisfied man, and definitely knew that I would someday be back again for this one.

If you would like to run this drop, directions are easy to find. It is located in the Stinging Fork Pocket Wilderness in Spring City TN. The trail is exceptionally well maintained and marked, and it goes when most of the watersheds in the area are flooded. One more thing…. keep your weight forward.
The link to the video is:


 Click to see larger imageClick to see larger imageClick to see larger image