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Little River Canyon located in Fort Payne Alabama I feel is one of the most overlooked high quality runs in the Southeast. Commonly referred to as LRC or The Canyon the run usually sees paddlers coming from the local Alabama, Chattanooga, and Atlanta areas. Having started paddling in the Auburn Alabama area, LRC has been a steady go to in my creeking diet. One of my favorite features of LRC is that each level really changes the complete aspect of the run. You can get everything from a super low creeky level all the way down to 250cfs and a big water pushy feeling starting at 1200cfs and higher. The Canyon is divided into three main distinct sections. The first one being the Suicide section which I feel is the most demanding of the sections, Suicide also demands the upmost respect having a very sieved out nature. The next section is Upper 2, I feel this section is a little less demanding than Suicide but still keeps you on your toes. The last section of the Canyon proper is the Chairlift section which provides a great Class IV to IV- section that can help people progress in their creeking skills. My favorite aspect of LRC though is Little River Canyon Falls located at the beginning of the Suicide section. From what I know, it is the only run in the Southeast area that starts off with an approximate 25-30 foot waterfall that has many different lines to offer water levels depending. Another great aspect of LRC is the many different tributaries that run into The Canyon that provide great creeking options when the Canyon itself is too high. Upon receiving my new Jackson Karma I was very excited to go and try it out on The Canyon. I was fortunate enough to be able to try it out at a variety of water levels. One of my favorite things about the Karma thus far is that it is a boat that PERFORMS under all water conditions. The Karma handled great from everything down to very low and creeky flows, all the way up to higher and pushier flows. I was also fortunate enough to paddle the Karma at Johnnies Creek one of the most popular tributaries that drains into LRC. Johnnies Creek in my opinion is a run that could be comparative to the Green River Narrows and also becomes a little more challenging as the water levels rise. I was able to try out the Karma on Johnnies at a lower-medium level. Personally, I have always paddled full displacement boats and was curious to see how my paddling style would react to having some edge. I was pleasently suprised by the edge of the Karma. The edges are very engaged when you need them but are not ones that you can get tripped up on in rocky low volume scenarios. The last aspect of the Karma that I found most appealing is the speed of the boat! The Karma in my opinion is the fastest boat that I have ever paddled. The Karma accelerates past every hole that you put it through and carries speed past all pour overs and boofs as well. The Karma also uses its speed in very aerated water to propel you past all boils and eddy lines. All in all I am very pleased with the Karma and look forward to continuing to paddle it for 2014! If you are looking for a great boat that will preform in any type of scenario that you put it in whether it be low volume or pushy water, look no further than the Jackson Karma. Also, if you have never had the opportunity to paddle Little River Canyon it is well deserving of the trip, and is one of my favorite runs in the southeast region! Attached is a link to a short edit that I made of a POV tour down The Canyon at a beginning to high water level and also a low medium level.
See you on the water,
Steven Naylor