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The Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts ( have been back at work on the Doe River this early spring improving another river access point. The Tennessee Valley Authority property near the Bear Cage Road Bridge over the Doe River in Roan Mountain, TN has served as a fishing hole and whitewater paddling access for many years on this undeveloped site.

The TVA property is adjoined by the Julian Farm and the nice farming family has always been very welcoming to paddlers and fisherman over the years by letting them pull off in the grass near the bridge to access the launch. The frequent heavy rains this past winter have had the Doe flowing at great levels for paddling. The site was getting utilized more often than normal and the soil was in a much more saturated condition causing many ruts to start forming from cars parking off the road.

The APE’s saw this becoming an issue and quickly notified the Carter County Parks and Recreation Board of the need for an improvement. Chris Schuettler, the director of the Carter County Planning & Zoning Department, begun coordination with the TVA and Julian Family on the suggested development and both land owners obliged the project. An agreement was made that the site would be named to honor a late family member of the Julian Farm. That is how the new name came about for the river access point, Hershel Julian Landing at 104 Hershel Julian Road, Roan Mountain, TN 37658. The place is now active on Google Maps:

Once the thumbs up was given by county officials the APE’s went to work in March to rally volunteers to layout/prep the site, order materials and coordinate gravel deliveries for spreading on the geotex mat to create a larger and a more stable parking area. The new parking layout allows for nearly 10 cars to park now on site and out of the mud during wet seasons. A shout out to two great APE’s who put in nearly 26 volunteer labor hours and supplied equipment to complete the project, Jerry Griffin & Shawn Stanley.

This river access parking improvement project is now ready to serve many outdoor adventures! It will continue to be the take-out for the Upper Doe whitewater run (Class II-III) from Happy Trails Park and the put-in for the Doe Gorge whitewater run (Class III-IV) down to Green Bridge Landing in Hampton, TN. This site will also be a part of the new Doe River Fishing Trail with the Overmountain Chapter Trout Unlimited and a waypoint along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

The project cost totaled a little over $1,400 in materials and was funded by the Carter County Parks and Recreation Board. The APE’s MOU agreement with the CCP&R Board has been a good partnership to continue positive development and park management/sustainability for outdoor recreation opportunities in Carter County.