Packrafting the Obed National Wild & Scenic River - Tennessee

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
562
I've been mapping out lots of no shuttle packrafting trips in the southeast over the past few years. If there's a navigable river or creek with a trail system, I've probably got a route for it. One of my favorite places to whitewater kayak back in the day is the Cumberland Plateau in TN/KY. I have been paddling the area for over 15 years and know it well. Its wild, remote and free flowing with no dams backing up the classic runs. It's a paddlers and rock climbers dream. The Obed and the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area are two of the plateau's greatest hits and I've done a few paddling/hiking packrafting trips in both areas. The Cumberland Trail and the John Muir Trail (the lesser known JMT) allow for some really cool linkups.
The Obed NWSR is an overlooked National Park Service gem. It's Wild & Scenic designation covers sections of the Obed River, Emery River, Clear Creek and Daddy's Creek. As of 2017 it's an official Dark Sky Park.

These are two back to back solo day trips I did a few weeks ago. Its very rare to be able to paddle these rivers in the summer, but it was a rainy June and July down here so I took advantage.
Day one I hiked 8 miles of the very rugged and lightly used Cumberland Trail in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area to where it meets the Obed River, and paddled 8 miles back to the car. Some class 3 whitewater added some spice. I started and ended at Rock Creek CG near the historic Nemo Bridge.
Day two I drove to Daddy's Creek from Rock Creek CG and paddled the last two miles to its confluence with the Obed River, and continued down the Obed to where I stopped hiking and started paddling the day before. I then hiked the other section of Cumberland Trail back to the car at Daddy's Creek to complete the linkup. This was a dream packraft trip of mine for a few years, glad I was able to finally bring it all together.
14 miles of paddling, 14 miles of hiking. No shuttle necessary.



rockgarden1_1.jpg
Rockgarden Rapid on the Obed

view.jpg
Cumberland Trail overlook

sign1.jpg
Start of the hike on day 1

rapid.jpg
Unnamed rapid on the Obed

IMG_4292.jpg
Morgan's Overlook on the Cumberland Trail looking into the Daddy's Creek gorge

IMG_4281.jpg
The Dark Sky Park sign at Nemo Bridge was a pleasant surprise. This is my photo, one among many I let the NPS use in their Dark Sky application. Over the years they've used my photography in media, at the visitors center and to help secure the Dark Sky designation.

2A4A6651.jpg
Nemo Bridge

2A4A6659.jpg
Nemo Bridge
 

Attachments

  • 2A4A6654.jpg
    2A4A6654.jpg
    526.5 KB · Views: 2
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
BJett Rockcastle River No Shuttle Packrafting - Kentucky On The Water 2
BJett Packrafting the Cumberland River Below the Falls - Kentucky On The Water 6
Desertratgal Backpacking/Packrafting Needles and Maze Districts of Canyonlands Trip Planning 3
BJett Amazing Appalachians - Backpacking/Packrafting the AT and Nantahala River Backpacking 5
Desertratgal Packrafting Canyonlands Round 2: Dates? Trip Planning 2
Desertratgal 5 Days Solo Packrafting Canyonlands On The Water 4
Desertratgal Canyonlands Packrafting Rough Draft Trip Planning 18
Desertratgal Beginner Packrafting Western CO Trip Planning 2
Duketogo13 Questions about packrafting the Escalante/Lake Powell in September. Need help! Trip Planning 5
Outdoors24 Willow/Davis Gulch Packrafting Backpacking 6
S Packrafting Escalante - FiftyMile Creek and low water level Lake Powell Trip Planning 8
Mikjik86 Short Video: Backpacking/Packrafting Dark Canyon Wilderness, Utah. April 2019 Backpacking 0
regehr Dirty Devil Packrafting in March General Discussion 4
dug Lake Mead Bikepacking/Packrafting Everything Else 5
Mikjik86 Waterproof backpack bag for packrafting? On The Water 6
smscheick Packrafting Willow/Davis/50 mile Backpacking 22
K I am hoping to do a 6-8 day packrafting trip on the Dirty Devil in early April. Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
George_Washington_Hayduke Twilight Canyon- Cottonwood Gulch- Llewellyn Gulch- 8 Days Backpacking/Packrafting Backpacking 15
LizardAZ Verde River/Mazatzal Wilderness packrafting On The Water 8
J Escalante Packrafting Backpacking 4
LizardAZ Packrafting Black Canyon On The Water 3
wsp_scott Packrafting the Big South Fork (KY) On The Water 7
J Invite Packrafting the Thorofare area Meet Up (Members Only) 5
George_Washington_Hayduke Packrafting and Bikepacking from the San Rafael River to Muddy Creek On The Water 0
George_Washington_Hayduke Price River (Utah) Packrafting @200cfs From Woodside to Swasey Beach On The Water 4
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 3: Fifty Mile Canyon Backpacking 4
George_Washington_Hayduke Canyonlands Figure 8: Packrafting Loop through the Needles and Maze District Backpacking 3
George_Washington_Hayduke Packrafting Cataract Canyon @17000cfs On The Water 0
Aldaron Packrafting Alaska Trip Planning 35
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 2: Davis to Fifty Mile Backpacking 12
piper01 Packrafting Escalante, Part 1: Willow to Davis Backpacking 10
dug When things don't go just as planned. Bikepacking, backpacking, packrafting Escalante. On The Water 0
Nick Best Packrafting Paddle Gear 8
steve Invite Dirty Devil Packrafting/Float Trip April 11 Meet Up (Members Only) 14
Parma Canyonlands Packrafting Trip Backpacking 45
steve Invite Last-minute Maze Figure 8 packrafting trip this weekend Meet Up (Members Only) 3
steve 2015 packrafting trips Meet Up (Members Only) 41
steve Planning a packrafting trip to Hole in the Rock Trail - April 10-12 Meet Up (Members Only) 74
Bob Packrafting the Little Colorado River Gorge On The Water 1
mattvogt7 Packrafting the Dirty Devil, March 2014 On The Water 12
BJett Packrafting the Red River Gorge On The Water 11
BJett Packrafting the Rockcastle River On The Water 14
BJett Packrafting Guide - Southern Utah General Discussion 3
Kullaberg63 Packrafting the Colorado River Daily run at 6000 cfs On The Water 2
mattvogt7 Packrafting? Trip Planning 2
BJett Cumberland Plateau - Obed/Big South Fork Hiking & Camping 7
scatman The Gallatin River, Bighorn and Fawn Passes, Yellowstone National Park - September 7, 2023 Backpacking 14
futurafree government shutdown effects on national forests? General Discussion 21
fossana New Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni National Monument General Discussion 4
J York Fire, Mojave National Preserve. Aug 2023 Resource Discussions 3

Similar threads

Back
Top