Pine Creek Falls 30 Feet… and so does Team JK

pine creek falls before the change

pine creek falls before the change

A random note from Scott Strausbough years ago alerted me to a tiny little gorge in a cow pasture near Smithville TN. Dutifully Gazeteering it out, I was delighted to turn on ‘Pine Creek Falls’ road and discover a 30′ waterfall and 3 class 3 and 4 rapids and a vertical walled gorge below it just waiting to be plucked out of obscurity and propelled into the Middle Tn whitewater limelight!

Couple web shots, and AW page, and 5 years later and it’s still just an obscure little gorge in a cow pasture .. visited a couple times a year by myself and very few others. The Falls access has been gated and posted, requiring a river-run instead of a park n huck, but this drop remains one of my favorite waterfalls in the Southeast – simply because it is a 30′er into deep water just 30 minutes from my house. With this morning’s Pedro and Ben appearance on the Today show for his 127′ waterfall, what better place to take Team JacksonKayak for our daily Team Week paddle?

After some logistical kitten-herding challenges, we finally reached the Falls flowing big and brown with Dane and Jesse Coombs already Huckin it up. . and to my great surprise this was NOT the the same waterfall that I’ve run for so many years – the middle had fallen in! Now instead of one straight shelf with the most water on the right, most of the water falls into the middle with 2 lines on either side. Wonder where the shelf landed? That was my main concern, however a few minutes of watching the boats plunge deep assured me the right line was still a ‘go’ at least at these high flows. The next hour was spent dragging boats up and dropping back down, as Stephen, Lauren, Nick, Owen, Jasper, Jonathan, Tommy, and I joined into the frenzy. It was the biggest waterfall ever run for 5 of our group.

The rest of the gorge was running high (1′) but we were able to make our way through the last great ”Ampitheater’ rapid and on to Center Hill Lake in no time. Just another great day of kayaking here near Rock Island

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