The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Lower Hiwassee Canoe Trip
Saturday, May 30, 2009


Brief Description:   We will canoe 12 miles from the Reliance canoe launch site to the Patty Bridge takeout. This is a fairly leisurely trip for open canoes. the section which is between Starr and Chilhowee Mountains has several fairly easy rapids, though the rapid under the high tension power lines is likely to add a little water to your canoe as you go through the standing waves. After exiting the mountains, the river is fairly fast but with no significant rapids. It is 6 miles to the US411 bridge, then another 6 miles down to the Patty Bridge

Length:  12 miles

Difficulty Rating: Moderate to Easy, nothing worse than a class II rapid

Hike Leader:  Rick Harris

Directions to the Trailhead Meet at the US411/TN30 intersection just south of the US411 bridge over the Hiwassee River (this is not the similarly named intersection north of Etowah). The intersection for our meeting is about 5 miles south of Etowah.  Park is the empty gravel lot across TN30 from the Hiwassee Outpost convenience store.  Meet at 12 noon. We cannot start any earlier, because the water release from the powerhouse is at 11AM and that water does not reach Reliance until about 1:30 PM.

Post Trip Report: Six canoers and Jake, the Harris' golden retriever, in 3 open tandem canoes went on this wonderful trip. The sky was blue and the temperatures were perfect. We put on the river about 2PM and had a wonderful float through the gap in the mountains. We all took on some water going through the powerline rapids but noone turned over. We ate snacks on a gravel bar just upstream from Al Rymer's cabin. Jake spent the whole time swimming in the river chasing minnows, sticks and leaves. We then floated on down to Patty Bridge, getting off the river about 5PM. Two canoers and Jake stayed at the takeout while the others returned to retrieve the cars. Jake again spent the whole time in the river. Afterwards, we all went to eat dinner at the Big Bear Cove Restaurant on TN30 just a mile or so east of US411. The dinner was great and not very expensive. Canoers included Rick and Brenda Harris (+Jake), Steve and Dottie Kidd, Sheila Bailey, and Mike Dorsett.

            ~ submitted by Rick Harris


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