Straight Fork Low Water Bridge on Government Road to National Park Boundary

Sylva, North Carolina

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The Straight Fork originates between Balsam Mountain and Hyatt Ridge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The stream is pristine, as is the area through which it flows. Although a dirt road parallels the creek, it feels like a wilderness run. The put-in is immediately downstream of the Hyatt Creek confluence. With an average drop of 141 feet per mile, the gradient is deceptively high. It doesn’t seem that steep except for one short stretch in the middle portion of the run. This run has a small, densely vegetated watershed and will need considerable rainfall to bring it to a runnable level.
Carolina Whitewater: A Paddler's Guide to the Western Carolinas

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Carolina Whitewater: A Paddler's Guide to the Western Carolinas

by Bob and David Benner (Menasha Ridge Press)

The Straight Fork originates between Balsam Mountain and Hyatt Ridge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The stream is pristine, as is the area through which it flows. Although a dirt road parallels the creek, it feels like a wilderness run.

The put-in is immediately downstream of the Hyatt Creek confluence. With an average drop of 141 feet per mile, the gradient is deceptively high. It doesn’t seem that steep except for one short stretch in the middle portion of the run. This run has a small, densely vegetated watershed and will need considerable rainfall to bring it to a runnable level.

©  Bob and David Benner/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Sylva
Distance: 2.2
Elevation Loss: 140 feet
Duration: 2 hours
Class: Class II-IV
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Local Maps: Bunches Bald (USGS); Swain (County)
Driving Directions: Directions to Straight Fork: Low Water Bridge on Government Road to National Park Boundary

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May 2018