||Green River, NC
(2 @ III+)
||The Green River Flows Page
(online schedule and more, updated hourly) or Duke Power: 828-698-2068 (direct to message);
800-829-5253 (menu to message). Schedules are announced daily,
generally about 7:30 am, and are subject to change. The
water is released just upstream of the put-in.
||Cruising run with one very modest play
wave and two drops big enough to get the blood pumping
||Very pretty, with dense rhododendron
covering the hillsides much of the run
|Distance from Downtown
||40 minutes to take out, 40
minutes to put in
||All year (dam release)
Narrows (IV-V, 2 @ V+), Lower
||Downstream side of the Pot
Shoals Road Bridge
||End of trail from Gallimore Road (0.6 mile
hike): here's a
photo of the parking area end of trail you'll be hiking out;
the take-out is
about 100 yards downstream of a surfing wave. If you reach a
major stream coming in on your left (the Big
Hungry River), you've come too far. Hike your boat back to
the take-out about 100 yards upstream to avoid entering the Green
Narrows (IV-V, 2 @ V+). See note in bold below and section on take-out parking
|Directions from Asheville
||Take I-26 South to Exit 53 (Hendersonville
/ Upward Road). Turn left onto Upward Road and drive East
(away from Hendersonville) 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Big
Hungry Road (you'll see an apple packing shed on the left, then two
churches next door to each other on the right; turn after the second
church), then take your first left (to stay on Big Hungry Road .
. .), then your first right (to . . . you guessed it . . . stay on
Big Hungry Road), then your first right again (to turn onto
Gallimore Road). Park in the gated
parking area at the end of the public portion of Gallimore Road.
You will need a key to the locked gate to get into the parking area. Here's a link to current
information on parking and keys.
After you've parked, consider hiking down to the river so you'll know
where to take out.
To get there, head down the gated
road. After about 0.4 of a mile the road will bend sharply
to the right and head up hill. On the left side of this bend
you'll find a well-worn trail. Take this trail to the river.
Note: the Gallimore Road parking area is closed the months
of January and February (to protect the field), and parking is not
allowed along Gallimore Road. Best option: park on
Big Hungry Road near the turnoff onto Gallimore Road. When
your trip is over, leave your boats at the trailhead and walk or
thumb back to your car. Return to pick up your boats and
friends. Or not if it was a particularly bad day! ;-)
||Return to I-26. Head South to Exit 54
("to Greenville, 225, to 176, to 25"). After 1.8
miles exit right onto 176 ("Saluda, E. Flat Rock");
turn left at the T-intersection at the bottom of the ramp onto East
176 ("Spartanburg Highway"). Follow 176 east about 2
miles, then turn sharply left onto Pot
Shoals Road (if you cross a bridge high over the Green you've
gone a bit too far). You'll find the river and the put-in
about three-quarters of a mile down Pot Shoals Road.
|Other access points:
||None that I know of, though there are
signs of access by non-boaters a couple places.
||Camping is not allowed on the Green River
Gamelands, which includes all the public lands closest to the river.
The fine for camping on the Gamelands is $90. Duke Power
allows free camping on their lands, including the parking area for
the Upper Green's
put-in and creekside upstream of the powerplant (park your car at
the put-in and hike upstream). Duke Power could easily revoke
their permission, so please be discreet, polite, and as low impact
as possible. Duke provides no facilities or running water. Warning!!! The rules on camping at the Upper Green put-in may have changed! A couple out of state boaters were fined $100 for setting up a tent in the parking lot. Do not camp here until further notice!!!
For those less inclined to rough it, several commercial
campgrounds are located along or near the Lower Green, including the
Green River Campground (three miles down Green Cove Road from the
Fishtop Access), the Wilderness
Cove Campground (four miles down Green Cove Road), the Green
River Cove Campground (six miles), and Silver
Creek Campground (take Green Cove Road past about two miles past
the Lower Green take-out to Silver Creek Road, take a right, and go
approximately a mile and a half). Most of these
campgrounds close for the winter, but the Silver Creek Campground
may be open year round.
Three USFS campgrounds are located within an hour of the Green:
Mills River, and Davidson
River. All are particularly attractive if you wish to
combine some mountain biking with your paddling as they are located
near some of the best mountain biking in the U.S. (check out the
Bent Creek, Mills River, DuPont State Forest and Davidson River
mountain biking areas on J. Mitchell's MTB
WNC page). The Lake Powhatan campground is open from April
1 to October 31; the North Mills River and Davidson River
Campground are open year round. All require reservations a
minimum of four days in advance during their peak seasons (mid-May
to October 31; click the links above to make reservations
online), and all require two-day minimum stays on weekends
(three-day minimum stays holiday weekends). Sites at Lake
Powhatan are $14 / night, those at North Mills River $8 / night,
and those at Davidson River $15-18 / night. The Lake Powhatan
and Davidson River campgrounds have hot showers and flush toilets,
the North Mills River campground does not.
Begin your drive to all three USFS campgrounds by heading west on
I-26 (i.e., toward Asheville). To get to the Davidson River
and North Mills campgrounds, take Exit 49B (Hendersonville / US 64)
and get on US 64 heading east (toward Hendersonville). The
Davidson River campground is on US 64 a couple miles past its
intersection with NC 280 (near Brevard). To get to the North
Mills River campground, turn right onto NC 25 in downtown
Hendersonville, then left a short distance later onto Haywood Road.
Take Haywood Road all the way to Mills River and NC 280. Turn
right onto NC 280 and head north less than a mile to the left at the
stoplight onto North Mills River Road. Follow North Mills
River Road about five miles to the North Mills River Recreation
Area. To get to the Lake Powhatan campground from the Green,
stay on I-26 all the way to Exit 33 (NC 191). Turn left at the
bottom of the ramp and then left again onto NC 191, then head south
two miles to the stoplight on Bent Creek Ranch Road. Turn
right and follow the signs and this road to the Lake Powhatan
If you're on a tight budget and want to camp near this mountain
biking mecca, the USFS allows free camping along the dirt road
between Bent Creek and North Mills River. This is the road
that heads up the hill to the right just before you get to the North
Mills River campground. And if money is no object and you want
to eat and sleep in style, check out the Bent
53, 48, 43, 54 fpm (over the last 0.72 miles)
||80 fpm (over 0.25 miles)
||Maximum half mile:
Whitewater's Rivers Page; Jeff
Tallman's Green River Page
||Bob and David Benner's Carolina
Whitewater: A Canoeist's Guide to the Western Carolinas
(but note that what they describe as the put-in is actually the
take-out, a critical error given that what is downstream is the Green
Narrows (IV-V, 2 @ V+).
Map of the Upper Green Shuttle: Gallimore Road is in the
map's extreme right corner; the put-in is the star in the
middle of the map's bottom edge -- you'll have to re-center the map
slightly to see the entire route.
Green River Photo Archive
||Consider taking a hike after you've
recovered from huffing your boat up the hill to the parking lot.
Here's an online brochure describing some of the hikes in the area:
Trails of the
Green River Gamelands. To hike into the heart of the
infamous Green River Narrows, turn right onto Big Hungry Road as you
drive back out Gallimore Road from the take-out (rather than the
left you'll need to take to get back to the highway). Drive
3.1 miles to the Pulliam
Creek Trail (a total distance of 5.9 miles from the interstate).
Park on the right side of road (being careful not to block traffic)
and look over the side. You'll see a modest footbridge (two
logs) over a tiny creek. Approximately two miles from the
trailhead you'll come to a very steep path falling off the mountain.
Take this path to the river. The last part is very steep,
requiring scrambling on hands and knees. The path comes out
just upstream of Sunshine Falls, near Groove Tube / Nutcracker.
Head upstream, passing Rapid Transit and Green Scream Machine to get
to the four distinct drops and four linking sections that comprise
Gorilla [from the bottom up, and using Tom V's names: Nies'
Pieces, Butt Cruncher, the Speed Trap, Zoom Flume (the main drop),
the Brain Mirror (the calm part of which is the eddy many boaters
choose to catch), the Notch (local name = the Gnarrs), the Prayer
Zone and Pencil Sharpener!]. The hike in takes 45 minutes to
Consider bringing your mountain bike. The Bent Creek, Mills
River, DuPont State Forest and Davidson River mountain biking areas
are all within an hour of the Green (read about them on J.
The Green runs daily much of the year, though the releases can be
as short as four hours or at levels too low to boat. The 1-800
number in the gauge section above allows you to access information
about the reservoir height. A full reservoir is 100
feet; releases are much more likely when the reservoir is over
98 feet. The most common flow is 1 unit at 100%. The run is
boney but runnable at 100%; it is much better with more water
(200% is a great level).
Though a very pleasant run, there are just three features of
note: (John) Bayless'
Boof (the first class III+), a fairly sticky hole just
downstream of Bayless' Boof, and Pinball (the second class III+).
You can tell you've come to Bayless' Boof when you see an island
with horizon lines on both sides. Scout the drop from the left
side of the river; I've always run Bayless' Boof on a tongue
of water left of center on the left side of the island with a
little left angle and momentum. If you run without
the left angle you run the risk of tagging an underwater rock at
the bottom, surfing the hole, or both. The sticky hole is at
the bottom of a ledge two hundred yards or so downstream of Bayless'
Boof. The ledge is high enough to create a mini horizon line.
Run it on the left with some speed. Pinball is a double drop a
short distance downstream of the I-26 bridge. It is an easy
boat scout. It too is run left of center. Here are three
shots (all taken from midstream) of a low-water run: Derek
Dephouse at the top of Pinball's first drop, Derek
at the bottom of the first drop and Derek
at the top of the second drop. There is a modest but
playable wave about a hundred yards upstream of the take out.
The greatest hazard on this stretch of river is not the rapids,
but the many strainers created by fallen trees. Be alert for
them. The nature of the run is such that you'll see the
strainers in time to avoid them, but do be alert. Someone with
poor boat control could easily get in trouble on one of them.