The Caney Fork River in Tennessee

This trip is on the Caney Fork River in Tennessee.  The trip is 7.5-8 miles long.  Pack plenty of food and water.  We are meeting at Fairview Plaza at 7:30 in the morning because it is a two hour drive to get to Center Hill Dam located in the Buffalo Valley Recreation Area.  The recreation area has a boat ramp, plenty of parking and restrooms.

The Center Hill Dam

The put-in is just below the Center Hill Lake Dam.  The dam is controlled by TVA and it releases water multiple times a day on an irregular schedule.  When water is released it can cause sudden swift water and higher water levels.  There is no way to predict when water will be released.  Here is a link to information on the dams water release:  http://www.tva.gov/lakes/cnh_r.htm

The dam was constructed back in 1948.  In January 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers classified Center Hill Dam as "high risk for failure", along with Wolf Creek Dam in Russell County, Kentucky.

The take-out is at Betty's Island on Betty's Bend Road.  The take-out doesn't have a boat ramp but there is easy water access and a gravel parking area.  The entrance to the parking area is marked by a SMALL BROWN SIGN.    

MAPS:

Click HERE for a map with directions from Bowling Green, KY (A) to Buffalo Valley Recreation Area (B).

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  • Sam K.

    Just curious, did anyone fish on this trip?

    August 19, 2013

    • Chuck C.

      I did not fish but I talked to a couple anglers they said about the same thing fish biting early(sun up) stopped biting about 9:00-9:30am

      August 19, 2013

    • Tangie S.

      Anyone on my FB page knows about my fishing on the Caney last weekend. Yes, Chuck... fish early!

      August 19, 2013

  • Duane L B.

    great trip, lots of fun with a great bunch of people. would love to do the trip again.

    August 15, 2013

    • Jerry H.

      This was our best paddle yet. Would love to go again in the fall while leafs are at peak.

      1 · August 16, 2013

    • Mike M.

      We could get a group to go during the week in Oct.

      August 16, 2013

  • Maryellen S.

    Sucks that I had to MISS this paddle...looks like it was loads of FUN! darn it!

    August 13, 2013

    • Vickie B.

      I would love to do the trip again in the fall. Good idea.

      August 15, 2013

    • Jerry H.

      Patsy and I would go again. We stayed a few extra days this time and paddled it again. More flow even better second time.

      1 · August 15, 2013

  • Mike M.

    Outstanding Mike and Matt.

    August 14, 2013

  • Chuck C.

    ALWAYS A GOOD TIME WITH THE GROUP!!!!

    3 · August 11, 2013

  • julie

    Such a fun day with a great group of people. We enjoyed meeting up with previous paddlers and new paddlers. We're always looking forward to the next trip!

    1 · August 11, 2013

  • Powell A.

    another great trip with a fun group and an entertaining impromptu after paddle event. NOT a drop of rain.

    4 · August 11, 2013

  • Gary W

    I have paddled the Caney Fork several times, and this was my best trip to date.

    1 · August 11, 2013

  • Joe M.

    Great day on some new water for me. Big thanks to Mike and Matt for making this paddle pleasant and of course safe!

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Barbara R.

    I was very happy to meet you all on the Caney Fork today. Couldn't have asked for a nicer day. Hope to join you again some time.

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Mike

    Swift paddle. Nice turnout of 26 paddlers.

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • tom l.

    Hated to miss the paddle today but had two young grandchildren to tend to today. Too much for one person to handle alone as we've found this week.

    August 10, 2013

  • matt w.

    Great day ! Mike did all the work, Thanks ! Thanks to all who braved the potential for rain. The day turned out be sunny and damn near perfect. We were attacked by a baby buzzard(first time for everything). Nice to see some new faces and enjoy the fellowship of the double-bladed paddle.

    4 · August 10, 2013

  • Jerry H.

    Anyone who missed this paddle missed the best one we have been on yet. Patsy and I have only been on a few so far, but, this was our favorite. Weather turned out to be great. Water flowing just right for a easy paddle. Patsy needs to do her NO-RAIN dance each trip. IT WORKS. Great bunch to paddle with. Met some new ones, seen some old ones, and got WATER BLASTED by the same old sneaky ones. FUN -FUN. Thanks to all for another great day on the water. Hope to see everyone on the next paddle.

    3 · August 10, 2013

  • Tangie S.

    Lots of sunshine at the Caney this morning!! Safe travels up this morning and don't any of you bring all that BG rain with you!!!!!!

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Andrea W.

    It is a beautiful gorgeous day for a paddle. The weather is perfect! And somehow I still am NOT going to be able to go today. Very frustrating. Thanks you guys for organizing I will be there next time!

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Beth S.

    Morning, I cancelled my RSVP earlier but thought needed to let the leaders know. Have fun!! Is it raining in BG yet?

    August 10, 2013

  • Cathy

    Good morning I am canceling for my guest and myself. Everyone have a great time. Hopefully we will get on the water tomorrow somewhere. I really love the Caney Fork and will be sending good energy your way for good paddle.

    August 10, 2013

  • Cathy

    Will miss being on the trip. Everyone have a good time.

    August 10, 2013

  • matt w.

    Repeat : we are paddling as scheduled ! See you at Fairview plaza.

    2 · August 9, 2013

  • John B.

    Here is the USGS lilnk for the Stonewall Gage on the Caney fork.

    The charts reflect the up/down nature of dam releases. Have a good trip.

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/tn/nwis/current/?type=flow&group_key=basin_cd

    August 9, 2013

    • Jason S.

      It looks to me like the discharge at the 3490 CFS which means absolutely nothing. Flow is dependent on how wide the river is, the rate of drop and about a million other factors. My guess is it will be a good flow for paddling. Jerry being onsite will be able to give us on the scene report. *** News by Jerry at 11 ***

      3 · August 9, 2013

    • matt w.

      Guys and Gals the water looks like it did last year. Not enough flow to worry about. A friend just sent me a pic and the river is probably a little lower than last year.

      1 · August 9, 2013

  • matt w.

    The paddle is on !

    August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is this all flat water? Im a beginer and I think I can handle a class 1 or 2 without any problem.

    August 9, 2013

  • tom l.

    Not concerned about rain, just deluge over a small area of watershed that causes high water and fast flow (too fast for my skills). May opt out in AM if paddle is on.

    August 9, 2013

  • David S.

    Have been caught outside in downpours 3 times this week - just can't face the possibility of another drenching. Plus, if I don't go, ya'll will have a perfect sunny day! Enjoy!

    August 9, 2013

  • Jerry H.

    5:00 PM Thursday : The weather forecast here at center hill dam called for 60% rain today, but, it was partly cloudy and never rained. Lets hope he's wrong again tomorrow. TVA will be doing their part and will only be generating with one generator starting at 10:00 AM Saturday morning. Patsy has been doing a NO-RAIN dance all day so we should be good for a good paddle. I HOPE. See all at the put-in.

    August 9, 2013

  • matt w.

    We typically do not cancel due to rain. So I am sorry to say that I have no idea what the weather will do on Saturday morning. If you want to paddle we will be there. Last year it was pouring down when we left and it turned out to be a great day on the water.

    August 8, 2013

    • Mike M.

      More rain on the way. But Jerry should be able to keep us informed.

      August 8, 2013

    • Jerry H.

      Will do mike. As of right now TVA has only one generator on line. Water flow is ideal. They'll post discharge rate later this afternoon, for tomorrow, I expect. Hope the rain misses us .

      August 9, 2013

  • Allie P.

    Matt our storms down here have been in the form of. Lightening and heavy rain when they happen

    August 9, 2013

    • matt w.

      Thanks Allie, same her this morning. We have many hours before we get on the water. Lets keep our fingers crossed !

      1 · August 9, 2013

  • Andrea W.

    I hate to say this "out loud" but if what is the plan if it turns out to be rainy or thunder/lightning storms? Is there a time/day by which we will get a cancellation email?

    August 8, 2013

    • Tangie S.

      Just said a prayer for Patti!!! Poor woman!! Haha!! That was pretty impressive Chuck!!

      2 · August 8, 2013

    • Powell A.

      Andrea - my uncle's wonderful words of wisdom were always "if you don't want to get rained on, jump in the river". that's how we felt about getting wet while fishing. same for paddling.

      1 · August 9, 2013

  • J P Morgan S.

    Sorry I cannot make it saturday,, have fun and enjoy the Canet Fork River, just don;t fall in it is VERRY COLD.

    August 9, 2013

  • Jerry H.

    It's now Thursday afternoon. We just finished setting up the camper across the river from the put-in at Long Branch campground near the dam. Visibility on the river right now is about 100ft. FOGGY. the fog comes and goes. Maybe it's just like that late in the afternoon. We drove through few of those monsoons that chuck mentioned. Beautiful campground. Water is flowing just right for an easy paddle with one generator operating. Rain or Shine, looks like it will be a great paddle. Hope we won't need the rain gear.

    1 · August 8, 2013

  • Michele G

    What time are you meeting at BV rec area? And also "dittoing" the "what about all this rain?"

    August 8, 2013

  • Mike

    It has been warm enough to paddle in the rain.
    Bring your rain gear!
    I know the rainy forecast will change some minds about paddling on Saturday.

    August 8, 2013

  • Barbara R.

    I was just looking at the forecast, too. 60% chance of rain for today, Friday, and Saturday. (And rain every day through next Wednesday if that matters)

    August 8, 2013

  • Kevin N.

    I apologize but things are just too hectic right now. You all have fun!!!

    August 7, 2013

  • Tangie S.

    Anybody camping or staying at a cabin this weekend?

    1 · July 25, 2013

    • Barbara R.

      If Caney Fork River Runners cabins are all booked, there is another place with cabins nearby, too. It is Timber Ridge Inn,[masked]

      August 7, 2013

    • Tangie S.

      I haven't stayed ther before Barbara. Thanks for the info. Love the ones we stay at but if unavailable sometime I'll check out these guys.

      August 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Between kids starting school, a new foster child, and a grand baby born Aug 4, I'm in sensory overload and need to pass on this. Have fun!

    August 6, 2013

  • Tangie S.

    FYI~There are 2 church groups and another outdoor group paddling the Caney this Saturday. Could be busy!!

    August 5, 2013

    • Powell A.

      more paddlers = more water blaster targets.

      1 · August 6, 2013

    • Jerry H.

      We think alike. Grand kids don't like playing CLAY PIGEON with Pappaw and his water blaster anymore. Need more targets.

      1 · August 6, 2013

  • J P Morgan S.

    Just a bit ofwarning about the Caney Fork River, Life Jackets are Mandatory, Game Wardens will check you and if you do not have one it will cost you a $50.00 Fine> If you fish in Tennessee on the Caney Fork River and you Trout fish, you must have a Trout License from Tennessee. I beliee the fine is $100.00 if you get cought. The Water is FREEZING COLD as it is released from the Bottom of the Dam below the Thermocline, where most dams release their water from the top. It is a easy paddle with boat ramp putins and takeouts. The only Hazard is when they release A LARGE AMOUNT OF WATER FROM THE DAM, they Blast a Loud Horn to Warn You. TVA posts a schedule of when they plan on Generating and releasing the water, check it out.

    July 19, 2013

    • tom l.

      Are wet suits advisable or optional? I don't plan to turn over but no ever does, do they?

      August 5, 2013

    • Allie P.

      No wet suits are needed. I have paddled this river many times. You would actually overheat in one of those in summer temps. The water is a refreshing change in the summer.

      2 · August 6, 2013

  • Johnny E.

    Hate to miss this, but I've got to drop out. I'll see everyone on the Hiwassee!

    August 5, 2013

  • Joe M.

    So the Ranger told us the Blue/Green Algae was heading to Nolin Lake this past weekend. I was working today and ........rrrrr........blah.....ugh.......rahhhh!!!!!!!

    2 · July 29, 2013

    • Joe M.

      rrrrrrrr.........

      July 29, 2013

    • tom l.

      Does everyone wash off their yaks after each float to help prevent spread of such stuff?

      August 5, 2013

  • matt w.

    I will go ahead and post this : Do not forget your PDF for this trip. Regardless of flow, You need to have it with you on this trip !

    July 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Same here. Driving from Gallatin and will meet at the put-in

    August 5, 2013

    • Mike M.

      I will be driving direct also along with one other from Russellville. Looking forward to a great paddle.

      August 5, 2013

  • Deborah P.

    Matt, I will be driving from home so will meet you at the put in about (9 : 30 )

    August 5, 2013

  • Sam K.

    Would love to kayak the Caney Fork in the future but will be watching my daughter play vball on Saturday.

    August 5, 2013

  • Gary W

    I am looking foward to meeting all of you and making new friends. I live in Nashville and will meet you at the put-in below the dam

    August 4, 2013

  • Andrea W.

    I'all meet you all at the put in as well. Looking forward to it.

    August 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What time are you leaving Bowling Green?

    August 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Im coming from Chattanooga and have reserved a kayak there with a local outfitter. I will be camping at Edgar Evins Park Saturday night with Vickie. We will be in site 7P if anyone wants to join us. I plan to meet y'all at the put in.

    August 4, 2013

  • matt w.

    Don't forget to bring a headlight or flashlight in your dry bag, I think this is the section that has a cave on it.

    August 3, 2013

    • Ann

      The cave is right before the take out on the left. You can't miss it.

      August 4, 2013

    • Doug F.

      Please note, I was there a few weeks ago. There is a raccoon that has taken up residents 200 or 300 feet from the cave entrance. He/She sounds very aggressive!

      August 4, 2013

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