CANCELLED!!! DANGEROUS WATER LEVELS!!! CANCELLED!! UNSAFE CONDITIONS!! CANCELLED!!
Oh, how it pains me to do this. After checking the gauges and consulting with several people with thorough knowledge of the Harpeth - yesterday's rains have raised the river to unsafe levels.
Park Rangers close the public access points to the river at a level of 6ft on the gauge, and don't re-open them until the river has fallen below 5 ft. As of 8pm tonight, the river at Kingston Springs was running above 6.6ft, and it was still rising - showing a straight-up trajectory on the graph! While it may crest overnight, it isn't likely that it will fall below 5ft in time for us to paddle tomorrow.
While it might be thrilling, the risks are significant and many. From the speed, volume, strong currents and eddies, to the strainers the high water levels create as the river flows swiftly through the trees and bushes on what usually is the shoreline, these are not safe conditions for a large group.
Sorry it won't work out for tomorrow, but watch the site for a re-schedule of this and many other paddles to come!
I am so tired of lousy weather on the weekends! This Saturday's forecast looks pretty good - 58 degrees and partly cloudy (which means partly sunny to me!). It's time to put down the ice scraper and pick up the paddle. Every time I've done the Harpeth I think "... this is really beautiful, and it's so close, I should do this more often...". Seems like it's been a while, so let's go do the Harpeth!
We will put in at the Highway 70 access near Foggy Bottom Canoe rental through the Narrows, taking out at the Harris Street Bridge Access. This will be a fairly easy paddle for most as it is Class 1 with a few wave trains or strainers possible.
Here's little Harpeth history (compliments of Gabe from a previous post...) We will come to the Narrows of the Harpeth, where the Harpeth River comes within a few hundred feet of where the river returns, seven miles downstream. In 1818, a businessman named Montgomery Bell bought this land and (with the help of slaves) dug a tunnel through the embankment that separates the two sides of the Narrows of the Harpeth. In doing so, he created enough moving water to power a forge, known as the Pattison Forge, that was used to turn large pieces of raw pig iron into smaller and more malleable pieces. Most of those were then sold to small manufacturers (such as blacksmiths). This is one of the oldest man made rock tunnels in the US.
This will be approximately a 10 mile trip and should take about 4 hours including a lunch stop and shuttles.
10:00 am Meet @ Put In / Highway 70 Access
Put In; Highway 70 Access and
Cedar Hill Rd, Kingston Springs, TN 37082
Traveling HWY 70 West, Pass Foggy Bottom, Turn Right before HWY 70 bridge onto Cedar Hill Rd, Immediately turn left into parking area.
Take Out; Harris Street Bridge Access
From Put In, travel Cedar Hill Rd, Turn Right Just before Harris Street Bridge for parking.
If you have a trailer, then parking is required in overflow parking area.
Overflow parking area is a left turn out of parking area back up the hill away from bridge, immediate right, & park along access rd.
We will discuss shuttle & take out at the put in area. After the shuttle, we'll have a brief safety talk prior to getting on the water.
What to bring:
Swimming would be highly discouraged as water temps are still "cool", so appropriate clothing may include wet-suit, splash top, gloves, water shoes.
A change of clothes in a dry bag is always a good idea.
Dress in layers, you will get warmer during the day.
Snack and drink for our stop on the water
Dry clothes in water tight bag (just in case)
Please check the meetup site periodically for updates. If anyone needs to reach me, call or text[masked]-5433.
Look forward to seeing everyone Saturday!