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Tennessee whitewater, Holston River

Sullivan county, South Holston Dam to Boone Lake section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS I-II     10 miles
If you have never been Kayaking on swift-moving water before, this trip is not for you.  Prepare for an experience like non other my fellow beginners.  Imagine riding a unicycle for the first time down a narrow path that has ICE WATER five feet deep on both sides.  Occasionally, as you negotiate this this obstacle, someone runs up to you and pours a bucket of the ice water on your crotch and then swings a large branch at your head. This
    is what my first Kayaking experience was like on South Holston River.  Also, being that this is your first time trying this sport, ensure that you either secure your beer to the Kayak or go with someone who won't leave you
in the water when you flip to chase down the fast moving beverage only to consume it before they come to rescue you.  One other vital lesson I learned was, if someone rolls their Kayak in front of you...just run into them.  If you attempt to grab an over hanging limb going 4 miles an hour and weigh over 250 pounds, the limb will break and you, too, will be in the water along with your cigarettes, flip-flops, beer(of course) and paddles.  Thankfully,  
the good people I was with  were very skilled with their Kayaks++(Glen and Leslie Peery)++.  And they were able to recover EVERYTHING I lost.  Even my soaked cigarettes.  Thanks for a good learning experience guys....next time let's go fishing. Says Jeremy Ridgley

Be sure if you go down this river that you check TVA.GOV for the generating schedule. It is a really good river to go down if they have generated for an hour or two. If you start the river before or right after the start generating you will run out of water. You will be draging your kayak before you know it. So remember give the water a little time to get ahead of you and you will have a great time. If you are wanting to start a little further down river the water moves about 3 mph from the time they start generating. Have a good time. Says Glen Peery

Holston River, South Holston Dam to Boone Lake road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Holston River.
 Whitewater Near Holston River:
Holston River, Sullivan County, 8 miles away
      Class I-II - 10 miles long (South Holston Dam to Boone Lake)
Watauga, Carter/ Washington County, 11 miles away
      Class I-II - 20.6 miles long (Watauga Reservoir to Boone Lake)
Doe River, Carter County, 13 miles away
      Class II-III - 8.5 miles long (Hampton to Elizabethton)
Doe River - Laurel Fork, -blank- County, 14 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 5 miles long (Dennis Cove to Hampton)
Doe River, Carter County, 16 miles away
      Class III-IV - 5.7 miles long (Blevins Bridge on Bear Cage Road to Highway 19E bridge)
Doe River, Carter County, 19 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.6 miles long (Crabtree to Blevins Bridge on Bear Gauge Road)
Big Moccasin Creek, Scott County, 19 miles away
      Class I-III(IV) - 6 miles long (Snowflake to Antioch Church)
Elk River, Carter County, 21 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.3 miles long (Route 2520 to US 321 bridge Close to Elk Mills)
Elk River, Avery (NC)/Carter (TN) County, 23 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 4.8 miles long (Route 130 to bridge above Sone Mtn Church Tennessee)
Elk River, Carter and Avery County, 23 miles away
      Class IV-V - 5 miles long (Big Falls to Poga Rd)
 Ski Areas Near Holston River:
Ski Beech, North Carolina , 28 miles away, 830 foot drop, 10 lifts, 15 runs
Sugar Mountain, North Carolina , 31 miles away, 1200 foot drop, 8 lifts, 20 runs
Hawksnest, North Carolina , 33 miles away, 619 foot drop, 4 lifts, 12 runs
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 37 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Appalachian Mountain, North Carolina , 41 miles away, 365 foot drop, 5 lifts, 9 runs
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 81 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Winterplace, West Virginia , 97 miles away, 603 foot drop, 9 lifts, 27 runs
 Marinas Near Holston River:
Laurel Marina Dealership, Bristol , 3 miles away
Davis Marina, Blountville , 8 miles away
Lake View Dock, Bristol , 8 miles away
Fish Springs Marina, Hampton , 12 miles away
Lakeshore Marina, Hampton , 12 miles away
 Hotels Near Holston River:
Days Inn Bristol Parkway, Bristol , 5 miles away
Hampton Inn Bristol, Bristol , 5 miles away
Knights Inn Bristol, Bristol , 5 miles away
Econo Lodge Near Motor Speedway, Bristol , 6 miles away
Fairfield Inn & Suites Bristol, Bristol , 6 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Holston River:
Pearce Place, Bristol, 2 miles away
Bristol Campground, Bristol, 3 miles away
Thunder Valley Campground LLC, Bristol, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Holston River:
Old Dug Trail, Carter , 5 miles away
Morrill Trail, Sullivan , 7 miles away
Short Spur Trail, Sullivan , 8 miles away
Holston Mountain Trail, Carter , 9 miles away
Flint Mill Trail, Sullivan , 10 miles away
 Public Lands Near Holston River:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville - NC , 56 miles away
Sycamore Shoals State Park, Tennessee , 9 miles away
Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee , 18 miles away
Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee , 18 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Holston River:
Cedars Golf Course, Bristol , 3 miles away
Steele Creek Golf & Driving, Bristol , 4 miles away
Tri-Cities Golf Club, Blountville , 7 miles away
 Lakes Near Holston River
South Holston Lake, Sullivan , 8 miles away
Watauga Lake, Carter , 11 miles away
Boone Lake, Sullivan , 17 miles away

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