US Whitewater > Tennessee > Little River



Tennessee whitewater, Little River

Blount county, Elbow to Townsend section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     2.6 miles
The run described here is actually from the Elbow to the Y. It is incorrectly labeled Elbow to Townsend.

There is another run from the Y to Townsend, but there is a low level Dam about 2 miles from the Y that has to be portaged. This run is about 4 miles. It has Class 2+ rapids at the start and gradually gets easier till it is Class 1 as the trip approaches Townsend. Says Jim Knowles

This is a very scenic run. 
    The Little River run through The Smoky Mountain National Park along Little River Road. The put-in is 2.6 miles from the Y driving towards the Sinks.  You should go with a group of experience paddlers that have run this section
before.  There is a rapid called Mary's Rock that is Class 2+ rapid with a deadly undercut rock that has nearly trapped unaware paddlers under water.  This rapid should be portage by most paddlers.  Advanced paddlers should not have any difficulties making the S-turn that is required to successfully run this rapid. There are probably 8-10 Class 2 rapids to go along with the 5-6 rapids that are Class 2+ or 3.  This run is is runnable in the  
wet season (Fall to Winter).  You need a minimum 600 cfs on the Little River Maryville gauge. Says Jim Knowles

The starting point is not too far from Sevierville, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. The scenic beauty of Tennessee and the water flowing gracefully down Little River have people coming here. The Elbow to Townsend stretch of Little River in Blount County is 2.6 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class II-III section. A good workout and just hanging out with mother nature are sure to keep you coming back for more. There are some good hotels near the river, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick.

Little River, Elbow to Townsend 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 Little River.
 Whitewater Near Little River:
Little River, Blount County, 1 miles away
      Class II - 10 miles long (Townsend to Dam at Melrose)
Little River, Blount County, 2 miles away
      Class II-III - 2.6 miles long (Elbow to Townsend)
Little River - West Prong, Blount County, 3 miles away
      Class III-IV - 3 miles long (Confluence with Laurel Creek to West Prong of Little River)
Little River, Sevier County, 5 miles away
      Class III-IV+ - 3.5 miles long (Sinks to Elbow)
Little River - West Prong, Blount County, 5 miles away
      Class III-IV - 6 miles long (Cold Water Knob to Cades Cove Road)
Little River - Middle Prong, Blount County, 5 miles away
      Class III-IV - 3 miles long (Lynn Camp and Thunderhead Prong Confluence to Tremont Institute)
Thunderhead Prong, Blount County, 5 miles away
      Class IV - 1.5 miles long (to confluence with Lynn Camp Prong)
Lynn Camp Prong, Blount County, 8 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 3 miles long (to confluence with Thunderhead Prong)
Little River, Blount County, 8 miles away
      Class I - 22 miles long (Dam at Melrose to Tennessee River)
Cove Creek, Sevier County, 9 miles away
      Class II-IV - 1.5 miles long (Cascades)
 Ski Areas Near Little River:
Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee , 12 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 8 runs
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 45 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Sky Valley, Georgia , 47 miles away, 210 foot drop, 2 lifts, 5 runs
Scaly Mountain, North Carolina , 47 miles away, 225 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 86 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
 Marinas Near Little River:
Fontana Village Marina, Fontana Dam , 14 miles away
Santeetlah Marina, Lake Santeetlah , 19 miles away
Deyton Camp Boat Dock Rentals, Robbinsville , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Little River:
Best Western Cades Cove Inn, Townsend , 1 miles away
Tremont Lodge Resort, Townsend , 2 miles away
Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend , 3 miles away
Dancing Bear Cabins, Townsend , 3 miles away
Highland Manor Inn And Conference Center, Townsend , 4 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Little River:
Little River Village Campground, Townsend, 1 miles away
Lazy Daze Campground, Townsend, 1 miles away
Mountaineer Campground, Townsend, 1 miles away
 Trails Near Little River:
Anthony Creek Trail, Blount , 5 miles away
Vista Trail, Blount , 5 miles away
Rich Mountain Trail, Blount , 5 miles away
Russell Field Trail, Blount , 6 miles away
Meigs Mountain Trail, Sevier , 6 miles away
 Public Lands Near Little River:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg - TN , 16 miles away
Obed Wild & Scenic River, Wartburg - TN , 65 miles away
Fort Loudoun State Park, Tennessee , 33 miles away
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina , 34 miles away
Big Ridge State Park, Tennessee , 38 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Little River:
Lambert Acres Golf Course, Maryville , 12 miles away
Country Inn at Bays Mountain Golf Course, Seymour , 12 miles away
Creekside Plantation Golf Course, Seymour , 12 miles away
 Lakes Near Little River
Fontana Lake, Swain , 13 miles away
Santeetlah Lake, Graham , 19 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.