West Fork of the Tuckasegee

Tucked away below Thorpe Dam and a series of large waterfalls in Cullowhee, NC, this beautiful gem is finally open for us thanks to the hard working guys at American Whitewater. Turned from the dewatered “wood fork” into what is becoming a truly southeastern classic, this little gem is like a tour of what the southeast truly has to offer but in a package that is manageable for most southeast creekers. It has a boulder garden section that reminded me of the smokies, similar to Big Creek. It has long slides and clear water similar to Island Creek. It has a bedrock character similar to the nearby Jocassee drainage, creating the Flight Simulator drop. It even has a minigorge full of quality class IV. I procrastinated getting on it from all the complaints about the hike-in, wood, and excessive class II-III, but what I found surprised me. I found a special, spectacular place full of quality rapids, slides, and even a fun drop or two.

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