Emory River (Nemo to Oakdale)
|Stretch:||Nemo Bridge to Camp Austin or Oakdale|
|Distance:||5.7 or 9.0 miles|
|Flows:||>1000? cfs on Obed at Lancing. . Check out USGS's current gauge|
|Gradient:||8.6 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Either Daddy’s Creek at Devil’s Breakfast Table or downriver at the confluence|
|Take-out:||Either Camp Austin Road Bridge or at Camp Austin Rd and TN-299|
|Shuttle:||18.1 miles, 35 minutes one-way.|
|Season:||Winter and Spring, Rain.|
Honestly, this run is decent for float trips with beginners… but even then, the rail road tracks running alongside it through its length certainly detracts from the aesthetics of the wilderness. The reason is gets paddled most often I think, it because when the Catoosa wilderness is closed, it greatly shortens the length of the shuttle of an Obed Canyon day. And as if Catoosa is closed, so is Devil’s Breakfast Table on Daddy’s the options are either to hike into Obed Junction (at the confluence with Daddy’s Creek) or to put-in at the top of Daddy’s and paddle 18 miles down to the Emory… which with the long day most opt to float an additional 45 minutes in mellow water (assuming the flow is up for this long day) rather than adding 25 minutes of shuttle each way.
This was the case the day that I ran this. At 7,000 cfs the Emory was little more than large wave trains. But due to strainers in the water, ice floating down with us (a very cold day), and the nature of big water hydrodynamics I would not recommend a class II boater this run at this flow. But as flows get low and the river is more of a float with occasional class II rapid I can see this is a great beginner section.
A few other pics of our day on the water... cold and icey! This was starting at Daddy's Creek (CAnyon) and traveling the whole 24 miles down to Camp Austin.
- Nemo Rapid (II+). The one rapid to note is visible from the bridge over the river. A riverwide ledge/wave spans the left channel of the island. The right side of which is the easiest to pass through. At higher flows this forms a nice playwave.
Below, boogie continues...
For more details on the run, see the AW write-up
Take-out: Off of Highway 40 in Harriman, take exit 350 for TN-29 toward Harriman / Midtown and turn right onto TN-29. Follow for 2.2 miles and turn right on S. Roane St (TN-61) and follow for 1.6 miles. Cross the Emory and turn left after a few hundred yards on Georgia Ave which quickly turns into TN-29A and then into TN-328. Follow the road along the Emory for 4.2 miles to TN-299 and turn left and quickly turn right on Camp Austin Rd. Just after Mud Creek (which comes immediately) there is a park on the right. You can park here. Or continue upriver an additional 5 miles to the train yard just before Camp Austin Rd crosses the Emory.
Put-in: If Catoosa is open you can do it on the South-West side of the river with lots of turns… look at a map for that way. For the otherway, head out from Camp Austin Rd and turn left on TN-299 and after a few hundred feet veer left on TN-328. Follow this for 3.8 miles before turning left on US-27. Follow this for 7.3 miles to Wartburg. Upon entering Wartburg turn left on Main St. Follow signs to Nemo access which will jog you south one block before turning right onto Catoosa. Follow this for 5.5 miles down to Nemo Bridge. Parking is available on the right prior to the bridge.
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