Elk River

Has anyone paddled on the Elk River in Kelso, TN? I want to know what the river is like and if it’s worth a 2 hour drive to go paddle it. Thanks.

Elk River
i enjoyed the river, we camped out over night when we did it. the water is cold as heck. we drove from atlanta to paddle it. if its only a two hour drive i would go. Rick

Elk River
Where did you camp, or where would you recommend?

Great River

– Last Updated: May-10-07 3:15 PM EST –

Only about an hour away for me. They stock it with trout. I like the section just below the dam the best, more hills, less farms. Definitely mostly flatwater and some class I-. Dam controlled so it runs all summer. Very cold. Looks like the Huntsville Canoe Club will be going there for an overnighter 19-20 May.

We put in below the dam
and paddled for about 10-12 miles and camped out on an island. Its been two years and i can not remeber where we took out but it had to be about 20 miles below the dam.


There is a campground at Elk River Canoe Rentals



Click on the logo for more info

Too slow!
We paddled our kayaks on the Elk River last weekend in Kelso, TN. We put in at Old Dam Ford and paddled 9 miles down to the Canoe Rental place and camped. It was ok, but I thought the river was way too slow for my taste. We don’t like all that paddling. I’m looking for a river with just a little bit faster moving water. Something to carry us down the river with not too much paddling. Any suggestions?

That’s why I said
"Definitely mostly flatwater and some class I-".

Maybe the Bear River in Northwest Alabama. Its got better current (one spot where its Class II- on the upper section)but it might be too far to drive.

Link to most TN Water

never said it was fast!
We drank a few pops when we went down it. easy paddling but almost every river is slugish right now. we need some rain! if you want something faster do the nanty or pigoen or oconee

Just looking for class 1
cause my husband and I have recreational kayaks (Victory) (We’re in our 50’s) - just want a stream that moves - I guess we do need some rain. But the Elk was really nice anyway. We had a very relaxing day.

The problem
thatI’ve experienced is that there are very few rivers with Class I that have a pretty constant flow. Bear Creek in NW Alabama comes to mind and so does the Blackwater River in Florida. The Blackwater would be ideal for what you’re looking for, 'cept its so dang far away. Its got a constant 2 mph flow with no whitewater at all. But these two are the exception to the rule in my experience. A friend of mine at work paddled the Elk and he had the same objection that you did. He wanted to find something with a fairly constant current that was local to Huntsville. I told him about the Bear Creek, but the two hour drive turned him off.