Click for Asheville, North Carolina Forecast Green River, NC
Lower


Class

Flow

Gauge

I-II

100-200%

The Green River Flows Page (online schedule and more, updated hourly) or Duke Power:  828-698-2068 (direct to message);  800-829-5253 (menu to message).  Schedules are announced daily, generally about 7:30 am, and are subject to change.  The water takes 4-4.5 hours to reach the put-in.
Character: Great beginner run
Scenery: Nice assortment of beer bellies, bikinis and tatoos on warm days at the put-in (often all on the same person)
Distance from Downtown Asheville: 45 minutes to put in, 60 minutes to take out
Length: 6 miles
Season: All year (dam release)
Other sections: Upper Green (II-III- (2 @ III+)), Green Narrows (IV-V, 2 @ V+)
Put-in: Fishtop Access off Green Cove Road
Take-out: Parking lot 6.3 miles down Green Cove Road
Directions from Asheville (to take-out): Take I-26 South to Exit 59 (Saluda).  Turn left at the bottom of the ramp, turn left a couple hundred yards later onto Green Cove Road.  Fishtop Access is at the bottom of the Gorge -- about 3 miles downhill.
Shuttle: Drive down Green Cove Road 6.3 miles.  The parking lot will be on your left.
Other access points: Many;  the road follows the river and is never far from it.  Please be aware that much of the land between the road and the river is private.  Respect the rights of the property owners.
Camping: Camping is not allowed on the Green River Gamelands, which includes all the public lands closest to the river.  The fine for camping on the Gamelands is $90.  Duke Power allows free camping on their lands, including the parking area for the Upper Green's put-in and creekside upstream of the powerplant (park your car at the put-in and hike upstream).  Duke Power could easily revoke their permission, so please be discreet, polite, and as low impact as possible.  Duke provides no facilities or running water.  Warning!!!  The rules on camping at the Upper Green put-in may have changed!  A couple out of state boaters were fined $100 for setting up a tent in the parking lot.  Do not camp here until further notice!!!

For those less inclined to rough it, several commercial campgrounds are located along or near the Lower Green, including the Green River Campground (three miles down Green Cove Road from the Fishtop Access), the Wilderness Cove Campground (four miles down Green Cove Road), the Green River Cove Campground (six miles), and Silver Creek Campground (take Green Cove Road past about two miles past the Lower Green take-out to Silver Creek Road, take a right, and go approximately a mile and a half).   Most of these campgrounds close for the winter, but the Silver Creek Campground may be open year round.

Three USFS campgrounds are located within an hour of the Green:  Lake Powhatan, North Mills River, and Davidson River.  All are particularly attractive if you wish to combine some mountain biking with your paddling as they are located near some of the best mountain biking in the U.S. (check out the Bent Creek, Mills River, DuPont State Forest and Davidson River mountain biking areas on J. Mitchell's MTB WNC page).  The Lake Powhatan campground is open from April 1 to October 31;  the North Mills River and Davidson River Campground are open year round.  All require reservations a minimum of four days in advance during their peak seasons (mid-May to October 31;  click the links above to make reservations online), and all require two-day minimum stays on weekends (three-day minimum stays holiday weekends).  Sites at Lake Powhatan are $14 / night, those at North Mills River $8 / night, and those at Davidson River $15-18 / night.  The Lake Powhatan and Davidson River campgrounds have hot showers and flush toilets, the North Mills River campground does not.

Begin your drive to all three USFS campgrounds by heading west on I-26 (i.e., toward Asheville).  To get to the Davidson River and North Mills campgrounds, take Exit 49B (Hendersonville / US 64) and get on US 64 heading east (toward Hendersonville).  The Davidson River campground is on US 64 a couple miles past its intersection with NC 280 (near Brevard).  To get to the North Mills River campground, turn right onto NC 25 in downtown Hendersonville, then left a short distance later onto Haywood Road.  Take Haywood Road all the way to Mills River and NC 280.  Turn right onto NC 280 and head north less than a mile to the left at the stoplight onto North Mills River Road.  Follow North Mills River Road about five miles to the North Mills River Recreation Area.  To get to the Lake Powhatan campground from the Green, stay on I-26 all the way to Exit 33 (NC 191).  Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and then left again onto NC 191, then head south two miles to the stoplight on Bent Creek Ranch Road.  Turn right and follow the signs and this road to the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area.

If you're on a tight budget and want to camp near this mountain biking mecca, the USFS allows free camping along the dirt road between Bent Creek and North Mills River.  This is the road that heads up the hill to the right just before you get to the North Mills River campground.  And if money is no object and you want to eat and sleep in style, check out the Bent Creek Lodge.

 

Gradient: 21 fpm
Guides  
  Online: American Whitewater's Rivers PageJeff Tallman's Green River Page
  Print: Bob and David Benner's Carolina Whitewater:  A Canoeist's Guide to the Western Carolinas
Maps: Trails of the Green River Gamelands
Photos: Green River Photo Archive
Other: Consider getting to the river early and going for a hike (most days you won't have water until lunchtime).  Here's an online brochure describing some of the hikes in the area:  Trails of the Green River Gamelands.  To hike into the heart of the infamous Green River Narrows, take Exit 53 off I-26 (Hendersonville / Upward Road).  Turn onto Upward Road and drive East (away from Hendersonville) 1.5 miles.  Turn right onto Big Hungry Road (you'll see an apple packing shed on the left, then two churches next door to each other on the right;  turn after the second church), then take your first left (to stay on Big Hungry Road . . .), then your first right (to . . . you guessed it . . . stay on Big Hungry Road).  From the last time you turn to stay on Big Hungry Road, drive 3.6 miles to the Pulliam Creek Trail (a total distance of 5.9 miles from the interstate).  Park on the right side of road (being careful not to block traffic) and look over the side.  You'll see a modest footbridge (two logs) over a tiny creek.  Approximately two miles from the trailhead you'll come to a very steep path falling off the mountain.  Take this path to the river.  The last part is very steep, requiring scrambling on hands and knees.  The path comes out just upstream of Sunshine Falls, near Groove Tube / Nutcracker.  Head upstream, passing Rapid Transit and Green Scream Machine to get to the four distinct drops and four linking sections that comprise Gorilla (from the bottom up, and using Tom V's names:  Nies' Pieces, Butt Cruncher, the Speed Trap, Zoom Flume (the main drop), the Brain Mirror (the calm part of which is the eddy many boaters choose to catch), the Notch (local name = the Gnarrs), the Prayer Zone and Pencil Sharpener!).  The hike in takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Consider bringing your mountain bike.  The Bent Creek, Mills River, DuPont State Forest and Davidson River mountain biking areas are all within an hour of the Green (read about them on J. Mitchell's MTB WNC page).

 


 

The Green runs daily much of the year, though the releases can be as short as four hours or at levels too low to boat.  The 1-800 number in the gauge section above allows you to access information about the reservoir height.   A full reservoir is 100 feet;  releases are much more likely when the reservoir is over 98 feet.  The most common flow is 1 unit at 100%.  The river gets boney with much less water, with more water preferred (200% is a great level).

Generating one unit of power at 100% releases 216 cfs of water into the river;  a 100% release one day can result in a different amount of water in the Lower than a 100% release another, however.  The most important reason for this is that several tributaries enter the Green below the powerhouse.  When these tributaries are running high -- as they will after heavy rains -- or low -- as they will much of the summer -- the flow on the Lower is affected.  Expect much more than 432 cfs with a "200%" release after a heavy rain! 

 


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Revised: November 12, 2003.

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