The Green River is a place that has had a large influence on the world of whitewater paddling and on many boaters’ lives. It is a highly convenient run because of its proximity to Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Since it is a dam-released river, it also runs 300+ days a year.
Add the fact it has three sections of varying difficulties (and one of the most famous and prestigious extreme races) and you start to see why it is beloved by so many. But the truly beautiful thing about the Green is the combination of all these conveniences with an authentic wilderness experience. As soon as paddlers slip into her waters, the Green has a way of softening the sharp corners in life, and re-centering the soul.
What Makes It Great
The Upper Green is a fantastic run for the class III paddler who is looking to dip her or his toes in the realm of vertical drops. Paddlers are treated to several miles of nice winding class II and III rapids and two borderline class IV drops. Notable named rapids are Bayless Boof, Wanda’s Hole, and Pinball. Take out just before Big Hungry Creek enters on the left and hike the half mile uphill to civilization.
The Narrows is arguably the most famous steep creek in the world. With a nice combination of boulder garden and bedrock rapids, this section will challenge and push the most elite of kayakers, but is also accessible (with a few portages) to the class IV+ boater. Go Left and Die, Gorilla, and Sunshine are the three major class V rapids, and there are many more drops that aren’t to be trifled with. The majority of the gradient is concentrated within the “monster mile,” which drops at a rate of 300+ feet per mile. This section lends itself well to multi-lap days.
The Lower Green is the perfect beginner run. The truly bipolar river lets go of its furious descent and meanders out into a beautiful rural valley. This is a perfect section for the beginner paddler or a summer tube trip. It is completely roadside, so choose how much of the 7 miles you’d like to bite off.
Set shuttle in the dark and put on at first light for an unforgettable experience or great start to the work day!
There are several Great Blue Herons that enjoy fishing the Green. On lucky days, you can quietly follow them down the river as they fly from one fishing spot to another.
The Green Race is an experience unlike any other. For those with the skills, paddling down that incredibly challenging course and into a 1,000+ spectator amphitheater at Gorilla is something that belongs on the bucket list. This event always occurs the first Saturday in November. The Narrows get much more intense during the weeks before the race, and this is not a good time for a first-time paddler.
Please paddle within your abilities. Paddlers who step above their abilities are very easy to spot and actually endanger river access for all.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Upper Takeout: From Asheville, take Interstate 26 East to Exit 22 (Hendersonville/Upward Rd). Take a left onto Upward Rd and drive 1.5 Miles and follow Big Hungry Road to Gallimore Road. Park in gated lot (see below for key info).
Upper Put In: From Gallimore Road/Upper Takeout, return to Interstate 26 to Exit 23 (Greenville/225/176/25). Drive 1.8 miles to Exit 176 (Saluda/East Flat Rock), turn left onto 176 and drive 2 miles. Make a left onto Pot Shoals Road. Park on the downstream side of Pot Shoals Bridge.
Narrows Takeout: From Asheville, take Interstate 26 East to Exit 59 (Saluda). Make a left off the ramp onto Green River Cove Road. Fishtop Access is a large gravel lot at the bottom of the hill.
Narrows Put In: From Asheville, take Interstate 26 East to Exit 22 (Hendersonville/Upward Rd). Take a left onto Upward Rd and drive 1.5 Miles and follow Big Hungry Road to Gallimore Road. Park in gated lot (see below for key info).
Lower Takeout: From Asheville, takeInterstate 26 East to Exit 59 (Saluda). Take a left off the ramp onto Green River Cove Road. Note the Fishtop Access gravel lot on left at the bottom of the hill. Drive an additional 6 miles to theBig Rock Take-Out gravel lot on left.
Lower Put In: From Asheville, take Interstate 26 East to Exit 59 (Saluda). Make a left off the ramp onto Green River Cove Road. Fishtop Access is a large gravel lot at the bottom of the hill.
River Gauge: A few rapids below the Narrows put in, you will find a stick gauge. A good minimum on this gauge is 6″. A healthy 100% flow is 9″ and 17″ is 200%. Paddlers have ventured into the Narrows at up to around 36 inches, but the consequence factor becomes exponentially larger as the water goes up. Also, please note that there is no alcohol within 50 feet of the river.
Water Schedule: Since this is a dam-released river, it’s important to understand water schedules.
Water to Upper Takeout/Narrows Putin (2.5 hours)
Water to Narrows Takeout/Lower Putin (4.25 hours)
Water to Lower Takeout (6.5 hours)
Water empties faster than it fills. Don’t put in at the Narrows more than 1.25 hours after the dam shuts off.
https://diamondbrandoutdoors.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/uwqtgbhsd33dfjth8qhb.jpg6411044RootsRated/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/diamond-brand-outdoors.pngRootsRated2018-02-22 18:20:282018-02-22 13:52:06Paddling the Green River