So here's some of my Green River Trivia. Hope it's useful to you. Please note again that all of this is just stuff I've heard, and NOT guaranteed to be absolute truth.

We'll start with water levels:

  • To find out the release you can call 828-698-2068 or 1-800-829-5253-1-4-2

  • Releases for a given day are usually, but not always, announced there by 8 AM on that day.

  • Release announcement recordings are not required by law, but are provided by Duke Energy for an unknown reason. I do know that lots of us are glad that they are provided.

  • In my experience, releases are much more likely when the lake level is higher than 98.3 (measured in feet above a point 100 feet below the full lake level). The level can be obtained by dialing 1-800-829-5253-1-4-1.

  • 100% of one unit is a good level. This is approx. 216cfs coming out of the power plant.

  • There are significant tributaries which can contribute greatly to the level in the gorge.

  • A good way to tell how much water you are dealing with is to check the rock which is about 10 ft from the river left bank even with the upstream edge of where the Big Hungry River runs into the Green. If water is barely lapping at the top of the rock, you have a true 100%. If water is more than three inches over the rock, you might have a wild day.

Next up, land ownership and access. This is an important whitewater resource. The following includes some suggestions that I have for maintaining access based on experiences I have had and folks I have talked to in the area:

  • The Green River Gorge is owned by the state of North Carolina, and is classified as state Gamelands.

  • I think the parking lot at the power plant is owned by Duke. Camping seems to be allowed there. I would love confirmation of this if anyone knows for sure.

  • Camping is NOT LEGAL anywhere else in the gorge, INCLUDING THE TAKEOUT. Paddlers have been ARRESTED for camping here. This costs about $90.

  • The road down to the river at Big Hungry is half privately owned and half state owned. Both the private owners and the state seem to be happy to let us use it as long as we are considerate. Please do not park in a way that blocks this road.

  • The parking area on the left side of the road is owned by the family that lives overlooking the parking. They allow two free parking spaces on the left. They also own the field on the right of the road, where you can park for $3 half day or $5 whole day. This is a great service they are providing - please make sure you pay the money! We hope that soon there will be an annual pass available for this parking area.

  • Although they go fast too, locals often complain about paddlers driving too fast on the gravel portions of Big Hungry and Gallimore roads. Please try to limit your speed to 20 mph through here....this takes a lot of focus since it is easy to go much faster.


Wanna know anything else about the Green? Email me and ask me, and maybe I'll be able to steer you in the right direction.