Best Rivers in the Southeast Poll

18 Jun 13
Best Rivers in the Southeast Poll
Photo: Chris Gragtmans

The Southeast and mid-Atlantic is teeming with navigable waterways. Everywhere you turn there is another blue line snaking through the landscape, providing the region with some of the best whitewater and flat water paddling in the country, if not the world. We truly live in a paddling paradise.

In our June paddling issue we picked our favorite rivers in the Southeast and broke them down by difficulty in our Head of the Class: 50 of the Best Rivers in the Southeast feature. We are proud of our selections but would love to know what you think.

Is your home water the best place to paddle? Does one river hold a special place in your heart?

Vote for your favorite river below. If your river didn’t make the list, leave a comment and let us know why you think it should be the top dog.

Best Rivers in the Southeast

Class I

Best River in the Southeast: Class I

  • Shenandoah River - Va.
    (29%, 69 Votes)
  • Greenbriar River - W.Va.
    (28%, 66 Votes)
  • Roanoke River - N.C.
    (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Tuckaseegee RIver - N.C.
    (21%, 50 Votes)
  • South Toe - N.C.
    (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Yadkin River - N.C.
    (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Davidson River - N.C.
    (10%, 23 Votes)
  • Deep Creek - N.C.
    (6%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 235

MOST POPULAR:

Shenandoah River - Va.

LEAST POPULAR

Yadkin River - N.C.

 

Class II

Best River in the Southeast: Class II

  • Nantahala River - N.C.
    (20%, 60 Votes)
  • North Fork South Branch Potomac - W.Va.
    (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Bluestone River - W.Va.
    (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Dan River - Va.
    (2%, 7 Votes)
  • James River - Va.
    (40%, 119 Votes)
  • Rivanna River - Va.
    (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rappahannock River - Va.
    (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Watauga River - Tenn.
    (5%, 16 Votes)
  • Obed River - Tenn.
    (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Little Tennessee River - N.C.
    (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Oconaluftee River - N.C.
    (1%, 2 Votes)
  • French Broad River - N.C.
    (13%, 38 Votes)
  • Cartecay River - Ga.
    (4%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 298

MOST POPULAR:

James River - Va.

LEAST POPULAR

Oconaluftee River - N.C.

 

Class III

Best River in the Southeast: Class III

  • Lower New River - W.Va.
    (31%, 71 Votes)
  • Lower Youghioghny River - Penn.
    (6%, 15 Votes)
  • Savage River - Penn.
    (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Cranberry River - W.Va.
    (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Williams River - W.Va.
    (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Pigeon River - N.C.
    (7%, 17 Votes)
  • Ocoee River - Tenn.
    (26%, 61 Votes)
  • Big South Fork - Tenn.
    (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Chattooga River - Ga.
    (23%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 231

MOST POPULAR:

Lower New River - W.Va.

LEAST POPULAR

Big South Fork - Tenn.

 

Class IV

Best River in the Southeast: Class IV

  • Upper Youghioghny River - Md.
    (13%, 28 Votes)
  • Cheat River Canyon - W.Va.
    (12%, 25 Votes)
  • Elk River - W.Va.
    (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Nolichucky River - Tenn.
    (13%, 29 Votes)
  • Cheoah River - N.C.
    (10%, 21 Votes)
  • Wilson Creek - N.C.
    (17%, 37 Votes)
  • Harper's Creek - N.C.
    (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Section 4 of the Chattooga River - Ga.
    (28%, 61 Votes)

Total Voters: 216

MOST POPULAR:

Section 4 of the Chattooga River - Ga.

LEAST POPULAR

Harper's Creek - N.C.

 

Class V

Best River in the Southeast: Class V

  • Linville Gorge - N.C.
    (21%, 43 Votes)
  • Blackwater River - W.Va.
    (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Russell Fork - Ky.
    (6%, 13 Votes)
  • Horsepasture River - N.C.
    (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Toxaway River - N.C.
    (7%, 14 Votes)
  • Whitewater River - N.C.
    (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Cascades of the Nantahala - N.C.
    (8%, 16 Votes)
  • East Fork Pigeon - N.C.
    (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Upper Gauley River - W.Va.
    (45%, 90 Votes)

Total Voters: 202

MOST POPULAR:

Upper Gauley River - W.Va.

LEAST POPULAR

East Fork Pigeon - N.C.

 

8 Comments

  • Have to agree that the Watauga needs to be on the class IV list. It is definitely one of the best class IV’s in the area, if not the country. In a good rainy year, it runs a lot. It’s runnable from 160 cfs to 1,000+. It’s good for new creek boaters at low flows and great for class V boaters at high flows. It’s fun in a creek boat, long boat or play boat. Also, the race in the spring is awesome. It has many more quality rapids than most of the rivers on the class IV list (it’s like the 5 falls of the Chattooga, only the WHOLE WAY, without as much danger). You probably should just cancel voting in the class IV category and give it to the Watauga.

    Erin Savage   27 Jun 13, 1:25 pm

  • Seriously, no Watauga? It’s possibly the best class IV run on the CONTINENT, much less the Southeast, and it doesn’t get a mention?? WTF?

    ps. where is the East Fork of the Blackwater? Never heard of that one….

    Leland Davis   15 Jun 13, 5:55 pm

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    Lancel   14 Jun 13, 4:08 pm

  • Tallulah, THE GREEN, and TELLICO!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Pat   14 Jun 13, 12:37 am

  • The Hiwassee should have been included. Every boater in east Tennessee, North GA and western NC have cut their teeth on the Hiwassee. You also left off Bear Creek GA, North Chickamauga Creek TN, LRC Alabama and etc.

    Terry Smith   13 Jun 13, 9:23 pm

  • I know it doesn’t run often, but Tallulah?!?

    Brooke   12 Jun 13, 6:13 pm

  • How could you leave off the Watauga Gorge!? It is the best run in the Southeast for one reason: BOOFS!!

    Jamison   12 Jun 13, 6:03 pm

  • You left out Locust Fork!

    Bob   12 Jun 13, 1:58 pm

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