A Paddler’s Wet Dream

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images1Seven consecutive days of rain: The Southeast has been deluged with several inches of the wet stuff over the past week, which has left many hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, and other outdoor enthusiasts grumbling.

But not paddlers.

They’re flocking to the region’s waterways during this monsoon season. Free-flowing rivers like the Chattooga and the Nolichucky are chundering with big water. Even more exciting for hairboaters are the high water levels in steep creeks like Big Creek, Big Laurel, Doe Gorge, and the North Fork of the French Broad.

Despite the relentless rain of the past week, the Southeast is still in drought conditions. The recent rainfalls have made a dent in the drought, but most of the region is still several inches in deficit. Drought may not immediately be apparent, judging from the high water levels in creeks and rivers, but the groundwater and reservoirs across the region require a lot more water to completely recharge.

Nonetheless, paddlers across the Southeast are recharged by the nonstop whitewater tumbling down the mountains. There’s never been a better time to soak in the wild waters of the Appalachians.

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