Southeast US

Other than Roman and Luc’s blogs and video I haven’t really heard of or seen packrafts in the southeast. As a whitewater kayaker I’m all over the region. I understand the southeast doesn’t lend itself to the packrafts ideal use…multi-discipline, long distance treks into the wilderness…but there are still lots of places where some serious adventure can be found. The southern Appalachians have a lot of potential, wilderness areas with watersheds offering link-ups using some creativity and imagination, as long as water levels cooperate.
I may have the only Alpacka in Kentucky. I’ve been fascinated with these for a few years now…my other backyard is southern Utah, lived out west for years and fell in love with the canyon country. Planning trips is almost as much fun for me as going…and as a cartographer making maps is not just a job but a passion. Already have a few planned for Utah next spring.

Last weekend I took out the new toy for a test run on a scenic, remote, free flowing river in southern Kentucky, the Rockcastle. I was able to do a loop, which I have found to be rare in all my trip planning here in the KY without some sort of epic road biking. 2 mile hike in, 3 mile paddle out back to the car. Nothing exciting, but the perfect test run on some easy class 3 rapids in a beautiful setting.

First foray…

Other trips I have planned soon…Obed National Wild & Scenic River loop and Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area 45 mile shuttle trip located on the Cumberland Plateau, a wild chunk of land in northern TN. Quality class 3-4 paddling and world class hiking. Red River Gorge in KY has a 25 mile shuttle option with some Wild & Scenic class 3.

Any other southeastern folks here? Always looking for other ideas.


Very nice report, looks like a great place to paddle. When you come to Utah for your trip, let me know and I’ll try to tag along.

I did the obed this spring. I parked at the campground at nemo, hiked the Cumberland trail to daddy’s creek and floated back down. I was underwhelmed with the whitewater, but flows were around the minimum recommended. Hiking was awesome with lots of elevation change, beautiful wild flowers, interesting mine ruins, and lots of turkey. Bring a fishing rod. I spent one night camping the NPS folks were adamant about not camping in the WMA when I got my backcountry permit but once you got a few miles into the trail it didn’t look like anyone had used the trail in a long time.