We were not able to scout the few yards further upstream due to the impending darkness, but safety concerns might dictate finding a spot to pull out a few yards upstream. I found myself however, being cautious and pulling out frequently to scout many of the drops. This would mean bushwhacking a carry of probably 300 yards through what appears to be a bramble covered bank. I paddle a 16 foot Prijon Seayak. I can handle wet conditions if I am warm. Apparently this part of Tennessee was experiencing the remnants of a Pacific tropical storm that had already flooded parts of Texas. Location: Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge inHumphreys County, TN, on Kentucky Lake/Tennessee River Access: An improved boat ramp is located near the end of Refuge Lane in the Duck River Bottoms south of New Johnsonville, TN (35.946317, -87.959285). There were a large number of wood ducks and mallards along this section of the river, along with kingfishers, deer, one mink, numerous turtles, and uncountable shells of the mussels for which this river is known. Upon checking in we were given instructions on where to park our vehicle and the bus trip to the river. There are gorgeous gravel bars, rock bluffs and beautiful scenery throughout. This recreation topographic map for Black Duck River highlights all the logging/resource roads, hunting areas, fishing lakes & streams, campsites, paddling routes for canoeing and kayaking, wildlife viewing areas, multi-use trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, motorized trails for ATVing and snowmobiling & more. I was able to get the tent down and stowed with minimal dampness. The check in procedure was simple. I also decided that if I could get an early enough start, I would try to pull in for the evening between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. The Tennessee Road department also has a series of county maps on the internet that show the river and details to roads near the river. Blackwater, Northern Ireland. This was a little later than I wanted, and it caused me to rush the packing. This caution required frequently exiting the boat with each exit increasing the intake of water into the craft due to rain, wet shoes, etc. Many sections of the river were running less than three feet in depth at this time of year, giving me a chance to appreciate the makeup of the river bed. They dont call cotton death cloth for no reason. guest-paddler, A self-supported trip created by After scouting this, we drove down to Shelbyville to check out the dam and the portage around it. Once out of the city limits, the river became a much prettier place to paddle. There was no problem with this aspect. I decided to wait to talk with Doug Murphy, executive director of the Duck River Agency before making a final decision, which by this time was leaning heavily to postponing the rest of the trip till late spring or early summer. It must have been a slow day for the rangers. Throughout much of the night I would stick my head outside the tent and shine a flashlight on the river to see if it was rising. The 8.5 mile route has a few spots that require you to be able to maneuver your boat to avoid an obstacle. He also would do about 10 miles per day as opposed to the 17 that I allotted for the trip. However, I know since it goes through a state park there are many signs that say "no alcohol". The absence of a companion increased the consequences of mistakes at the drops and increased the need for caution. It’s bustling with activity. I decided to get up at first light and hit the river in order to beat most of the bad weather. These gaps are the optical illusion of a 12 to 18 inch drop that is easily floated by staying in the V. Not so easy is deciding which channel to follow when going around a gravel island, especially ones with blind turns. Multiple access points downstream managed by local and state age. Great new find that we'll paddle again. If you haven’t done kayaking or canoeing before you might be wondering, how are the two boats different?Firstly, it’s the sitting position – in the canoes, you I had covered 22 miles at an average moving speed of 3.3 miles per hour. The loss of cold weather gear to combat this was also a major factor. The 5.5 mile route is an easygoing Class I with very few swift spots (this is the route we recommend for first time paddlers, large groups or groups with young kids). Rented two kayak’s and the reservation and check-in process was good. The weather forecast, which has since proven accurate, of temperatures running ten to twenty degrees below average, with frequent rain was a definite negative. I had been trying to identify a suitable campsite just prior to this, but had no luck. Most of these were class I drops with an occasional class II, no problem for the proper boat. Kayak Basics. Duck Canoe offers canoeing and kayaking on the Duck River in the Middle Tennessee area near Murfreesboro and Nashville. There was also no cell phone service along this section of river. Had a great trip down the Duck today. His mileage suggestion definitely allows for more leisurely drifting and fishing and a greater chance for enjoying the river. This is the first time I have heard a deer make any noise other than a snort. I pulled over, got out, and scouted the stream. It does not do as well when running rivers requiring sharp turns and avoiding rocks by nimbly side slipping across a current. 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