photo by Jeff Moore

photo by Jeff Moore




The week of rivers is in its 29th year, and has been coordinated by paddling legend and instructor Juanita Guinn since its inception.  Ace has joined forces with Juanita to continue to offer this one-of-a-kind paddling vacation, which provides plenty of relaxation and wonderful cuisine at the famous Grey Gables Bed & Breakfast, in addition to a week of paddling in the canyons of the Cumberland Plateau.



Here's how it works:  


Where You'll Be Living!

Base of operations for the week is Grey Gables Bed & Breakfast Inn, where Linda Jones shares her wonderful hospitality via a 10 room Victorian-style B&B in Historic Rugby, TN.  Rugby is a restored utopian community founded in 1880 by the British social reformer Sir Thomas Hughes.  The architecture and history of the area is uniquely impressive, and provides plenty to do if in need of a little downtime. Linda's gourmet English recipes provide a filling and sumptuous end to each day, and her country breakfasts and lunches will keep you satisfied during our days on the water.  The Grey Gables really is the perfect place to base out of, just minutes from so many rivers.  


Where you'll be paddling!


Rugby sits on the southern end of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, home to such classics as the Big South Fork Gorge, Whiteoak Creek, North Whiteoak Creek, the Clear Fork, and others.  Only a few minutes to the south we have access to the entire Obed Wild & Scenic Rivers system, with Clear Creek, the Obed River, Daddy's Creek, and many other smaller creeks offering a variety of difficulties of whitewater and incredible scenery.  The theme on the Cumberland Plateau is pool-drop rivers in remote, forested canyons, filled with exciting but manageable rapids ranging from wave-trains to technical drops.  

The sheer canyon walls, hemlock and pine studded river corridors, and clean, wildlife-rich waters make this region one of my favorites, and Juanita and I will be leading each river-trip, providing confident conditions for paddlers to relax or challenge themselves, as well as to provide perspectives on natural history and paddling history in the area.  Hot drinks and lunches will be provided on-river each day, and trips typically range from 6 - 12 miles.  We'll be shuttled to and from the river daily by our local shuttle driver, which makes life even easier!  

The difficulty of water we'll encounter ranges from Class II to Class III.  There may be a few Class III+ rapids on some of the more difficult runs but they can be portaged with ease.  Predominantly, this trip is best suited to confident Class II-III boaters.  Comparable rivers in difficulty to those we will be paddling are the Hiwassee, Nantahala, Cartecay, Middle Yough, Elkhorn Creek in KY, Rocky Fork in OH.  Of the few more difficult runs we may work up to by the end of the week, the Lower Yough, French Broad Section 9, Pigeon Gorge, and the Middle Tellico most compare in difficulty.  Depending on the group, we may stick to one end of this range or the other.  This trip is not focused on instruction, but both Juanita and I are happy to provide coaching, so don't hesitate to ask.  


photo by Jeff Moore

photo by Jeff Moore

When is the trip and how's the weather?


We have two trips this year!

  • March 24th through March 30th

  • March 31st through April 6th - ALREADY FULL!

The rundown of your week will look something like this:

Sunday afternoon - Check in to the Grey Gables for a big dinner, before getting a good night's sleep for the beginning of our week of paddling!

Monday through Friday - Here's the schedule - big breakfast, ride to the river, paddle and have lunch and hot drinks on the river, ride back, eat, sleep, repeat!!

Saturday - Breakfast and hit the road!

The weather in late March/early April is usually pretty friendly, with highs usually in the 60's and lows in the 40's.  Spring is just springing at this time of year, with beautiful serviceberry, redbud and other blooms, wildflowers, and lots of wildlife including otters, beavers, mink, coyote, kingfishers, great blue herons, a variety of raptors and other denizens of the rich plateau environs.  In short, it's the best time to be up here paddling!



TRIP COST:  $899.00 - all inclusive

This incredible rate includes all food, lodging, shuttling, guiding, and lots of great stories and new friendships.  To find a week-long all-inclusive paddling trip at this rate is unheard of, and space is limited to a maximum of 10 participants, so get with your group of choice and get it figured out before it's booked.  If you have a non-paddler in mind that might enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the lodge, the great cuisine, and all the recreational and historical opportunities the Big South Fork and Rugby area offer, they can join you for $750.00 per person.  All you have to do is figure out a way to get here, and we'll take care of the rest, ensuring that your trip is truly unforgettable!



If you're interested, fill out the form below, and let's make your plateau vacation a reality!

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