Check Weather & Water Levels
Want to know what the water levels are on this particular day?
For a quick reference guide,
- Below 60 cfs (or cubic feet per second) is “Very Low”
- Between 60 and 80 cfs is “Low”
- Between 80 and 250 “Average”
- Above 250 is High and may result in age restrictions. Please call 865-448-8888 for age restrictions or more information about the water levels.
HIGH: Good tubing Day!
River Rat uses the High Water sign after heavy rain fall. The Little River may be muddy due to run off. HIGH water conditions could (most likely) result in age restrictions. HIGH water can happen quickly. At this level the water is moving faster and generally above all rocks. Please call before you come to receive age restriction updates. Protective footwear is not required, but recommended.
AVERAGE: Good tubing day!
River Rat uses the AVERAGE sign when the readings on the Little River fall within the average range. The Little River at this level is Not too high, and Not too low. As mentioned in previous water level descriptions, this is still a rocky river. If you are looking for a water park type– lazy river float, this is not exactly what you’ll get, but it is close. One still needs to use your arms to paddle to control your tube and direction to avoid slower or rocky spots, but at this level, you can expect to float with minimal effort. Protective footwear is not required but recommended.
LOW: Tough, but Manageable tubing day!
River Rat use the LOW water sign when the water on the Little River has dropped below average. Again, with a rocky river bottom you can expect to hit rocks at any water level, but more so at LOW level. At a LOW water level you can still navigate down the river. Tubing the Little River on these days will be harder and require more effort. If you simply sit in your tube and allow the water to navigate your path, you WILL get stuck more often. However, if you use your arms to paddle and navigate, there is a clear path to the take. Protective footwear is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED on LOW water days.
Please refer to River Rat recommendations and descriptions of possible physical hindrances in Very Low paragraph.
VERY LOW: Bad Tubing day!
These are not ideal conditions for tubing in Townsend. However, many people do tube and have a good time. There are still places to swim and enjoy being in mother nature. If you decide to go, please understand the LittleRiver has a very rocky river bottom. When the water is VERY LOW, you WILL get stuck, and you WILL walk with your tube in some areas. The river bottom can also be slick and uneven.
Every person is different and we cannot guarantee how much one person will walk or get stuck, versus someone else. A person needs to be in good physical condition, with no recent or pending surgeries. If normally getting up and out of a chair is a problem, tubing at this VERY LOW time is NOT recommended. If someone in your group is over weight, this will result in getting stuck more often and River Rat recommends going when the water is higher. Protective footwear is required during these Very Low days.
***River Rat Tubing Outpost has company standards set in place to monitor the water levels and reserves the right to restrict or impose, at any time, age restrictions or the availability to float due to high water levels. Water levels are updated every hour on the half hour.