WATER LEVEL GUIDE:
CFS = Cubic Feet / Second
- “Very Low”: 0 – 59 CFS (Advisory – Read Description Below)
- “Low”: 60 – 119 CFS
- “Average”: 120 – 199 CFS
- “High”: 200+ CFS may result in age restrictions. No dogs permitted during High Water. Please call 865-448-8888 for age restrictions or more information about the water levels.
ADDITIONAL AGE RESTRICTIONS GUIDE:
Outpost A (Main Outpost):
*No dogs allowed under High Water conditions.*
400-599 CFS: Only ages 6+ permitted.
600-699 CFS: Only ages 13+ permitted.
700-799 CFS: Only ages 18+ permitted.
800+ CFS: River Rat will not be operating.
*Dogs never allowed on this route.*
200-399 CFS: Only ages 13+ permitted.
400-599 CFS: Only ages 18+ permitted.
600+ CFS: Outpost B will not be operating.
WATER LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS:
HIGH water conditions due to heavy rainfall 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. Protective footwear is not required, but highly recommended. The Little River may be muddy due to run off.
Please call before you arrive to receive age restriction updates if the pop-up on our home page has not been recently updated.
***River Rat Tubing Outpost has company standards 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 for your safety. Water levels are updated every hour on the half hour.
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 natural, rocky river. If you are looking for a water park-type lazy river float, this is not exactly what you’ll get. 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 highly recommended.
If the water CFS is nearing “Low” levels, please also read the Low Water description below to understand both conditions.
River Rat uses 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-out. Protective footwear is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED on LOW water days.
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 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 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED during these Low Water days.
VERY LOW WATER!
These are not ideal conditions for tubing in Townsend. When the water is VERY LOW, you will get stuck, and you will walk with your tube in some areas. 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 Little River has a very rocky river bottom. The river bottom can also be slick and uneven. Protective footwear is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED during these Low Water days.
Every person is different and we cannot guarantee how much one person will walk or get stuck, versus someone else. A person MUST 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.