3114 Cheeks Bend Rd
Columbia, TN 38401
ContactUs@HigherPursuits.com
931-840-8575

"Tell me and I will forget,
Show me and I may remember,
Involve me and I will understand."

Spring Hours Summer Hours Early Fall Hours Late Fall Hours Winter Hours
Apr 1 - May 19, 2017 May 20 - Sep 4, 2017 Sep 5 - Oct 15, 2017 Oct 16 - Oct 22, 2017 Oct 23 - Spring 2018
Mon - Fri: Closed
Sat - Sun: 8 am to 5 pm
Last Drop Off: 12:30 pm
Closed Apr 16 (Easter)
Mon - Fri: 9 am to 6 pm
Sat - Sun: 8 am to 6 pm
Last Drop Off: 1:00 pm
Mon - Fri: 9 am to 5:30 pm
Sat - Sun: 8 am to 5:30 pm
Last Drop Off: 12:30 pm
Mon - Fri: Closed
Sat - Sun: 8 am to 5 pm
Last Drop Off: 12:00 pm
Closed for Rentals
Sale and Demo of Kayaks
By Appointment
Sale and Demo of Jackson Kayaks Available Year Round by Appointment

Paddling Routes on the Duck River

Higher Pursuits offers several trip options on the Duck River

Cheeks Bend Route

Cheeks Bend Route

  • Our Most Popular Route
  • Begins at Leftwich Bridge (1/4 mile from canoe base) and ends at Howard's Bridge
  • 5.5 mile trip
  • Average Time to Paddle: 3 to 5 hours

Carpenter Bridge Route

  • Wooden Steps to the river
  • Begins at Carpenter Bridge (15 or 20 min from canoe base) and ends at Leftwich Bridge
  • 8.7 mile trip
  • Average time to Paddle: 5 to 7 hours

Sowell Ford Long Route

Closed due to damage from the recent flood

  • Access Point can be muddy and slippery.
  • Group size is limited to 3 or 4 people. There is not enough room to launch large groups from this access.
  • 9 mile trip
  • Average time to Paddle: 5 to 7 hours

Sowell Ford Short Route

Closed due to damage from the recent flood

  • Our shortest route
  • Access Point can be muddy and slippery
  • Group size is limited to 3 or 4 people. There is not enough room to launch large groups from this access.
  • 3.5 mile trip
  • Average time to Paddle: 1 to 3 hours
Cheeks Bend Route

Cheeks Bend Route

Time to Paddle: 3 to 5 hours

Length: approximately 5 1/2 miles

Starts: Leftwich Bridge on Sowell Mill Pike

Ends: Howard Bridge on Fred White Road

Accessibility: The access is just a 1/4 mile from the canoe base. It is a gravel access and well maintained. The ending boat ramp is a concrete boat ramp.

Features: This section of the river features remote paddling through the Yanahli Wilderness Management Area. The trip is highlighted by several picturesque rock bluffs along the river as well as opportunity to see various forms of wildlife found along the Duck River. Along Cheeks Bend there are several large caves visible from the river. The river is gentle along this section and has very few swift spots. There are good gravel bars for groups to stop for lunch, play in the water, and just relax.

Special Notes: Our last drop off for this route is 1:00 pm in the summer and 12:30 pm in the Spring and Fall.

Carpenter Bridge Route

Carpenter's Bridge Route

Time to Paddle: 5 to 7 hours

Length: approximately 8.7 miles

Starts: Carpenter's Bridge off Carpenter's Bridge Road

Ends: Leftwich Bridge on Sowell Mill Pike

Accessibility: The access to Carpenter Bridge was recently rebuilt by the Tennessee Scenic River Association and is now a set of wooden steps that take you to the river. The ending is very accessible and well maintained.

Features: This section of the river has a rich history. Along the banks of the river you can still see old mill sites. This remote section of the Duck River is largely uninterrupted by roads or houses. Some groups are fortunate enough to see a bald eagle that frequents this section. This section of the river is very generally slower then the Cheeks Bend Section and requires more paddling. This section does not have good landmarks as you paddle. Your key feature is an old bridge at the end of trip.

Special Notes: Our last drop off for this section is 2 hours earlier then our posted hours due to the length and time most groups require to paddle this section. (Summer drop off: 1200, Spring and Fall: 1100)

Sowell Mill Route

Sowell Ford Long Route

Time to Paddle: 5 to 7 hours

Length: approximately 9 miles

Starts: Sowell Ford Road

Ends: Howard's Bridge off Fred White Road

Accessibility: The access to Sowell Ford is not maintained well. It requires a longer walk to the water's edge, can be muddy and has deep ruts on the access road. Due to the access road we limit group sizes to no more than 4 people, because the only vehicle I can get to the access point is our pick up truck. If it has rained recently or the access road is too muddy, we may not run this route or limit group size even more.

Features: This section of the river starts with a slower section of the river, that has beautiful rock bluffs. After 3.5 miles you reach the Cheeks Bend section of the river. This section features caves, great places to stop, and a slightly swifter current.

Special Notes: Our last drop off for this section is 2 hours earlier then our posted hours due to the length and time most groups require to paddle this section. (Summer Drop off: 1200, Spring and Fall Drop off: 1100)

Sowell Mill Route

Sowell Ford Short Route

Time to Paddle: 1 to 3 hours

Length: approximately 3.5 miles

Starts: Sowell Ford Road

Ends: Leftwich Bridge

Accessibility: The access to Sowell Ford is not maintained well. It requires a longer walk to the water's edge, can be muddy and has deep ruts on the access road. Due to the access road we limit group sizes to no more than 6 boats per group. If it has rained recently or the access road is too muddy, we may not run this route or limit group size even more.

Features: This is our shortest route and is a great option for families with young children who only want to be on the river for 1 to 3 hours. This is generally a slow, deep section of the river. It features some beautiful bluffs and several good place to stop and swim.