Chattahoochee, Georgia, US
3 - Upper Hooch - GA Route 115 to Duncan Bridge Road (Upper Hooch)
||II-III (varies with level)
Third Ledge, Upper Hooch
Third Ledge, Upper HoochPhoto of Will Reeves and Clint Rienhart by Will Reeves
CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NEAR CORNELIA, GA
250 - 3000 cfs
Low but still fun - You have to search for surf spots. This gauge is located near the takeout bridge, including water from the Soquee. The Leaf gauge is a better indicator.
CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NEAR LEAF, GA.
250 - 3000 cfs
The runnable range is a SWAG. Please add a comment to give info about runnable levels.
The USGS online gauge is located near the take-out bridge. The Soquee River comes in above the
take-out and can affect the readings of the online gauge.
The first reading below is cfs, then the on-line Cornelia gauge above.
200 cfs / <.7 / 1.6
- It's a hike - Don't go. Some would add a few tenths
before going. Sehlinger & Otey actually say .8 is minimum per the 2nd reading
480 cfs / 1.1 / 2.0
- Low but still fun - You have to search for surf spots.
980 cfs / 1.7 / 2.5
- Good level for most. Surfing begins to get good.
1500 cfs / 2.3 / 3.0
- Lots of fun, but more challenging - This can be tricky for
those with less skill/experience and used to lower levels.
2800 cfs / 3.5 / 4.0+
Carnage abounds (for beginners)
- I've seen some
serious rescues at this level, but it's still a class 3-4 run. This level only occurs after a hard
The Hooch occasionally goes higher, 11.58 in July '03 and 15.72 feet in Sept '04.
As of August 2001, 200 cfs at the take-out was equal to about 1.2 feet at the put-in.
There used to be a USGS gauge about 100 feet upstream of the put-in on river left, but it was blown
out in a flood a few years back and was not replaced. This was the gauge that most of the existing
guidebooks referred to.
The Upper Hooch is a classic beginner canoeing and kayaking stream. Its relatively short, has an
easy shuttle, decent scenery and fun rapids. It can be run at just about all levels from
ridiculously scrapy to screaming high flood stage, depending on the boaters skills of course. At
low flows its a class two stream. Around 1500 to 2500 cfs its easy class 3. Above that its class
3/4 with some huge holes.
Once upon a time during the winter of '96-97 a group of us ran the Upper Hooch at 13 feet (about
14,500 cfs). Lots of moving strainers. Two massive holes in First Island rapid that were of equal
size to the top holes in Insignificant on the Gauley. The rock outcrop on the right at second ledge
was a giant pourover. Third ledge was washed out. We ran it twice before the Hall and White County
rescue squads closed down the river. Probably a good thing--three other groups put on and
hiked/swam off. Lots of canoes wrapped around trees that day.
The land at the put-in and take-out is owned by Wildwood Outfitters
. During the summer they usually charge
$3 to park. For $5 you get parking and they run the shuttle for you. The outpost is usually closed
during the winter.
From Atlanta, go north on I-85 16 miles to I-985. Continue 42 miles up I-985. Then take a left at
Duncan Bridge Road, GA 384 at the light. The take-out is about 4 miles down Duncan Bridge Rd.
To get to the put-in, continue west on Duncan Bridge Rd, take a right on GA 254, and another
right on GA 115. The put-in will be the first stream you come to. Parking is very limited at the
Whitewater Home Companion Vol. 1, William Nealy
Appalachian Whitewater : The Southern States
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2006-01-13 23:41:53