This stretch is dependent on Lake Allatoona Levels (http://allatoona.uslakes.info/Level.asp) When the lake is over a certain level, all of the rapids are covered up and flat. When the lake is low, the rapids described below come into play. The playholes at the dam are in play when the lake is at 838ft and below but are covered when the lake is at 840ft and above. If you know the exact level that covers the broken dam rapid, please comment below.
There are two play features here:
The Upper Dam Hole and the Lower Dam Hole. Both are located at the Broken dam at Old Rope Mill Park in Woodstock [www.woodstockga.gov] about 100 yards from the parking lot.
The Upper Dam Hole is on river left at levels 1000cfs and above and is great for a small playboat (1300cfs - 2000cfs is best). This hole has no eddy access, you have to eddy out below and hike your boat back up.
The Lower Dam Hole is on river right and is fed by a giant eddy created by the broken dam. It is shallow but playable from 1000cfs to 1300cfs and becomes a wave train 1400cfs+. At levels around 1700cfs, this wave is more of a longboat wave as short boats don't have the speed to surf.
Here is a video by Rick Thompson of this stretch at around 1700 - 1800cfs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isMpB3r3DsY
"The wave is created by a manmade structure that looks like a little slide at low water.. at higher water the wave looks like its formed at the bottom of the slide, not sure how deep it is......I'm not much of a playboater.. but it looks like you could do flatspins, blunts, cartwheels.. if you are really good some loops." T_Dockins
"A friend and I went out there on Christmas (2009) after Santa brought us all that rain for being good boys this year. We were there for about 2.5 hours with the flow ranging from 1600-1200 on the gauge. At this level there are a few good features with the best one being similar to surfing at Callahan's on the Upper Ocoee. A very nice, sticky hole that wants to keep pushing you back into the center. It's a little shallow when you flip over, but nothing that you are going to smash your face on, maybe just scrape your paddle a little. The eddy service to the main hole is excellent, with a huge eddy on player's left with plenty of time to get there. This spot is worth checking out if you live in the area, it is much better than the shithole although it doesn't run nearly as often or at night. If anybody has been there before and surfed please let me know what level and how it was. Hopefully in the future we can start to dial in the gauge a little better on AW. This is a nice little gem for the local playboater, although you have to catch it the day after it rains as it drops out quickly. My guess would be if the gauge says it's over 1100, grab your boat and have some fun!" DStrother on boatertalk.
"I've been down there with my playboat a handful of times, but usually at a lower level. When it's lower, it's a fun little rapid but not really worth the trouble (and the poo stench). It washes out pretty fast, too, and there aren't any features to be found. It appears to be an old bridge or something and the rubble underneath makes me a little nervous. However, I've scoped it out at really low water and it appears to be safe enough." jheron39 on Boatertalk.
Getting There from I-575:
Take Exit 8 (Towne Lake Parkway Exit) and turn east on Towne Lake Parkway
Almost immediately make a left onto Woodstock Parkway (stoplight)
At next light – make a left onto Ridgewalk Parkway
Make first right (just before bridge) onto Old Rope Mill Road
This road dead ends into the park.
After parking, walk upriver about 100 yards to the playwave. There is a small eddy on river left, a big rock, and then another bigger eddy.
A paved walking trail runs along on river right. It is part of Cherokee County's trail system that should eventually connect trails throughout the county.
My buddies went up there yesterday and said it was at a great level. Around 1800-2000 cfs. I will try and get some pictures soon. They were surfing the waves on river right.. not the one in the picture. Said they were getting in spins, cartwheels and loops. The picture I put of the hole on river left was at 5.5 feet or about 1000 cfs.
The playwave appears during rain storms and may last for one or more days after the rains stop. What play opportunities are available at different levels is being discovered (Dec, 2009).
No reports if the playholes are worthwhile at flows under 1000 cfs.
It has been estimated that the play features may come into good form around 1000 cfs.
Reports indicate that there is excellent play from around 1200 cfs up to 2000 cfs.
There are no reports yet from flows above 2000 cfs.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Upper and Lower Dam Holes
Boofing the Broken Dam
Surfing the Upper Dam Hole
Surfing the Lower Dam Hole
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Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!
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