This 3 mile section has a great mix of easy class II rapids and scenery with a few deep holes for swimming or fishing. Towards the end is a long shoals, just above the take-out bridge. This shoals requires some maneuvering and approaches class III in difficulty. The trickiest part, especially at lower water levels, is not getting stuck on rocks at the bottom of the shoals. On river left it is possible to hike up from Whitehall Road to scout the shoals.
Below the bridge a pipe crosses the river, which can clothes-line and capsize unwary boaters at certain levels.
Ran this today with a friend. Gauge was at 5.23. Large tree across complete width about 200 yards after the put-in. Mandatory portage/climb over tree. Could be dangerous at higher levels. Lots of other trees along the route, but all easily avoidable. That said, paddled it about a week ago with gauge at around 6.5 and could boof over the tree which had about 3" of pour-over. Other than the tree (at 6.5), it was a nice, mellow run with a few tame I+/II rapids and some very forgiving surf waves and holes with comfortable stretches of moving water between. At 5.23 on the other hand, water quality was a bit dirtier, and we were definitely hitting rocks on the shallower rapids. OK in a creeker, got stuck on a few mossy rocks in my Rockstar. Would definitely return at higher water levels, and great river for confident beginners.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
There are a few options to put on:
1. Park on the river left side of the College Station Bridge, in the right of way on the upstream side and hike down to the river.
2. Park near the North Oconee River Greenway Trailhead at the North Oconee Access Rd. Find a route to the river on river left.
3. Off of Research Drive, there is a dirt road behind the Georgia Power power station where you can park very close to the river. This road is about 0.2 miles from College Station on the left. It can be rutted so make sure you are up to drive down it. Drive down about 600 feet to park.
Takeout on river left just upstream of Whitehall Rd bridge. There are a few parking spots on this side of the road.
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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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