Conasauga - Jacks River to U.S. 411 Bridge

Conasauga, Georgia, US/Tennessee, US


Jacks River to U.S. 411 Bridge

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 10.1 Miles

River Description

Put-in: Jacks River Trail parking lot located on the Jacks River 0.2 miles upstream of the Jacks/Conasauga confluence and immediately upstream of the FS bridge.
put-in lat: 34.9878
put-in long: -84.63326
put-in elevation: 986'
Primary take-out: along Ball Play Rd where it snugs up against the river at mile 9.1 of this run.
primary take-out lat: 35.01077
primary take-out long: -84.72195
primary take-out elevation: 775'
Alternate (preferred but unreliable) take-out at mile 6.3 (as in, 6.3 miles from the put-in) is on privately owned land that is undeveloped, not posted, and appears to get a healthy amount of respectful public trespass.  Access here is appealing because the corridor transitions here from USFS forest to private, developed land.  Also because the gradient peters out.
mile 6.3 take-out lat: 35.0044
mile 6.3 take-out long: -84.6940
mile 6.3 take-out elevation: 806'
There is a one-tenth-mile-long trail from the road to the m6.3 take-out. Limited shoulder parking and trailhead are located at lat/long: 35.0062,-84.6943.
Beautiful class II run through the Cherokee National Forest with exceptionally clean water draining out of the Cohutta Wilderness.
Looking at the gradient by mile [fpm: 38,34,30,27,23,20,16,12,9] you can see how it starts out with a bang and progressively flattens along the way.
For the first six miles, the river runs through undeveloped National Forest with an average gradient of 28fpm.  There are two significant rapids in the first mile and a half that merit a II+ rating for their overall drop and fairly technical maneuvering (or, rock banging...take your pick).  More Class I-II rapids occur frequently throughout the first six miles. Below that, the remaining three miles are comparatively flat (~10fpm) and populated with houses and farms.
Like its big sister, the Upper Conasauga, this section doesn't run often. USGS 2384500 "CONASAUGA RIVER AT GA 286, NEAR ETON, GA" is the primary gauge but it leaves a lot to be desired.  It's located 24 miles downstream and lags this run by nearly half a day.  A sustained level of 5' is minimum.  6'--if it's sustained, not flashing--is good.  Typically, the Eton gauge has spiked to 12' or more prior to a day or two of boatable flows.
The bridge gauge (located 34.9746, 84.6449, https://www. content/Photo/detail/photoid/ 9397) one mile upstream of the put-in does a good job of indicating flows in the run. 0'4" is comfortably above minimum.  Also, just as with the Upper Conasauga, two other telemetry gauges in the watershed (2384540 USGS Mill Ck, 2385800 USGS Holly near Chatsworth) are important for judging when to go and when to stay home.  I look for Mill Ck to exceed 40cfs and Holly to exceed 100cfs.





Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Streams of Tennessee, B. Sehlinger and




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Last Updated: 2017-07-24 12:27:52


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Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
December 8 2002 (5705 days ago)
The directions listed are for the upper conasauga in georgia. This run is from that takeout on
September 26 2002 (5778 days ago)
Barry GrimesDetails
I found these directions in a post on

Re: Conasauga River Fans.
Date: Sep 26 2002, 12:45
From: simon2

The best way to get to the
Conasauga is Starting from Eton on
Hwy 411 go north about 8 miles until
you come to a store on the left called
Greg's General. Turn right on old hwy 2
and follow this road 4 or 5 miles until
you see a Game check in station on
the left a road turns off to the right.A
sign will say Murrays lake. When you
come to the next split in the road take a
right Chicken Coop Gap will be a pull
off on the left just past a very sharp
curve to the right. They will be a gated
road on the right. The take out will be
straight from the check in station until
you come to a big corn field and a
white house on the left. just pass the
house you will cross a small stream
and tile. This is the takout.

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