Clear Creek, Georgia, US
2.- Blackberry Mountain Road to DNR Takeout (Cartecay River)
||I-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Under the rock
Under the rockPhoto of Amanda Loftis by Will Reeves taken 01/09/06 @ medium-low
So your friends are running the Cartecay AGAIN for the 100th time this weekend and it just rained.
The idea seems horribly boring so you are thinking there must be something else you can do.
There is an alternative, Clear Creek. Clear Creek is the small stream that confluences with the
Cartecay at the base of Clear Creek Falls. Perhaps you have looked up it wondering what could be
found upstream in that flood scoured riverbed.
Clear Creek was once fairly congested with trees, but the massive and I mean massive 2004 floods
following the hurricanes gouged the creek bed free of almost all strainers and debris.
There is no direct gauge for Clear Creek. The nearest stream Fausset Creek is a good indicator. A
quarter inch of rain is good enough to make it run since the watershed has been badly damaged by
the floods. The creek is as a result rather flashy and drops quickly.
To reach the put in turn right onto Lower Cartecay Rd. after leaving the ÂRiver RightÂ put in
from the Cartecay and drive about 200 yards. Take a right on Old Clear Creek Rd. Drive till you see
Parker Dr. on your left. Go right here and almost immediately turn right again on Blackberry Mnt.
Rd. Basically Stay on Blackberry Mountain Rd. as it twists and turns around along the ridgelines.
You will eventually drop down into a river valley with a small bridge this is the put in. If it
looks good then you have enough water. The takeout is at the Cartecay DNR takeout. Just go back to
Lower Cartecay Rd and go left. Drive till the Rd. ends at Hwy 52. Take a left and drive till you
see the DNR sign at the dump and go left again. Drive around the dump and down to the Cartecay
river takeout. (THIS IS NOT THE BLACKBERRY TAKEOUT). The shuttle takes about 20 minutes.
Clear Creek could be a great beginner creeking trip. The only downsides are the unreliable water
and possibly less an optimum water quality. The creek does drain some farmlands so expect the
runoff to have some input from cattle.
Clear Creek starts off as a fairly easy Class I stream with some small shoals and occasionally
overhanging trees. The floods of 2004 removed almost all strainers but some trees will require
ducking under them. High water could require some short portages.
After about 10 minutes of floating, most boaters will notice the change in stream morphology and
the massive rock island and outcrops blocking downstream view. This is the approach to Timber
Falls. The medium to low water line is on river right. The drop is a double drop rapid with an
undercut left wall. The high-water line is on river left over a single drop.
Almost immediately downstream with river makes a 180 degree turn around a rock outcrop and drops
over a ledge into a tight flume. Stay left on the ledge to avoid the pinning rock in this drop.
Clear Creek then pools up above Headless Horseman, the hardest drop. This drop is a single rocky
ledge into a narrow flume. The river is undercut on the left and will smack you in the face if the
water level is high and you miss the line. There are some shallow rocks on the approach that can
nock boats around.
After Headless Horseman the river calms down till you reach the final sliding drop. Both the center
and left side of this rapid are good to go. Approximately 100 yards below Finale, Clear Creek
confluences with the Cartecay River at the base of Clear Creek Falls.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-03-28 04:33:39