This run is located within Factory Shoals Park, a county-operated venue 10 miles south of Covington, GA, just off state highway 36. They charge a few bucks for park use during peak periods (warm months). Address: 450 Newton Factory Bridge Rd, Covington, GA 30014
This run has a visual gauge located on the bridge just past the entrance of the park on Newton Factory Bridge Rd.
Before you do the first run on this one, it's a good idea to scout the river trail from the bottom up to the bridge and note any new wood or other strainers. Also if it is your first time, you will want to see what you are getting into on the lower half mile; it gets a bit hairy.
The put-in is in the campground on the north side of Factory Bridge Road. Just drive thru the campground until you see water, then find a good parking place. If the campground is closed, go across the bridge to the parking area immediately left at the other end. Follow the riverside trail upstream about 100 yards to the first ledge and slide on in. There is some private property that is well marked that you will not want to trepass on.
The rapids start a quarter mile around the bend from the campground putin. Above the bridge, rapids are class I-II; several ledges with some surfing potential at some levels. Below the bridge is an island with a variety of routes dependent on water levels.
The gradient increases the further you travel below the bridge. Ledges begin to get more complicated and currents pick up and get more pushy.
A half mile below the bridge, a hundred yards of flatwater pool gives you a chance to catch your breath. Access at this point is good on both sides if you want to pull out; below the pool things are going to jump up to class III. There are a couple of difficult ledges to work down before you line up for the last drop. You can spot the little midstream island from this point that marks the final ledge; as you get closer you will notice the distinct horizon line just beyond the island.
The last drop is about 9 foot vertical in 40 foot horizontal, and looks bigger from below (see photos). It features a slide into a mildly undercut boulder on river right, a central flume, and a boof into a pool in midriver. Pass the midriver island on the right side. The protruding boulders 8' off the right bank of the island form a gunsight pointing towards the drop spot for the flume; to hit the boof, eddy behind the last boulder, ferry a few feet to river left, turn and go for it.
On river left are more options depending on water level; there is a nasty big boiling undercut up against the river left bank at the very bottom. You can pull out and portage back up the trail on river right for additional runs.
After this rapid the rest of the river is buried beneath a reservior, Lake Jackson.
Standard take-out is the beach on river right at the base of the last rapid. A hundred-yard uphill hustle gets you to the 'Big Bend' picnic area on the back side of Factory Shoals Park. Due to the overall shortness and excellent accessibility of this reach, multiple runs in a day can be had with some creative shuttling.Directions from Covington
Take Highway 36 south about ten miles. Watch for Newton Factory Bridge Road on your left just past Red Oak church. (If approaching from the south, it is the 3rd right from the intersection with GA 212, just past the FFA campground) Turn in and drive down to the river. You will pass the park entrance on your right; the campground road is across the street, sort of. The visual stick gauge is found on the piling under the southwest corner of the bridge. The take out is accessed by entering the park and going all the way through to the "Big Bend" parking lot. Hike down to the river and scout, especially if this is your first time.
Put In at the campground
There is a pour-over on river right and a wave train on river left. Several good places to surf.
This ledge is a straight forward Class II. Offers some play at varying water levels.
There is a good spot for side surfing on river left. Center line is a boof, with an ender spot just to the left of the boof rock. Right side can also be run, though it may be more shallow and rocky than the other options.
Run the slide on river left. Or run Twist and Shout rapid on river right.
Most people run the "Toilet Bowl" line, which is a flume/slide into a mildly undercut boulder on river right, or the central boof line into a shallow pool below. Beware, as there is potential to pin in a chute between the Toilet Bowl line and the boof line - boats of all sizes seem to fit perfectly into this crevice.
More experienced boaters looking for a thrill tend to run the left side of last drop.
Tommy Price on the last drop in Factory Shoals. Photo courtesy Will Reeves.
The gauge is not very accurate since it is WAY upstream but the flow of the Alcovy in Covington (seperate gauge) is accurate for this section of river.
couldn't post the link so here it is! It was taken in early April 2011 with my GO Pro Cam.
Today @ 6 pm online gauge was 340 & falling. Bridge gauge was 1.2, good level, definatly pleanty of water.
At 283 cfs there are some excellent play spots including a decent surf wave at the pool between the shoals below the bridge and a splat rock on river right almost 50 yards downstream of the bridge.
Ran this once at 250 cfs it was low so you needed to follow the channels.
Well, you could run it under 1.0 on the gauge, but I sure wouldn't. I hit a rock every 20 feet down this very short little stretch of whitewater. There are three little class 2 rapids above the bridge, and three class 3 rapids below the bridge. The whole run is less than half a mile. The ledges past the bridge are cool with good flows and can bump up to class 4 with flows over 1.8.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv?02208450 is the gauge site for this reach
Thanks for all the pics but they need to be resized. No one can even look at them, they are all over 800kb each. This eats up American Whitewater's server space, and people with dial-up will never see those pics. Around 200kb or so would be much better. Thanks.
Directions from Covington
Take Hwy 36 South, pass Hendersons
and go a few more miles. You will see
Factory Shoals road on the left, turn left
and look for the camp ground road on
the left about 200 yards from the
bridge. The gauge is on the south
west bridge piling. The take out is
accessed by entering the park on the
south side of factory shoals road and
going to the big bend parking lot. Hike
down to the river and scout the last
drop if this is your first time.
6/28/04 gauge 1.0
6/29/04 gauge 1.2
7/1/04 gauge 1.2
7/3/04 gauge 1.2
7/4/04 gauge 1.27
6/27 6.25 (spike that made flow)
6/28 4.5 (additional rain)&
7/2 8.0 (heavy rain) should show up
7/4-5 on bridge
For more info:
Park Director (ranger)
From Mark Hicks:
Whoops, I should have read your previous e-mail first as you mention in it the Alcovy section right above Lake Jackson. Per the way upstream Alcovy River gauge at north of Grayson (located about 6 miles below the Upper Upper Alcovy River/Creek run) http://ga.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=02208150 , the Alcovy River is HUGE at that upstream location so this weekend you should have a lot more water than 1.2 below the bridge at Factory Shoals on Alcovy River. The three times I have paddled it it was between 1.2 to 1.6 on the bridge gauge and it was fun trying different routes including the boof move in the last rapid. My understanding is the hydraulics start to get really big around 2.0. The Upper Upper Alcovy run located between GA Hwy 29 and Alcovy Rd is possibly too big to run right now as most of the water is probably running through trees right now.
7 years ago
9 years ago
There is a gauge located on the downstream river right bridge piling at Newton Factory Bridge Road. You can get down it above 0.5. Realistic minimum is 1.0. It gets pretty big above 2.0.
Please add more gauge info in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
The USGS gauge is located about 15 miles upstream. It usually takes the water a day to get from the USGS gauge to Factory Shoals park.
From Rob Maxwell from BoaterTalk, Mar 12 2004, 14:34 GMT / From: rangerrob
Gauge under the put-in bridge.
Minimum: 1.0 (450 cfs) / Perfect 1st timer: 1.4'
Maximum 2.0' / Expert: 2.0+
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.
Center Boof and sidesurfing at the playspot above Horseshoe Ledge
J Lowry endering at the playspot above Horseshoe Ledge
Below Bridge (Right Side)
Below Bridge (Left Side)
Surfing at Second Ledge
Surfing at First Ledge
Alcovys Last Drop
Below Last Drop- Wide View
Below Last Drop
Factory Shoals - Last Drop
Center lines of last drop
Last Drop - right line
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