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Chattooga - Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford


Chattooga, Georgia, US/North Carolina, US/South Carolina, US

Disclaimer

Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford (AKA Section 0)

Usual Difficulty III-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 67 fpm
Max Gradient 154 fpm

Go big or go home


Go big or go home
Photo of Shayne Day by Brian Jacobson В© 2007 taken 01/06/07 @ 1.5 (Burls)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CHATTOOGA RIVER AT BURRELLS FORD, NR PINE MTN, GA
usgs-02176930 225 - 1500 cfs III-V(V+) 01h04m 270 cfs (running)
Due to an arbitrary decision by the Forest Service, the river is not boatable unless the river has previously exceeded 350 cfs the same day.


River Description

 

NEW RULES!

The new rules include:

  1. Allow paddling to occur between Green Creek and Lick Log Creek (about 15 of the 21 miles of the Upper Chattooga),
  2. Allow paddling to occur between December 1 and April 30, on days when flows have hit 350 cfs or higher.
  3. Permit must be obtained at locations shown below.  Bull Pen Bridge or Burrell's Ford (GA side) are easiest for this reach.
  4. Leave paddling banned on the uppermost two miles, the lower four miles, and all tributaries all year. 
  5. It would also ban paddling from May 1 through November 30 on the entire Upper Chattooga, and on all days when flows have not hit 350 cfs or above.
  6. Impose no direct limits on other similar visitors.

 

These severe restrictions are the only of their kind in the entire Unites States, and are intended to benefit anglers who pursue heavily stocked non-native trout. The artificial fishery created by the USFS-sanctioned stocking has significant impacts including hatchery pollution, backcountry helicopter disturbances, near elimination of native brook trout, user created angling trails, and the elimination of nature based paddling from the upper Chattooga River. Ironically, the USFS decision actually harms anglers across the Country by creating potential competition for wild rivers that are currently shared by all forms of backcountry recreationists, and by degrading the rights of anglers to fish from a boat.

During a press briefing, the acting Sumter Forest Supervisor, Monica Schwalbach, stated that the US Forest Service has determined that boating on the upper Chattooga -- even in unlimited numbers -- "would have no impact on the resource."

AW has been working for a decade to bring responsible, nationally consistent river management to the Chattooga, and this work continues today.

For more information about American Whitewater's efforts to remove this boating ban go to The Chattooga Project page

River Description

This page was put together from information gained during the Forest Service Boater Trials as shown in this video and Trip Report.

The five mile long Ellicott Rock reach starts with a Class V drop at Bull Pen Bridge that defines the end of the Chattooga Cliffs reach and the beginning of the Ellicott Rock reach. The two or so miles immediately below Bull Pen Bridge to Ellicott Rock are read-and-run, Class IV, with a series of ledge drops and boulder-filled rapids.  Approximately 2 miles into the run is Super Corkscrew, the only other Class V rapid on the run. The rapid is a long series of off-set ledge drops with increasingly powerful hydraulics and a shallow, short run out.  The rapids below Super Corkscrew extending down to Ellicott Rock are similar to those above Super Corkscrew; the rapids are a combination of Class III-IV ledges and boulder fields. The run requires about 2 hours assuming you move quickly through the last three miles of Class II shoals above Burrell's Ford. (adapted from FS Expert Panel Report)

This section does not have the unique scenery found on the Chattooga Cliffs or Rock Gorge reaches in that the views are limited due to the narrowness of the riverbed, however the whitewater is exceptional for the first two miles.  It is noteworthy in that it passes through Ellicott Wilderness and has few trails paralleling the river allowing boaters to enjoy the run with little chance of encounters until you reach the Ellicotts Rock trail.

Emergency Locations

Bull Pen Bridge N35°00.938' W83°07.589'
Super Corkscrew N35°00.784' W83°06.872'
Ellicott Rock Trailhead N35°00.050' W83°06.515'
Burrell’s Ford Bridge N34°58.401' W83°06.933'

 

Reach Profile

 

Related Reaches


Chattooga Cliffs (AKA Section 00)

Ellicott Rock (AKA Section 0)

Rock Gorge (AKA Section 1)

 

Woody Debris

This section of the Chattooga has special concerns about large woody debris for fish habitat. Please respect the environment and leave wood as you find it, even if it adds a portage. The Chattooga has a remarkable ability to clean itself and the rapid may be ready next time.

For more information about woody debris in rivers go to Large Woody Debris and Stream Ecology

Permit Information

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5357690.pdf

Permit must be obtained at Green Creek Trail, County Line Trail, or Bull Pen Bridge in NC, Burrell’s Ford Rd (GA side of the river), Warwoman Campground (FR 86) and Overflow Creek in GA, or Hwy 28 boat landing, Low Water Bridge, Earl’s Ford, Sandy Ford, Fall Creek, Thrift’s Ferry, Hwy 76 / Bull Sluice lot, and Woodall Shoals in SC.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2013-04-19 14:27:05

Editors



Super Corkscrew

Detail Trip Report  Super Corkscrew  Chattooga, GA(300.98KB .jpeg)

Supercorkscrew

Detail Trip Report  Supercorkscrew  Chattooga, GA(65.01KB .jpeg)

Chattooga Headwaters Boater Trial

Detail Trip Report  Chattooga Headwaters Boater Trial  Chattooga, GA(18.61MB .mpg)

(RM) Boating Ban Sticker

Detail Trip Report  (RM) Boating Ban Sticker  @Chattooga Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford, NC(88.89KB .jpeg)

(RM) Bureell's Ford Staff Gage

Detail Trip Report  (RM) Bureell's Ford Staff Gage  Chattooga, NC(172.58KB .jpeg)

(RM) Burrell's Ford Staff Gage

Detail Trip Report  (RM) Burrell's Ford Staff Gage  Chattooga, NC(172.58KB .jpeg)


Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

The gage is at Burrell's Ford bridge.  There are two staff gages now that the USGS installed a full gaging station.  The one on the upstream piling is the one linked to the internet.  A reading on the upstream gage of 1.8 is approximately equal to the arbitrary FS minimum level of 350 cfs.  Minimum boatable levels are around 1.5 ft and upper limits are likely around 2.5 ft on the upper gage.

Correlation information is needed to develop better guidelines. If you are visiting Burrell's Ford, please report readings on the upstream staff gage below the bridge (date, time, level) on the SC side using the "Add a Comment" button on the "Comments" tab (for logged-in registered users of this site).

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CHATTOOGA RIVER AT BURRELLS FORD, NR PINE MTN, GA
usgs-02176930 225 - 1500 cfs III-V(V+) 01h04m 270 cfs (running)
Due to an arbitrary decision by the Forest Service, the river is not boatable unless the river has previously exceeded 350 cfs the same day.

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
0 - 225 cfs extremely Low-barely Low III-V(V+) Due to an arbitrary decision by the Forest Service, the river is not boatable unless the river has previously exceeded 350 cfs the same day.
225 - 350 cfs barely runnable-med runnable III-V(V+) Due to an arbitrary decision by the Forest Service, the river is not boatable unless the river has previously exceeded 350 cfs the same day.
225 -1500 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III-V(V+)
600 -1500 cfs a bit pushy runnable-high runnable III-V(V+)
1500 -3000 cfs barely High-extremely High III-V(V+)
3000 -10000 cfs somewhat High-somewhat High III-V(V+)

Report - Reports of Chattooga Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

Reports

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
Chattooga [GA] Super Corkscrew low Brian and Maria Jacobson
4y278d06h47m Chattooga [NC] (RM) Burrell's Ford Staff Gage 0.35 Robert Maxwell
> 10 years Chattooga [GA] Portage River Right 1.5 (Burls) Brian and Maria Jacobson
> 10 years Chattooga [GA] Chattooga Headwaters Boater Trial 1.5 (Burrells) Brian and Maria Jacobson
> 10 years @Chattooga Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford [NC] (RM) Boating Ban Sticker 0 cfs Robert Maxwell
> 10 years Chattooga [GA] Supercorkscrew 1.5 (Burls) Brian and Maria Jacobson

WXPort

News






User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 23 2015 (1068 days ago)
Brian and Maria JacobsonDetails
Comments promoting exclusive use by any user group for their benefit will be removed by the
administrator. Comments that are not identified with the commentators name will also be removed.
October 18 2014 (1224 days ago)
gary debacherDetails
http://tinyurl.com/q3k6aqv Link to my '93 account of wading Section 0 at extremely low flow. The
coverage down to Ellicotts Rock is good, but after that it is spotty because there is a trail right
by the river, down to Burrells Ford. Sorry the link is probably run into this text. Just copy the
link and go there.

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Bull Pen Rapid5.0Photo
0.4Entrance LedgesIII
0.8Super Corkscrew5.1Photo
1.4Last HurrahIII+Photo
5.4Burrell's Ford BridgeTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Bull Pen Rapid (Class 5.0)

Bull Pen Rapid

Bull Pen Rapid
Photo of Wade Vagias by Brian Jacobson В© 2007 taken 01/06/07 @ 1.5 (Burls)

Put in just upstream of the bridge to add the second hardest rapid of the day on your second stroke. This rapid is riddled with potholes and a proper boof is essential. A number of boaters have ended their runs at the bottom of this one.

Entrance Ledges (Class III, Mile 0.4)
Two closely spaced 5-6 ft ledges with high water hole potential

Super Corkscrew (Class 5.1, Mile 0.8)

Supercorkscrew

Supercorkscrew
Photo of Ken Holmes by Brian Jacobson В© 2007 taken 01/05/06 @ 1.5 (Burls)

Multi stage drop consisting of 6 ft ledge into approach, a steep pitch into a large hole that feeds an undercut wall, followed by a steep strong backender hole before another drop and a long shallow slide. Stay upright in this one Low Water

Last Hurrah (Class III+, Mile 1.4)

Last Hurrah

Last Hurrah
Photo of Wade Vagias/Todd Corey by Brian Jacobson В© 2007 taken 01/06/07 @ 1.5 (Burls)

Start left and cut right behind boulder, read and run, watch for undercut/hole combo at bottom of rapid


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projects - Chattooga Headwaters (NC)


Associated News

Chattooga Meeting this Saturday, 9/29
September 25, 2007

Chattooga Meeting Poses New Challenges
October 5, 2007

More Chattooga Delays - Another Season Lost
December 20, 2007

Surprise: More Chattooga Delays
March 7, 2008

USFS Announces More Chattooga Delays (Again)
June 26, 2008

A Portion of the Chattooga Headwaters Open To Limited Boating Starting Dec 2009
August 26, 2009

USFS Decides No Upper Chattooga Boating This Winter
October 30, 2009

USFS Withdraws Chattooga Decisions and Analyses
December 22, 2009

Paddlers Get Their Day In Court on Chattooga
October 14, 2010

Paddlers Succeed in Chattooga Hearing - Case Moves Ahead!
December 4, 2010

Paddlers Secure Chattooga Conservation Outcomes, But Remain Severely Limited
July 15, 2011

Call for Chattooga River Comments
July 29, 2011

Conservation-Oriented Paddlers File Comments On Upper Chattooga
August 31, 2011

Court Sides with Paddlers on Several Chattooga Issues
February 23, 2012

Chattooga River Update - Some Boating Possibly Allowed Soon
March 16, 2012

Chattooga USFS Consideration Done – River to Partially Open This Winter
August 23, 2012

Upper Chattooga Rules Shared - Paddling to Start Soon!
November 27, 2012

Chattooga Court Hearing Marks Progress for Paddlers
December 6, 2012

Comment Opportunity on Upper Chattooga Access
October 28, 2014

Court Finds 2012 Chattooga Decision Legal
November 11, 2014

Forest Service Supports Chattooga Trails (NC/SC/GA)
May 20, 2015


Documents

Associated Projects


 reach  
 state  
 state  
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 reachlink  
 Ellicott Rock - Bull Pen Bridge to Burrell's Ford, Chattooga Georgia, US/North Carolina, US/South Carolina, US (mobile)