Cartecay - 3. Stegall Mill Road to DNR

Cartecay, Georgia, US


3. Stegall Mill Road to DNR (Lower Cartecay)

Usual Difficulty II(III) (for normal flows)

Clear Creek Falls

Clear Creek Falls
Photo of Steve Rush by Mark Neisler taken Mid '90s @ Apprx. 2.0

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02379500 2.00 - 3.50 ft II(III) 00h33m 2.53 ft (running)

River Description

Most of this section of the Cartecay River runs through a residential area. There are no restrooms after you put in and most of the river banks are on private property. Local outfitters have restrooms and changing rooms.  So, please take care of these needs before putting on.  The outfitters are located on Lower Cartecay Road. You will paddle past cabins and homes on both sides of the river for most of this section. Most of the homeowners are friendly toward the boating community, but they do not want to see you nude, nor do they want you going to the bathroom in their yard. It is recommended that you keep your groups small and quiet and not stay too long at any one spot. In short, please be respectful to the home owners.  

Visit 2. Lower Cartecay Road to Stegall Mill Road Road (Middle Cartecay) for more details.

Here is a tip for running the Lower Cartecay when the level is near minimum:  Drive to the the take-out on Mulkey Road and look at the shoals there.  If it looks high enough to run, it is.  Remember the gauge is down river so it matters whether the level is rising or dropping.

Here is another tip.  If you are comfortable with some easy but tight creeking and the Cartecay is running about 4', follow the yellow blazes at Clear Creek up to Timber Falls and run back down to the Cartecay.  The hike is not bad and the reward is worth it for sure.  Visit: 2.- Blackberry Mountain Road to DNR Takeout (Cartecay River) for info on this run.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-05-16 19:24:40


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.5Rooster TailI
1.5Mr. TwisterII+Photo
3.0The NarrowsII
3.0Clear Creek FallsIIIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Rooster Tail (Class I, Mile 0.5)
A small ledge drop with a rock in it. Run just to the right of the rooster tail created by the rock.

Mr. Twister (Class II+, Mile 1.5)

Mr. Twister

Mr. Twister
Photo of Edward Stockman by Mark Neisler taken 07/15/01 @ 1.6

You will see some cabins high up on the ridge on river left. Usually you will see a bench on a rock on river left as well. Since the bench marks the entrance to the rapid, we call it the benchmark. Run this one down the center and punch the hole. The hole is grabby and will flip or surf an unweary boater. There is a large recovery pool after this drop.

The Narrows (Class II, Mile 3.0)
A long and technically challenging set of rapids. Kind of creeky. A pretty section of the river that offers beginners a chance to practice some easy creek moves.

Clear Creek Falls (Class III, Mile 3.0)

Clear Creek Falls

Clear Creek Falls
Photo of Steve Rush by Mark Neisler taken Mid '90s @ Apprx. 2.0

Hazards: Rocks on river left at the bottom of the drop and rocks with broaching potential in the middle of the channel after the drop. The "Narrows" ends with a large eddy on river left. Eddy out here and boat or bank scout "Clear Creek Falls".  Run this drop by lining up just to the left of the curler wave in the drop. Keep a slight right angle and paddle agressively. This rapid ends in a large recovery pool. At most levels the wave at the bottom of the drop is the best place to front surf on the river. However, don't flip. There are very nasty rocks just below the surface immediately downstream of the wave.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 10 2011 (2838 days ago)
RiverSasquatch (152566)
Made the full trip down to the DNR for the first time @ 2.3 Being a beginner, the hole on the right
side of the bottom of Mr. Twister looked a little crazy and of course Clear Creek was very
intimidating, but there was a nice straight line. Most of the videos I have seen of people going
over the falls needed to make a move left over the curling wave at the top, but it was seriously a
straight shot. The Narrows was exactly like its description. A lot of quick moves and plenty of
lines at the top. I chose the middle line instead of going around the right. The middle included a
two foot drop into a area of aerated water. Caught me by surprised how far I sunk and found myself
swimming. At 2.3 I rode right over top of the rock that had "broaching" potential. Not sure that is
accurate at 2.3. This run included a lot of fun whitewater. Wave trains and shoal rapids were
scattered all over the first 3.5 miles. T I wish someone had warned me of the last 2 miles...
NOTHING BUT FLAT WATER! Oh my god.. it was horrible!
April 23 2010 (3190 days ago)
Steve ReachDetails
why sher little lady, the DNR takeout is behind the Transfer Station you pass on the right as you
are going up the hill. Go past the dumpsters and there is a dirt road that winds downhill thru the
woods and ends up in a gravel lot at the river. Sometimes it is gated shut at the first mudhole but
it is still possible to hike in and out ... about as far a carry as most of the Chattooga access
April 21 2010 (3192 days ago)
Judith RanelliDetails
Could someone post the directions to the DNR take-out?
April 13 2010 (3200 days ago)
LCrawford (151700)
Fun add on to the first part of the Cartecay. Mr twister still had a log in it. Clear creek is
great. Fun surfing at the end. Also a sweet jumping rock/seal launch just past clear creek about a
14 foot drop.
March 12 2010 (3232 days ago)
WoodyJ (151008)
I will be removing the large tree at the top of Mr. Twister with-in the next two weeks. Woody
Cartecay River Experience.
February 1 2010 (3271 days ago)
ilkowski (151381)
As of 1/31/2010 there is still wood in Mr. Twister. A log blocks good part of the entrance, and
downstream about 2-3 feet left from the rock a thick branch sticks out in the middle of the
August 24 2009 (3432 days ago)
J.D. GroganDetails
As of this past Saturday, the gate at DNR is now locked to prevent river access due to "Small Game
Hunting" in the area.
July 19 2009 (3468 days ago)
Chuck BohannonDetails
Ran the river putting in at Lower Cartecay Road. First portion of the run is excellent. Sit on tops
had a little problem due to lower water levels. Two strainers are present after Clear Creek Falls
and before DNR.
October 11 2005 (4845 days ago)
Ron WILSONDetails
Ran the 7 mile section from the MOE put in at Lower cartecay road down to the DNR takeout. Second
time on the river for me, (did the short section years ago in a kayak), and the first time doing it
in a 16' tandem canoe. This is a great river for those just starting out. There are definitely
plenty of spots to get your heart pumping. We tried to boof the rock on river right at blackberry
falls and this proved to be the first of 2 wet decisions. The other being at clear creek falls
where we went right of the bolder at the bottom of the drop on river left. All in all, for 2
novices paddlers fairly new to whitewater canoeing, This was a great run and I'll definitely be
coming back. Plus, you can't beat the shuttle service provided by MOE.
July 5 2005 (4942 days ago)
Yoga GuyDetails
After a good stiff rain on Sat the levels rose to about 3.5 on the COOSAWATTEE gauge. The strainer
at Mr Twister is almost invisible under water at this level. I think the left line is the safest.
Rob B took the left line fine and I took the middle line ok at this level.

As a side note, from off water Clear Water looked pretty nasty at this level but was pretty easy
run despite volume.

At this level there are several very small rapids between Clear Creek and takeout with a couple
pretty nice surf spots (one very sticky, fun one for beginners on river left about 3/4 mi down
stream from Clear Creek).
June 24 2004 (5319 days ago)
Will GosneyDetails
Date: Jun 24 2004, 16:37 GMT
From: river0013
June 24 2004 (5319 days ago)
Will GosneyDetails
Date: Jun 24 2004, 16:37 GMT
From: river0013