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Difficulty II(III)
Length Miles
Gauge CARTECAY RIVER NEAR ELLIJAY, GA
Flow Range 2.00 - 3.50 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.15 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/16/2016 7:24 pm

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.

Rapid Descriptions

Rooster Tail

Class - I Mile - 0.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
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

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
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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

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.

Comments

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RiverSasquatch
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8 years ago

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!

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Steve Reach
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9 years ago

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 points.

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Judith Ranelli
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9 years ago

Could someone post the directions to the DNR take-out?

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Luke Crawford
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9 years ago

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.

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Woody Janssen
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9 years ago

I will be removing the large tree at the top of Mr. Twister with-in the next two weeks. Woody Cartecay River Experience.

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J.D. Grogan
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9 years ago

As of this past Saturday, the gate at DNR is now locked to prevent river access due to "Small Game Hunting" in the area.

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Chuck Bohannon
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9 years ago

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.

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Ron WILSON
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13 years ago

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.

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Yoga Guy
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14 years ago

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).

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Will Gosney
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15 years ago

Date: Jun 24 2004, 16:37 GMT
From: river0013

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Will Gosney
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15 years ago

Date: Jun 24 2004, 16:37 GMT
From: river0013

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Mark Neisler

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195713 07/29/09 Mark Neisler
1193420 04/08/08 Mark Neisler n/a
1194986 05/20/09 Mark Neisler
1194987 05/20/09 Mark Neisler
1204004 01/12/15 Mark Neisler
1206429 05/16/16 Mark Neisler