Chestatee, Georgia, US
1 - Turners Corner to Town Creek Church Bridge (a/k/a Garnett Bridge)
||I-II (for normal flows)
Sources: S. Welander, B. Sehlinger and D. Otey, A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia (2004); B.
Sehlinger and D. Otey, Northern Georgia Canoeing (1980).
The Chestatee is created shortly upstream of Turner's Corner by the confluence of Dick's Creek
(including flow from Blood Mountain Creek, Waters Creek and others) and Frogtown Creek: the
confluence of Boggs Creek just above Turner's Corner adds more volume.
In the past there have been some conflicts among landowners, fishermen, and boaters on this
stretch. In September, 2003, David Miller wrote:
I started at the Sheriffs office (706-864-6101). The lady there had no idea, and told me that I
needed to speak with "dispatch" (706-864-3633). Dispatch had me on hold for several minutes, then
came back and said that there were no restrictions that they knew of, but I should really check
with The Dept of Natural Resources (770-535-5499). DNR told me that there were no restrictions on
paddling that section. So it does not sound like it is set aside for fishermen only.
Welander, Sehlinger and Otey note that the upper Chestatee flows entirely through private property,
that landowners have been hostile to boating in the past and that signs remain reflecting a 1980's
era county ordinance prohibiting boating above Copper Mine. As they suggest, "enforcing this
ordinance is questionable, but discretion is advised.
The first 3.5+ miles of the Chestatee include small rapids and primarily agricultural land: beware
of downed trees in this portion (including two visible just above Tate Bridge). Below Tate Bridge,
the gradient increases to over 24 fpm and this portion includes some Class II rapids.
At Turner's Corner, park and put in above the highway intersection. Park only at the roadside
parking area, not at the cafe just below the intersection or on any other private property.
The next access is at Tate Bridge on Damascus Church Road, 3.5 miles downriver from Turner's
Corner. The road is narrow, especially at the bridge, so please minimize the number of vehicles
parked at this access and move them away from the bridge after unloading boats.
Parking at the take-out is at a parking area on river left at Town Creek Church Bridge (a/k/a
Garnett Bridge), 7.4 miles below Tate Bridge. The easiest climb up the fairly steep hill is via the
path on the upstream, river left side of the bridge, directly to the parking area.
Take Highway 400 to where it ends at Highway 60 in Lumpkin County. Continue straight on the
two-lane road, through the stoplight at the Highway 52 intersection and across the bridge over the
Chestatee at Copper Mine, until the road ends at Cavender Creek Road. Turn left, go about one mile
and turn right on Town Creek Church Road. You'll recross the Chestatee in about 2 miles: parking
for the take-out is on the left just beyond the bridge.
To reach the put-in, continue on Town Creek Church Road for 0.6 mile and turn left onto Frogtown
Road. The road will fork in about 1.5 mile: take the left fork, still Frogtown Road. When Frogtown
Road ends, turn left onto Damascus Church Road. After about a mile, you'll cross Tate Bridge, the
alternative put-in/take-out. When Damascus Church Road ends, turn right on Highway 19. In a little
over 2 miles, Highway 19 will T into Highway 129: turn left and park at the put-in parking area on
The put-in at Turner's Corner can also be reached by taking Highway 129 northwest from Cleveland or
south from Blairsville.
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Last Updated: 2006-03-03 19:42:26