Chestatee - 1 - Turners Corner to Town Creek Church Bridge (a/k/a Garnett Bridge)

Chestatee, Georgia, US


1 - Turners Corner to Town Creek Church Bridge (a/k/a Garnett Bridge)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 10.9 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 25 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02333500 2.30 - 25.00 ft I-II 00h40m 1.59 ft (too low)

River Description

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 left.

The put-in at Turner's Corner can also be reached by taking Highway 129 northwest from Cleveland or south from Blairsville.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2006-03-03 19:42:26


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 25 2011 (2613 days ago)
revbjohnson (153562)
My wife, son and I went on this section of the river when the level was reported low but able to
ride. Sadly this was one of our worst days on the river. There were four trees blocking the river
where we had to port our kayaks around plus we spent much of our time out of the boat pushing off
of the rocks. We expected a few hours on the river but after six hours and a hole in the boat, we
beached the boats a couple of miles from the Town Creek Church Road Bridge. The water flow should
be at least twice what we were on
March 3 2007 (4280 days ago)
Russell BaileyDetails
Ran 3/3/07 with my 3 year old in a Mad River Monarch. Dahlonega gauge 3.0' and falling (~900 cfs).
Gauge at Turners Corner was about 1.75'. Having run the Etowah (falls section) and Section 2 and 3
of the Hooch at low water in the same boat with my daughter, I was surprised at the difficulty of
this run. Several of the larger drops had no easy portage with steep banks and water flowing bank
to bank. I would rate some of the drops more like Class 3 - I felt it was harder than Section 3 of
the Chattahoochee. I think the most difficult part is one particularly long rapids near a
development on the left bank maybe 5-6 miles from Tate Bridge. This is the first run I can ever
recall doing where I thought the guide may have under-rated some rapids. A beautiful run, but not
to be taken too lightly.
January 11 2006 (4695 days ago)
Rick BellowsDetails
New Streamkeeper: Rick Bellows,
September 5 2003 (5555 days ago)
David MillerDetails
I am planning to paddle this section this weekend. I spoke with the Lumpkin County Sherrifs dept as
well as the DNR and I was told by both departments that there were no restrictions on paddling this
section. I do know that there have been problems between paddlers and landowners in the past.
June 23 2003 (5628 days ago)
Boating vs. Fishing conflicts
Forum: BoaterTalk
Date: Jun 23 2003, 3:11 GMT
From: sevenn

Did a nice easy run down the Chestatee from Turner's Corner to Grindle Bridge today. Eddied out for
about 5 minutes while a trout fisherman played a nice trout and netted it. When we passed by him;
he cussed us out, said he owned the land on both sides of the river, told us we were trespassing
and the if the law would ever show up in a timely manner he would call them and have us arrested.
The "gentleman" said that the Chestatee River was a dedicated trout fishing river and
that boating was not allowed.

I would like to hear from anyone who knows if he is correct. It has always been my understanding
that the landowner's rights end at the river's edge, the water being a public trust.

Thanks and happy paddling.

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