Update (February 2019): After moving to the area, scouting this run, and looking at satellite imagery, it is evident that this run has been turned into a resevoir (Hard Labor Creek Resevoir) and is now dammed up. The only thing visible is the Browning Shoals downstream from the takeout bridge, with the dam on the upstream side of the bridge. I am not sure about access.
You would have to be hard up for something new before attempting this 15' wide, muddy, deadfall-infested slot through the woods. It is only runnable after MAJOR rain, which means there will be lots of better choices nearby. The access is poor; no public parking exists either at the put-in or take-out; you must leave your vehicles in the right-of-way near the bridges. You might possibly park at the historic church, a featureless white building about 1/4 mile south of the put-in bridge. The surrounding woods are thick, dark, forbidding, trailless and full of poison snakes and spiders. Also, since this is pretty far out in the redneck boonies, ride out there in your Deliverance-mobile so as to minimize the trauma and financial loss of senseless vandalism. That being said, there is one interesting set right under and beyond the take-out bridge, where the creek drops 40 or 50 vertical feet in a few hundred horizontal down the sort of sheer-faced granite slide found so often in this part of Georgia. You will have to carry a long way back up the steep bank to get to the bridge where you parked your car. The river-right bank is private property with the house and yard quite close by; ask permission first. River left is thick woods and steep slope; watch your step and have the snakebite kit handy. From I-20, take route 11 north to the town of Social Circle. Continue past the town and bear right to a 4-way stop; go straight through. The road is now called 'Social Circle-Fairplay Road'. Go approximately 4 miles and past Mount Paran Church Road; look for historic church on your left. It looks more like a whitewashed cinder-block garage than a church, and there is no identifying sign, but you will notice a few gravestones at the edge of the woods. Put-in bridge is 1/4 mile beyond. To get to the takeout, continue along the same path another mile or so, turn right onto Browning Shoals Road, and park alongside the road when you see the bridge. If this still does not sound like your idea of a good time, then an excellent nearby alternative is Alcovy Factory Shoals (River Reach #3372), 17 miles away on the other side of Covington.
Tell us about this gauge by leaving a comment.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Hard Labor Creek
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!