Hey Guys John Crumbley here! My Cousin, a few friends, and I have canoed the South River. We put in at the Bridge at Highway 20 and paddled to my cousin's lake house near Reasor's Marina on Lake Jackson. It was roughly a 30-35+ mile (10-13 hour total) trip and well worth it. During the dry Summer and Late Fall months (July-October) the water tends to be low around 2-4 ft. deep in some areas. We suggest going after a day or two of a good rain where 2-3 inches is expected. Mainly from Highway 20 until just before you get to the Highway 81 Bridge aka Snapping Shoals the water is shallow. Snapping shoals is a ton of fun and can be chaotic if you are an amateur. Our recomendation is after you have passed under the Bridge at Highway 81 start paddling to the right side of the river. There is a retaining wall or dam that at times can have lots of water flowing over it. The right side is recommended because you can pull out and get on a walking trail and bypass the shoals or you can do what we do and pick the canoe up over the dam and paddle through the shoals. If you have to get out of your P.W.C. the rocks can be very jagged and slippery do be careful. If you go to the right side down the shoals it will have lots of holes and rocks and after a good rain you can expect some rapids. The left side of Snapping Shoals is very modest and easy going however in any heavy rain situation these shoals can easily become class III and possibly a chance at being class IV rapids. There are also several large trees down on the left side as well. I have seen the South River carry Large Oaks Down it and even though its dangerous it makes for a wicked ride on Kayaks after a weeks worth of rain. After you pass Snapping Shoals the South River is pretty full quite and scenic from then on out and then you will travel under the GA Route 36 hwy bridge towards the main part of Lake Jackson. If you want to pull out before you get onto the main part of the lake there is a local marina on the Right side of the Lake/River after you pass under the 36 Bridge (I don't remember the name of it) and you should be able to get out there. Well Paddles Up and Safe Journeys!
October 1, '09. The Klondike gauge is apparently jammed with sand or something after the floods. It has leveled off at about 300, but the South doesn't hold at 300 at any time of the year. Use visual inspection until you see the gauge is functioning below 300.
How could any of this be bteter stated? It couldn't.
My friends and I love that sweet brown water of the "DirtySouth" , we just can't get enough of that brown stuff .Yeah we made several runs again on 2-2-08 Mark Savell, Kyle Blanset, and myself. I am still trying to figure out the gauge since it is 31 miles upstream @ Klondike Rd. and two creeks with considerable amounts of flow dump into the South River downstream of the gauge (Big Cotton Indian and Walnut). With that said I would guess the flow would have been around 2600 cfs since the gauge peaked @ 2000 cfs 31 miles upstream 18hrs earlier and a conservative guess of 600 cfs for the additional flow of the two creeks downstream of the gauge (no math was used in this guess) At higher flows (2000+) a center channel opens and is a safer option than river left and if you choose to go down the right side watch for wood and hold on .
Whaaatt......ok 12-30-07 this is how you bring in the new year 2400 cfs on the "Dirty South" what you know about that........ I know all about that. My friend Mark Savell and I started the days festivaties 31 miles upstream at Klondike rd. this is where the gague is located and this is also where we put in and floated a 1/2 mile to Albert Shoals a set of class III bedrock ledges that are not mentioned in this rivers description at higher flows this rapid is dangerous with a big pour over ledge on river right there is some wood in this rapid as well so beware and scout this dogger. My friend Mark made a nice recovery right above the pour over which saved him from a nasty swim. Don't run this one without scouting. We did one run on Albert Shoals then we took out on river left and hiked back to the put-in .Then we headed for Snapping Shoals where things looked way bigger than my previous runs which were at lower flows.We did two runs here, the first run we went over the dam in the middle of the river and made our way river left becarefull on the left side the current is strong and the river is shallow I rolled here and lost some meat off my knuckles. Our next run we went over the dam on river left and worked our way to river right where things tend to get hairy at high flows and this one has a hole I found this out the hard way , just a little swim only 200' in the "Dirty South" what you know about that.... I know all about that......Special Thanks to Mark Harris for taking the pictures and videos they will be posted soon
I did a solo run on this river yesterday and it was my second time doing this run and lets just say it was trying to say the least, it started with me locking my keys in the car to me sliding down a muddy slope with my boat on my shoulder,oh yeah and a seal launch from the bank that resulted in an entanglement with some nasty water weeds.Both of my runs were probably at minimum suggested level around 280 cfs. yesterdays run probably closer to 320 cfs this is hard to determine since the gauge is way upstream at Klondike rd . After putting in at the SR81 bridge it is a short paddle to the low head dam where the fun begins, I know the water quality of this river unfortunately is not the greatest and can be down right nasty but I think this run is worth it and I was just enjoying being on the water and this is the closest run to my house. The low-head dam can be ran river middle or river left with a good boof, the left side has a strainer (big log) and a huge undercut concrete slab to deal with just below the dam but can be ran . I prefer middle river because the shoal rapids below the dam are better and more playful here. After the rapids below the dam the river widens and multiple routes are available I prefer river left as it is more accomidating to lower flow runs. I imagine at higher flows some of these rapids could double their intensity. No Tresspassing signs plague both sides of the river on this short run so be careful of where you park and take out.
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