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Difficulty I-II(III)
Length 5.5 Miles
Gauge BROAD RIVER ABOVE CARLTON, GA
Flow Range 300 - 20000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 34 minutes ago 1850 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/18/2018 8:00 pm

River Description


The gauge is located in Carlton GA, 18 miles south of Hwy 281. It will take the water 6 to 12 hours to hit the gauge.
2 foot is the minimum for this run. 3-4 foot is optimal for beginners. Levels above 6 foot the river takes on a totally different character and is better suited for more advanced paddlers.
Around 7 or 8 feet the outpost start shutting down trips, and the surfing starts to get nice!
At levels above 15 feet or so, large surf waves and holes abound, some have good eddies, many are caught on the fly. Roostertail Rapid at the end is an incredible sight and fairly intimidating with large standing waves and holes. At these levels, come with a bombproof roll or you will be looking for your boat in Augusta...(Alex Harvey, 2003)
The river has been run upwards of 20 feet or 17,000 cfs.

There are two outfitters available on this run. One is located at the put-in and the other is located at the take-out.

The Broad River Outpost is located at the put-in. They have a large parking area, and charge $5 for parking and shuttle. According to the BRO website, there are 7 rapids in this stretch. At flood stage, Roostertail Rapid makes a huge 10 foot tall surfing wave.


A note from the BRO Owners:

"I own and operate the Broad River Outpost on Hwy. On our gage at the put-in, we tried to 'mimic' the USGS gage' at Carlton. It's similar at low levels but gets progressively lower at the high water levels.
In the years past we had a painted gage on the bridge itself. Like our new gage, the Bridge Gage has a proportionally lower reading than the gage at the 72 bridge . . . wider channel, steep gradient, etc ???? We should do a mathematical comparison / curve . . . maybe one day."

The following is an approx comparison of the gage heights.
-2 foot on the bridge is about 2 foot on the usgs and our new gage at the put-in.
2.5 feet on the bridge is 64" on our new gage which is approx 6'. Our new gage stops at 6 foot.
12 foot on the bridge is about 21 on the usgs.
16 feet on the 281 bridge was approx 27 at the USGS site - the highest I've seen.
There are many old paddlers who've run the Broad River at the high water levels - it turns into a wonderful 'big water' class 3-4 run. We thought an update on the gage system would be helpful. We do get calls from confused older boaters . . . but then it could be our age.
Thanks
Michael Moody


For more info: Broad River Outpost.


The other outfitter for this section of river is The Sandbar. They are located about 1 mile past the bridge on river left.  Driving directions if you're coming from Athens on Hwy 172 go over the bridge for the Broad and about 1/2 mile on the right is a dirt road King Hall Mill road.  Go about 1 mile look for their sign on the right. Their shuttle service costs $5 and puts you in right above the first ledge. It also cuts out a mile and a half of flatwater.

If you are into creeking, and the Broad is too high for mere mortals, a 2 mile run that opens up is Mill Shoal Creek which is a class 3 run where the owner of the Sandbar, Gerald Carey, owns all of the land on river right and will arrange shuttle. Or if you do your own shuttle, the owner does not mind as long as you notify them. They will give you directions to the put-in and take-out.

For more information call (706) 245-4163 or visit the website for the Sandbar.
 

Rapid Descriptions

The Sandbar put-in

Class - Mile - 1.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This is the put-in for The Sandbar outfitters ,it cuts out all the flatwater at the beginning of this run and puts you at the top of the first ledge.

First Ledge

Class - II Mile - 1.7
Large shoal with a small island in the middle. Last checked there were the remains of a coleman canoe wrapped on a rock at the bottom left.At low water run left side of island.4ft and above there are lines everywhere with a nice wave train at the end.

Lunch Stop Rock

Class - II Mile - 3.3
A left to right move.

3 Falls

Class - II+ Mile - 4.3
A five foot tall vertical ledge is on the right side of the island. There are 3 lines you can take.Far right has a piton rock so hug far right bank as much as you can.Center line opens up around 4 feet, make sure you have speed because the lip is very shallow.At levels over 6 feet a keeper hole developes on the center line.The left line is a fun slide . On the left side of the island are some class 2 shoals. There is an easy to avoid undercut in this rapid.

Skull Shoal Creek

Class - Mile - 4.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Skull Shoal comes in below the waterfall on the right.

Roostertail Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Roostertail is a riverwide broken ledge shoal. Its best run on the right,punch the wave and watch out for the pillowing rock. You will be able to see the Hwy 172 bridge below.

Hwy 172 bridge

Class - I Mile - 5.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
There is another ledge under the bridge. At some levels there is surfing on the left.Avoid the rock island with the tree there is rebar here from an old bridge.

Broad River Outpost takeout

Class - Mile - 6.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Look for the steps on river right, a little past the island.

Moores' ledge

Class - II+ Mile - 6.75
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Right at the Sandbar take out is a nice long sloping ledge. At low levels run river right then take-out on the left at the Sandbar outfitters. At higher levels lines open up everywhere.

Comments

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Billy Wright
|
14 years ago

Hey everyone this is where I learned to first paddle whitewater of any kind. I have ran it so boney I wanted to cuss all day, but then again I have ran it at levels between 4 and 8ft and the Broad takes on a different character. Levels above 8ft. to 12ft get ready for some almost river wide holes, and at these levels the big wave at rooster tail will be a definite hoot, but this only happens after close hurricanes or days and days of continuos rains. Call micheal at the B.R.Outpost and ask how the river is running on those particular weather events.

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Eddy Hicks
|
13 years ago

I would recomend using one of the outfitters shuttle service or park at the hwy-172 bridge.I left my Jeep at the old takeout today and it got broken into, my window got smashed and all my cd's stolen.The police said that they have been having problems there lately.

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dark side
|
15 years ago

This has some play spots and is rather flat than the more mountain areas but it still better than going to work. The water fall at the end should have more writeup cuz its the best part. I try to send more pics to the riverkeeper. The waterfall is at the island. You can get out and scout. Run river right at the island and there are several routes at the falls. There is a slide on left side and a drop in middle. Drop has a slight hole in my opinion. If you run the drop get some speed before the drop cuz it can be shallow up to the drop and hard to get some strokes in.

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BradR
|
15 years ago

Anyone know what level that famous wave at roostertail forms at??

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BradR
|
15 years ago

On the original page, Alex discribes the water level to be too boney
to do below 3.0' on the USGS gage above Carlton. Perhaps too low for
'gonzo' paddlers, but for beginners the level at around 3' is guite
nice. Generally it is clear ( as to get low it has to 'not' rain for
awhile ) and it's nice and technical. Plenty of small surfing waves
and holes to play in as well. For us, '"Too" low is closer to 2'
rather than 3'. Mabe a comprimise would be in order...... We can
easily run it at 2' but for sure it's BONEY.

on the "note from the BRO Owners, you omitted the hwy that we are
located on ... It is Ga State Hwy 281 aka Wildcat Bridge Road.


On the Rapid Descripitions:

Alex has omitted the second rapid. We call it "lunch stop rock". It's
a switchback from center to left. class II. IT's real 'joy' is it's a
great place to practice combat rolls as there's a strong current coming
out of the shoal through a deep channel with a great eddy ( behind
lunch stop rock ) to recover and do it again. It's also half-way down
the run.

On Roostertail Rapid - you can 'see' the State Hwy 172 ( not 192) after
you go past the rapid. There's some great surfing on the approach run
as well.

One major note:::::::

The water fall ( third shoals ) center route is undercut and become a
'real' keeper and is very dangerous above 5 or 6 foot on the Carlton
Gage. To further this caution is a small ledged below the shoals which
tends to recirculate the major part of the water back upstream to the
waterfall with the undercut. I've seen logs recirculate and dissappear
back up under the falls.

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BradR
|
15 years ago


Broad river
Hwy 218 to hwy 192
A buttload of flatwater, followed by a small ledge rapid. Last seen there was an old coleman canoe wrapped around a rock in the middle of the first ledge.

Then a butt load more flatwater, follwed by the rapid with the 6 foot waterfall on the right of the island, and some good surfing on the left. Then a buttload more water followed by Roostertail rapid. Roostertail is right above the takeout bridge. Its about a 10 foot tall sloping ledge, best run on the right Maybe class 2 plus at normal flows.

Then there are two small ledges between roostertail and the takeout.

Broad at carlton was reading 1750 cfs., or about 5.5 feet. Water was bank to bank, but low. The play sucked. Another two feet of water and some good waves and holes would start growing.

If I were to do this run again, I would wait for floodstage, and run skull shoal creek in to just above roostertail. Most of the good whitewater is located at the take-out bridge. As for the rest of the run, 6miles of flatwater with three rapids just wasn

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Amy Buttler
|
2 years ago

Ran this river Easter weekend 4/15/2017 and it was beautiful . As long as we ran it left to right and stayed out of the middle the water was sufficient. Water height was 2.56ft and it was not cold at all. The turtles were everywhere and the birds and flowers painted the banks. I love this river. If the water level was at 3ft some of the rapids might be closer to a 3 but at 2.5 ft they were a 2+.

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Ian Brower
|
9 years ago

Wow what a great day on the river. Hwy 281 - Hwy 172. River level on Carlton gauge was 5.4 which is almost optimum as nothing washed out but no bones. I think 6 ft is the best level until you get up to 10ft + Beautiful weather water clarity excellent and not another sole seen the entire day. What more could ya ask for. Accolades to the guys @ BRO for the shuttle and waiting for late players @ the takeout.

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|
12 years ago

12.5 feet the wave forms at river center at roostertail

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Will Gosney
|
14 years ago

for some awesome high water pictures of this run

http://www.alexjharvey.com/2004_paddling_trips.htm

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BradR
|
15 years ago

The latest rumor is the awesome surf wave forms around 8 feet on the gauge.

Gage Descriptions

The gauge is located in Carlton GA, 18 miles south of Hwy 281. It will take the water 6 to 12 hours to hit the gauge.
2 foot is the minimum for this run. 3-4 foot is optimal for beginners. Levels above 6 foot the river takes on a totally different character and is better suited for more advanced paddlers.
Around 7 or 8 feet the outpost start shutting down trips, and the surfing starts to get nice!
At levels above 15 feet or so, large surf waves and holes abound, some have good eddies, many are caught on the fly. Roostertail Rapid at the end is an incredible sight and fairly intimidating with large standing waves and holes. At these levels, come with a bombproof roll or you will be looking for your boat in Augusta...(Alex Harvey, 2003)
The river has been run upwards of 20 feet or 17,000 cfs.

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Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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News

article main photo

Coleman Awarded AW Steward of the Year Award

2006-09-27 00:00:00-04
Ben Van Camp

American Whitewater and Wave Sport presented the AW Steward of the Year Award to Charlene Coleman of Columbia, South Carolina, at the annual American Whitewater Gauley Festival in Summersville, WV this past weekend.  Coleman is the first recipient of the annual river stewardship achievement award which recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to river access, conservation, and/or safety on behalf of American Whitewater.  Along with the recognition Coleman was awarded the Wave Sport boat of her choice.
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Eddy Hicks

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Alex Harvey

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Andrea Dover