Chattahoochee, Georgia, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||25 fpm|
|CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NEAR LEAF, GA.|
|usgs-02331000||1.50 - 5.00 ft||II-III||00h48m||3.02 ft (running)|
|Good whitewater level (III)|
The Upper Hooch is a classic beginner canoeing and kayaking stream. Its relatively short, has an
easy shuttle, decent scenery and fun rapids. It can be run at just about all levels from
ridiculously scrapy to screaming high flood stage, depending on the boaters skills of course. At
low flows its a class two stream. Around 3-4 feet on the Leaf Gage its easy Class III. Above that
its class 3/4 with some huge holes.
Once upon a time during the winter of '96-97 a group of us ran the Upper Hooch at 13 feet (about 14,500 cfs) on the Cornelia Gage. Lots of moving strainers. Two massive holes in First Island rapid that were of equal size to the top holes in Insignificant on the Gauley. The rock outcrop on the right at second ledge was a giant pourover. Third ledge was washed out. We ran it twice before the Hall and White County rescue squads closed down the river. Probably a good thing--three other groups put on and hiked/swam off. Lots of canoes wrapped around trees that day.
Flow Info: (NOTE - we have begun using the Leaf Gage rather than the Cornelia gage on this page as of 2/15/15 because it better reflects the flow experinced on this reach)
For the Leaf Gage, consider the following advice:
Parking Info: The put-in and take-out is Georgia State Park land, and requires either a daily pass ($5) or an annual pass.
Wildwood Outfitters has an outpost at the take-out and will shuttle you and your boat to the put-in for $7. The outpost is usually closed during the winter, late October to early March.
From Atlanta, go north on I-85 16 miles to I-985. Continue 42 miles up I-985. Then take a left at Duncan Bridge Road, GA 384 at the light. The take-out is about 4 miles down Duncan Bridge Rd.
To get to the put-in, continue west on Duncan Bridge Rd, take a right on GA 254, and another
right on GA 115. The put-in will be the first stream you come to. Parking is very limited at the
Whitewater Home Companion Vol. 1, William Nealy
Appalachian Whitewater : The Southern States
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.0||Buck Island Shoals||II+|
|1.2||Canoe Eating Rock||II+|
|3.0||Shoals below horseshoe||II+|
|4.1||One more for the road.||II+|
Multiple routes on both sides of the island. Big holes develop on the right side of the island at high water. At lower flows most people run the narrow channel on the left of the island.
Rock on river right above the Lunch Beach. Good surf wave with a huge eddy on the bottom right.
At flows above 2500 cfs or over about 4 feet a dangerous low head dam type hole forms on the right side of this rapid. This one is easy to see coming due to the long pool above it and the large rock outcrop on river right. Run left or right at most water levels.
Generally run on river left.
Fun, shallow side surfing hole.
Another long wide shoal rapid. At higher flows there is great surfing everywhere in this one!
A long riverwide shoal, with a sandy beach at the bottom on river left. Lots of fun small waves and holes thru the shoals.
Run left to right. Big pool at the bottom.
long fun shoal rapids with some good surfing opportunities.
Just downstream of the takeout, below the bridge, is one last ledge. There are a series of holes on the right, and a wave on the left. At low flows there is an island in the middle. Play your brains out, then paddle back up the 100 yards to the take-out.