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Difficulty II-III
Length 5.2 Miles
Gauge Toccoa near Dial
Flow Range 750 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 575 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/15/2002 11:40 am

River Description

Cooper Creek starts as a shallow forest stream with gravel bars and the occasional downed tree. For the first few miles the primary excitement consists of small 1 foot or smaller rock ledges. The most significant danger on Cooper Creek are the ever present risk of deadfalls. There is no good access for the majority of the run so hiking off would be difficult.
After a mile or so Cooper Creek begins to pick up speed and the maximum gradient for the creek is focused in one short section. There is a 16-foot sliding drop with the possibility of a big hole at very high water. This rapid is not very difficult but Grunch the single largest ledge closely follows it on the river. Grunch is a three-foot ledge with a possible pinning location on river left. The rapid was named for the sound boats make when running the river left line and slamming into the pinning rock. The river once again becomes an easy class II+ run with the occasional rapid. Corner Pocket is probably the most notable rapid outside of the slide and Grunch. The river becomes constricted and visibility is reduced possibly requiring a scout.
Below Corner Pocket the creek flows along for a few more miles and finally reaches road access again. Most boaters continue down for another half mile in order to pick up some good ledges and additional rapids.
If you are interested in looking at exciting class V waterfalls head down the road from the takeout and look at Sea creek falls.

Rapid Descriptions


Class - III Mile - 2.5
Grunch is the single largest ledge on Cooper Creek. Grunch follows up only a few yards from a steep slideing drop of about 16' feet. The landing area for most of Grucnh is very shallow and can pin or hit the bow of some boats. Thus the name, Grunch, for the sound made by the impact.

Corner Pocket

Class - II+ Mile - 5
The final notable rapid on Cooper Creek is Corner Pocket. Like most rapids on Cooper Creek it is a fairly easy rock garden drop. A trail from here leads to atakeout but it is better to boat down to the Mulkey Creek Campground.


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11 years ago

Edward Stockman. Paddled it on 5/4/09. Leave it for the fish people. Strainers everywhere. 20 plus portages.

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Rick Clark
15 years ago

Rick Clark

Mike Lee and I ran the lower part of Cooper Creek at 3100cfs on the Toccoa gauge. We took the advice of the above comment and put on about 4 miles above the takeout. There was only one killer deadfall (had a close-call here due to the screaming current speed and lack of eddies). The creek was mostly waves, fast current and tree dodging. It was a pretty run but not worth a second trip. Best advice: as the last comment said, leave it to the fishing crowd.

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Tom Welander
15 years ago

December 2004. Many deadfalls, many carries, some hairy. Took a sum total of 4.5 hours, and two separate visits, to grope our way downstream from the top (FS 33 bridge) to the bridge above Mulkey Ck. C.G. Beautiful place. I'll concede it to the anglers.

Gage Descriptions

The gauge is located about 10 miles downstream of the Cooper Creek confluence. The water in Cooper Creek might be gone by time the Toccoa at Dial gauge comes up.
To visually gauge the crek just drive down and look at the creek above the put-in.

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.

No Accident Reports



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Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, dies

Charlie Walbridge

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!


Matt Muir


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1190274 11/15/02 n/a n/a