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Difficulty III-IV
Length 9 Miles
Gauge POTATO CREEK AT COUNTY LINE RD, NR ORCHARD HILL,GA
Flow Range IN/24H
Flow Rate as of: 1 second ago N/A
Reach Info Last Updated 10/20/2005 11:58 am

River Description


David Tillman paddling a Gyra-Max on Potato Creek.

Photo courtesy Will Reeves.

Photo circa 1992...we think.

From Mark Hicks, March 2003:
As far as Potato Creek, here is part of a recent e-mail I sent on it recently (It is located west of Thomaston, GA): Friday evening the level was an inch and we played and played right up to dark and took off the river in total darkness. You would have had a ball out there as the air and water temperature is warmer being that far south. We ended up not running the four big drops below GA Hwy 36 because all the light we were getting was mostly from star light. I was not disappointed because the slides start getting a little bony at that level and it meant we did not have to climb back up hill to get back to the bridge afterwards. I was surprised there was still good play-spots between the bridges at what I would consider a lower level run. Zero is what I consider the lowest fun level, but you can still get down at -4" and I have even done a -6" in my Topolino but I would not recommend it. I consider a high water run to be anything above 1' on the gauge.

The Potato Creek gauge is a painted on gauge on a center pillar of the GA Hwy 74 bridge. A water level that is even with the pillar's slab platform is considered zero. I have almost always used this bridge as the put-in. I once put on one bridge upstream at really high water/flood stage on Hannahs Mill Rd. for some class II+ fun with big waves to play, but it would be a very rare occasion that anyone would find those conditions, and most of the time it would be just a boring class II that some people could use as a warm up because the first rapid below the GA Hwy 74 bridge depending on water level is class III-IV (V or higher at high because of a keeper on the left of the island and unbelievable conditions on the right of the island). I have put on as high as US 19, but there is nothing but flat water and strainers between US 19 and Hannahs Mill Rd.

There is about a mile and a half of whitewater below the GA Hwy 74 Bridge with play-spots down to about zero on the gauge, then a mile and a half of flat water with one small rapid that can have a couple play spots in it. There are four slides below GA Hwy 36 that drop a total of about 50' in a little over a 100 yards. The last of the four slides is the blindest and most technical to run and it always has by far the biggest holes. At high water the holes could be terminal. There are some land issues on this section below the GA Hwy 36 Bridge. As a rule, never set foot on river right below the bridge as that is the side I have heard all the issues have come from. The river left side does have homes along it, but they seem to be a little friendlier, especially if you try and stay within the river's high water mark. I try and take as low a profile as I can when walking back up and give everyone a wave of the hand whenever I see someone as I don't want to loose the ability to be able use this option as the next bridge down river is way way downstream and I hear you have to paddle through swampy conditions to get there.

We normally park vehicles just west of the GA Hwy 74 Bridge right where a dirt road comes in from the north as there are no parking signs by the bridge there. We never park a vehicle on the southwest side of the GA Hwy 36 bridge, and park east of the bridge if we plan to run the slides below GA Hwy 36 and on the northwest side of the bridge if we are not running the slides because the take-out is easier there. Once when I was turning the vehicle around, I had a land/home owner that was located below the southwest side of the bridge ask me to park on the east side of the bridge which I did right away even though I knew I could park on the northwest side. I personally have had no problems at this bridge, I just have heard from a number of others that there has been issues with either a owner or owners on the river right below this bridge that date back as far back as 15-20 years ago.

Glad to help,

Mark Hicks

Rapid Descriptions

GA 36

Class - Mile - 2.9
Optional Takeout above some slides but all of the rest of the rapids are upstream between the 74 and 36 bridge. The river to the Flint is mostly flat.

Comments

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Bill Wickham
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9 years ago

The Topo map put in and take out location indicators are incorrect. The indicated put in is actually the Highway 36 take out and the put in is the next highway up stream,i.e. Hwy 74.

default user thumbnail
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9 years ago

There is an upstream put in that will cost you some flat water but, you will come to a 70\30 split with the 70% going over a fall to the right and the rest down a 100 yard slide that drops into a pool just in time to set up for a 10 ft drop with 15 ft to get back right or else the main flow there pushes into a rock wall. I went by the store right by the bridge and quickly found a local that took 2 guys & 2 canoes to the put in while leaving our truck by the bridge for take out. I think I paid the guy 10 bucks but that was 20 years ago. the time to go is 2 days after a heavy thunderstorm in the area. ther water will be up enough to make it exciting

Gage Descriptions

The gauge is almost 40 miles upstream near Atlanta. Note: this site used to list 5.2 feet as a minimum, but that level would be very close to cfs. If anyone has good beta on runnable levels, please add a comment to this page.

From Mark Hicks, March 2003:

There is a painted gauge on a center pillar of the GA Hwy 74 bridge. A water level that is even with the pillar's slab platform is considered zero. Zero is what I consider the lowest fun level, but you can still get down at -4" and I have even done a -6" in my Topolino but I would not recommend it. I consider a high-water run to be anything above 1' on the gauge.

Permits

NA

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

Alerts

News

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190290 10/20/05 n/a min flow adjusted