Kent Epperson and I kayaked the Chestatee River near Dahlonega, Georgia on 5/29/2014. Water was at 277 cfs. This was my first time on this section. A large portion of this section was flat but the few rapids it did have were worth it, IMO. The first rapid is Copper Mine (Class III) which can be run a few different lines. It can be run left, center and right at this level. There were also a few small shoals, a rapid they call Pete’s Rock (which I actually had to roll on :-)), and Blasted Rock (Class II) which is near the bottom close to the take-out at 52. AW calls this an 18+ mile float but that Includes the entire run down to 400. This section is only about 4-5 miles from Copper Mine Rd. to 52.
I’ve wanted to do this run for a few years now since the area is so beautiful and the river did not disappoint. The put-in does require a short 100 ft. walk down to the river. The take-out on river left about 100 yards before the bridge at the USGS gauge building is a challenge and does require a steep 20 ft climb with your boat.
If you follow this blog you know that we do a decent amount of camping and kayaking in the area. One of my favorite things to do is combine these and get out there on the river for a few days. A while back my son and I took a trip down the Etowah River from Highway 9 to Kelly Bridge camping at Bear Foot Falls. I figured it would be a good idea to post a short list of the things I bring along for anyone new to the activity.
The gear I bring for these types of trips is not that much different than for backpacking. Weight becomes slightly less of a factor but its still important to keep things compact and keep your weight in check when rapids will be a factor.
It all begins with a dry bag or something to keep your gear dry and secured in an easy to access location.
Hammock- Hammocks are perfect for most kayaking trips. Some small tents can take about the same or even a little less time to set up but are typically larger to pack.
Thermarest - A sleeping pad can be useful with a hammock as it helps spread it out and keeps you warmer from the bottom.
Sleeping Bag - Unless its above 60 degrees at night its worth it. I bring a sleep sack which is basically a thin sheet in the shape of a sleeping bag if its going to be warm.
Here is a short video of us kayaking and camping along Warwoman Creek. Warwoman Creek is a great intro to creeking near Clayton Georgia. It ends at the confluence with the Chattooga River at Earls Ford, the beginning of section three.