Chattooga via Opossum Creek!

23 08 2008
   

Elevation

Elevation

 

“Camp Branch flows south and west into Opossum Creek shortly before the latter empties into the lower Chattooga River. Camp Branch begins flowing across a plateau at around 1700′ elevation and maintains a low gradient before dropping 400′ over the last half mile. ”   (they’re not kidding)       

 

Chattooga is at historically low levels, so I thought it would be a good idea to hike into 5 falls and check out just how it looks under most of that water (no need to read any further, it’s scary).  Rinne and I got up and head North to meet Trevor near Tallulah Falls before we started the hike.  We were given impeccable directions to the trailhead by Ken Strickland, who seems to know North Georgia better that anyone, probably even the creator.  If I collect all the emails I have received from him on places to go in Georgia I will have an in depth guide book that would leave the Sierra Club scratching their heads, curious if even these places exist.  Big thanks to Ken who without this it would have never happened, also the Academy, my 11th grade chemistry teacher, I would also like to thank the large lady at the BP this morning with 17 and a half teeth for inspiring me to brush & floss more… what?

Anyway we found the trail with no effort, and started on our way down.  The trail is very well kept and relatively clear, not at all what I expected.  Trevor and I had attempted this same feat last fall, without the Strickland’s beta, and we were bushwhacking a trail that got us to the river, but with about 20 times more effort and about 4 miles from where we wanted to be.  

When we intersected Opossum creek we came out at a rapid called Qualude, and too a much bigger beach than I’ve ever seen on the Chattooga.  It was pretty impressive. It has been a few years since I have been down here, and I forgot how pretty and remote this area is.  We managed to only see one other group on and 83 degree sunny Saturday in August.  

 

 

Now a little perspective…

No Water

Add Water

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

We hung out and swam for a couple of hours and then made the march back up the hill and back toward Atlanta.  If anything is to be learned it is do not swim here if you are kayaking, and returning to Atlanta can be a challenge, but I think I will be able to endure…