Run: Hatchet Creek
Class: I (II) Put-In: US Hwy 280
Gradient: 14'/mile Take-Out: US Hwy 231
Length: 13 Water Q:
Shuttle: Hwy 280 / CR 49 / Hwy 231 Delorme Gazeteer: P. 38 C4/D4/E4/E3
Links: Hatchet website Primary Gage: Hatchet@Rockford - AL Power or (see text)
Hatchet blw Rockford
TOPO MAP Required Level: 600
PICTURES Indicator Gage:
TRIP REPORT Required Level:
A beautiful, clear creek located south of Sylacauga. The creek's headwaters are located in the Talladega National Forest and it runs through mostly forested land until its flow is stopped by Lake Mitchell. The stream flows briskly below Highway 280. The pools are frequently interrupted by frisky shoals that add spice to the trip. The scenery is exceptional with only a few streamside cabins to remind the canoeist that you're not in total wilderness. There is one Class II (+) drop on this section of creek. Maximum flow is about 2000 cfs. (Murray Carroll)
Lots of additional information, pictures, stories, and a map can be found at a dedicated Hatchet website. The gradient is a bit of an approximation, but fairly close. There are other sections to Hatchet, but I'm not sure they have any whitewater.
I donít think you can correlate the 280 bridge gauge with the USGS gauge below 231. This is because you are trying to correlate two different points on a curve that varies itís trajectory with increasing flow rates. Sometimes the USGS gauge says 3000cfs and 280 gauge says 3ft. Other times the USGS gauge says 1200cfs and the 280 gauge is still on 3ft?? So from my years of experience with this creek, you just canít make an accurate computation about this creek and its large watershed. Anyway 2ft 11 is a great level for beginning canoeist. At this level you have great flow all the way to the take out. All the rocks are submerged so you have nothing to avoid hitting. There is only one rapid that is a strong class II at this level. It is easily portaged on the left. You can tell youíre near the rapid by noticing the new log cabin high above the rocks on your left. Eddy out just above the rapid on your left below the cabin. The creek is floatable at lower levels (1ft6in) but Iíve had my experience dragging and dodging. This is the ideal level for any beginners. - Fletcher Scott
AL Power number is 1 800 LAKES11, then 6...I think the USGS internet gage is the same as the Alabama Power gage, or is slightly downstream.
Maggie Johnston now owns the cabin on the hill across Talladega Creek from the Waldo Old Mill restaurant and rents it out as a guest house. This as an option for boaters who are interested in paddling Talladega Creek, Hatchet Creek or others in the area. See her VRBO site