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The banks are steep at times and it can be challenging to make land fall. Years ago I suffered a swamping due to this fact, my friend slipped as he was exiting the boat. I went in and floated a ways down before I could recover our goods and the canoe. The current is not very swift and there are no rocks, only dead fall from the trees and the trees themselves at times. No one ventures here from what I have seen, the Put-in I use is a popular bank fishing spot, power boats stay away. A PFD is a sure thing to have, this is deep water and not often traveled, there are no ready made places to climb out.
Heading in from I-75 on Lower River Road you cross the bridge, parking is on both sides once you have come over the bridge. The larger parking spot is to the left, this side of the bridge is the proper side to gain access to the creek mouth. Once you put in you can see some concrete structures in the water along the tree line. These mark the entrance to The Old Mill Channel. I suppose this mill was fed by Candies Creek at one time, the Mill Channel is neatly dug making a long thin island, you can shoot between the concrete structures or stay left, last I tried the Mill Channel was obstructed by dead fall, a problem I will remedy this winter when the water is down and I can hike it. Come around and enter the Mill Channel from it's old feed point, there is a nice root system here to step out on. Explore around and you'll find some very old foundations of what I think was a house, hike back down the Mill Channel and there is more foundations near the concrete structures. I usually run my metal detector and always find something neat. I would guess the foundations date to the early 1900's or before, a massive tree grows up in the middle of the house perimeter. I have researched a bit and have found nothing concerning the history of what was here. I did find this though, a passage from the written history of one Isabel Cobb, born in 1858 on a farm on Candies Creek, in Bradley County. She moved in 1870 to Oklahoma, writing her childhood memories down of living in Tennessee later on.
"On Feb. 21, 1863 she gave birth to her fourth baby - a boy weighing 15 lbs. named for his father - Jos. B. Cobb who was away and did not see him till he was 6 mo. old. I can faintly remember the night Jo was born. A midwife old Aunt Betsey Lane and her husband Anderson came down the Creek in a canoe by torch light. Dr. John Long from Cleveland came later and said Jo weighed more at birth than he did at 6 months, tipping the scales at 15 lbs."
I have a lot respect for that old Midwife, I have paddled the same waters as her but never at night. It can be dark on Candies Creek even during the day, a night trip in that day and age would have been a risky venture. There could be a good ghost story there, of camping on the creek and in the middle of the night an old canoe glides by with an old man and woman aboard, searching for a house that no longer stands, a flickering torch light that appears and disappears up the creek or whatnot. It is also interesting to think of the creek as a commonly used highway almost 150 years ago. It has been deep and wide for as far as I have paddled up it.
Putting the Mill Channel to your stern you enter into a body of water with two exits at the far side. The left is a dead end but it is a scenic warm up to the creek itself. The Mouth of Candies Creek is on the right and several days ago it was somewhat hidden by low branches as it always is. Once you have been slipped in and seen the beauty of it you'll come back for more, it is a wonderful place and there is a lot of exploring in the area besides the creek itself.
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