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There were three of us on this trip John Sanders in a Pungo, Spence Clanton in a Ocean Kayak sit on top, and myself in a Mainstrean Inspiration. We put in at the low water bridgr on CR 16 just off CR 29 in Moriah, Alabama and took out at the ford in the Coosa management area.
There was heavy rain (3-4 inches) approximately 48 hours earlier and based on the information from Hatchett Creek, we estimated the flow was arounf 900 cfs. The creek ranges from 20 feet to 75 feet in width and with this much water even the "slower" sections have a steady current. The run is 9.6 miles and the first 3-4 miles run through pasture land and hardwood forests with 4-8 foo banks and heavy underbrush right to the water's edge. Lots of wildlife ---we saw 3 or 4 snakes, one wild turkey, one redtail hawk, abundant aquirrels and signs of racoons and deer at every stop.
Due to the fact that the banks are so overgrown and steep, there are only a few small rocky shoals to stop on easily in the first few miles.
Around mile 5 the terrain becomes much steeper and rocky outcroppings are much more common. At mile 6 the real rapids start ( and although they are no worse than Class 1, there are numerous standing waves in many of the sections and many large rocks just under the surface. At his water level miles 6,7 and 8 are almost one continuous rapid. The last big rapid is around mile 8.1 and it is a double step down with about 4 feet of drop. Our only msihap of the day occurred here when the tail of John's Pungo (with it's pronounced keel) got pushed apund after the first drop and John went over after broadsiding a large exposed rock.
The take out at the ford is a little tricky at this water level because water was flowing about 24 inches over the slab and there is only a small clear space to hit along the shoreline before going over the drop.
This was a fun float with just enough rock and current to make the lower section a challenge. The banks become very steep in the lower section (mile 6 on) and if you do get upside down you can float a while before finding a place to pull ashore and regroup.
Turn beside Mount Mariah Church and then turn left into the Wildlife Management Area follow the main road (just don't take any side roads)approximately 6 miles and you will come to the ford. There is room there also for 4-5 vehicles to park.
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers