About this event:
Robert will lead a trip on the Toccoa River on Sunday June 1. Meet at Sandy Bottom at 10:30am. From Sandy Bottom to Persimmon Creek — yes, there are plenty of fun rapids below Party Rock! Some can optionally take out at Party Rock if they wish. Logistics can be viewed at http://toccoa.butera.org
Info from AW (view American Whitewater Page):
This lower run is a pushy class I-II with a few II+ drops. It is an excellent choice for novices, cruisers, fishermen and those wishing a more leisurely play river. Look for 350cfs or above on the gauge; below that is boney and less fun. The river comes up very quickly with rain; it can go from a scrapey 300cfs to a very fat 1500cfs in the space of a few hours.
Sandy Bottoms is the official Forest Service access; there are camping sites, a pit toilet and a developed boat launch area. The USFS charges $3 per car for parking. You will find a nice shoals right upstream that lets you get a good warmup and some eddying, ferrying and attainment practice.
Class I-II shoal-and-drop action proceeds to just upstream of Tilley Bend, where a longish uphill portage will put you back out at the corner of Old Dial Road and Shallowford Bridge Road, from where it is a one-mile downhill walk back to Sandy Bottoms. This affords a strange opportunity; the ‘shuttle-free river run’. You can actually park in one place, run 6+ miles of river, and then portage back to your car. Satellite photos tell the tale – this reach is actually a big horseshoe bend around a low mountain.
A gauging station that reads in feet is on river right less than a mile from Sandy Bottoms – easily read from your boat.
The first significant play opportunity is ‘Training Wheels’, just downstream from the gauge, a series of ledges that are ideal for learning basic moves: front surfs, back surfs, side surfs, flat spins.
The second whitewater feature of notice is called ‘Anything Goes’ since there are so many playable features, easier and harder. This is a good place for beginners to learn basic play moves. Approach is marked by the appearance of an island to the right of center. Pull out river right above the island or eddy behind the island to scout. The main chute runs left of the island. There are two more drops below the first, both similar in configuration. Small play spots are riverwide.
Shallowford Bridge, half a mile below Anything Goes, affords another access point and features a snack bar. Toccoa Valley Campground’s rafting take out is just upriver from the bridge on river left.
Another couple of miles downriver, Aska Road is visible from a few hundred yards upstream; you will spot auto traffic. As you approach, move to river left, eddy out in the rockpile, and climb out to scout the next rapids – ‘One For The Road’ aka ‘Party Rock’. Be aware of the trespassing issue mentioned below. You may want to set a couple throw ropes on the boulders below the drops to rescue any swimmers before they wash into the lower shoals, a hundred yards of power eddy hopping through a constriction that is known as ‘Little Nantahala’ by some paddlers.