Section:
Banks Mill Bridge to Reservoir
Appropriate
for: Intermediate, Advanced
Months
Runnable: All wet months and after heavy rains
Difficulty:
I-III (IV)
AWA
Numeric Points: 21
Gradient:
17′-50′ per mile
Runnable
Level Min.: ~260 cfs
Max.:
~450 cfs
Hazards:
Technical rapids, grabby holes, strainers, undercut rocks
Length:
5 miles
Distance
from Atlanta: 30 miles
Scenery:
Beautiful
Scouting:
From boat — do not get out on bank.
Gauge:
Visual only.


Well
it rained like stink Friday, November 21, and the Dog River Reservoir
Recreational Complex finally opened up to non-Douglas County
residents, so…. a bunch of us petted the hair of the Dog.


Hair
of course is in the eyes of the beholder. The Dog is a nice
intermediate creek run (under sane boating conditions). It is
exceptionally beautiful, with little evidence of human intrusion and
only minimal pollution.


The
Dog starts small and easy and consistently increases in size and
difficulty. From the put-in to the Georgia Highway 5 bridge are
several class I rapids. Some acceptable surfing holes follow. Then,
a couple miles into it, the Dog goes through several stages of steep
rocky drops/large pools, followed by more steep drops and pools.
These include some relatively technical class III rapids (class IV in
high water).


The
run is too long to describe (well anyway, my short-term memory sucks)
and can change significantly according to water level. Scout the
rapids from your boat, as some land owners can be very sensitive to
trespassers walking on their land.

The
white water run is divided by several islands; all should be run on
the left, unless strainers are present. The Dog ends abruptly when
the last class I rapid simply stops at the lake. It’s a short paddle
to the park on lake right.

To
get to the Dog, take I-20 west from I-85. Stay on I-20, past the Six
Flags and Sweetwater exits, all the way to Douglas county. Take the
Georgia Highway 5 exit. Turn left (south) when exiting and stay on
Georgia 5 for some time. Eventually it becomes two lane, and a mile
or so down will cross the Dog at a bridge. This is an illegal put-in
so don’t use it, but water height can be measured from here. The
river must be at near flood or above to run. You can see one rapid
from the bridge; if it looks bony, the river is too low; if the river
is in the trees, it’s probably too high.

Stay
on Georgia 5 ’til Giles Road enters from the left. Take Giles Rd and
when it ends on Banks Mill Road turn right. Stay on Banks Mill till
you reach a large bridge. This is the put-in.

To
get to the take-out, go back to Georgia 5 and turn right. Stay on
Georgia 5 till it crosses Georgia 166. Turn left and stay on Georgia
166. You will see a sign for The Douglas County Water & Sewer
Authority — Dog River Reservoir Recreational Complex. You must
make a tricky tight left U-turn to enter. If you come to a lake you
have gone too far. Well maybe not.

The
Complex will be closed from Thanksgiving to February 20 (prime
creeking season). It is technically possible to take out on the
right side of the bridge, but the legality is questionable. So it
might be prudent not to park at the bridge, but instead park on the
road.

The
Dog River Reservoir Recreational Complex is open from 07:00 until
dusk, February 20 through Thanksgiving. It is a well managed,
exceptionally nice facility. It is not cheap! At present fees are
$5.00 per person, $5.00 per boat, and $5.00 for parking. BEER IS NOT
ALLOWED!!! However, because it’s short, you can do the river a
couple times and fees are good for all day.

by
William C. Reeves (The Hawk)
From The Eddy Line, January 1998