Several recent posts on the GCA group mail have concerned the take-out on the lower section of the Toccoa River commonly known as Party Rock. Allen Pogue reported that the No Trespassing signs that appeared along One For The Road, also known as Party Rock rapid, a few months ago are still in place. There are, however, some alternative take-outs.
Roger Nott reports that Toccoa canoe and kayak paddlers can park along the right of way of Aska Road, upstream of the Party Rock parking area and can take out about 200 yards downstream of One For The Road. The owner of that property doesn’t mind people using the property as a takeout and parking there very briefly to load boats. The owner does not, however, want cars parked there for long periods of time while their occupants paddle. He told Roger that he would close his access if people start parking there for hours.
Roger suggests that anyone using the takeout “be very low key” and pickup not only his or her own trash but any trash that may have been left by other paddlers or non-paddlers. In fact, as Roger points out, that’s a good policy for all paddlers to follow at any access point, particularly those on private property.
Roger also reports another potential take-out, on public property on river right and along Persimmon Creek. Reaching that takeout, however, requires paddling about two miles of flat water on Lake Blue Ridge. During the winter, the lowered water level exposes about 2/3 mile of frequent Class 2 rapids. Robert Butera reports another take-out at Tilly Bend, on river right just before the first houses on the flat water. The Tilly Bend take-out permits a much shorter flatwater paddle than Persimmon Creek, but requites a 15 minute uphill hike along an ATV trail. The one time I’ve been on the trail, on a GCA winter run led by “Dr. Rob,” the trail was carpeted with pine needles and boats could be safely dragged except for a couple of spots.
Dr. Rob also points out the “no shuttle required” trip from the Sandy Bottom put-in to the Tilly Creek take-out. Paddlers can park at intersection of Shallowford Bridge Road and Old Dial Road, walk about 15 minutes upriver (but downhill) along Old Dial Road to Sandy Bottom. The uphill ATV trail from the Tilly Bend take-out leads right to the parking area at the intersection of Shallowford Bridge and Old Dial Roads.
The American Whitewater website (www.americanwhitewater.org) page for the lower Toccoa includes Robert’s complete description of the Tilly Bend takeout. Information is also available at pages 102-105 of Welander, Sehlinger and Otey, A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia.
by Rick Bellows
From The Eddy Line, February 2009