Steve and I were very sad to hear that Georgia River Network needed to cancel the 2020 Paddle Georgia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were looking forward to seeing old friends and paddling the Flint.
However, paddlers can still participate in the Pandemic Edition, running rivers on their own to make up for the miles lost from missing Paddle Georgia.
Here is my story of paddling about 20 miles of the Tallapoosa River on the Dub Denman Canoe Trail. We paddled sections 2 and 3 on our first trip, and section 1 on our second visit. Many thanks to Haralson County for their help with paddle the poosa.
Our first experience with the Tallapoosa River was a 9.5 mile trip from Poplar Springs to Broad Street. Our paddle started just below the Mize Bridge at the Poplar Springs ramp. The metal bridge is a Pratt through truss design that was built in 1897 and abandoned in 1982.
The river was running a little higher than normal due to recent rain, so the water was a bit more cloudy and sand bars harder to find. We still found great places to play in the water.
There is a small dam at the end of section 2, a short distance upstream from where the river goes under the Hwy 100 bridge. There is a paved portage route on “river left” just before the dam and is an easy way around the drop off.
I love images of rushing water, they can show a combination of chaos and order at the same time. Here is a shot of water running over the dam by Hwy 100.
One of the trail markers along the river.
We like exploring tributaries when we float a river. Our side trip was special because we met a little river cooter pictured below.
For our second trip on the Tallapoosa, we paddled from Hwy 27 to Poplar Springs, a distance of almost 10 miles. Section one felt more remote, even like a mountain stream in places. We even saw a couple of otters that were too quick for photos.
There is an active rail line that crosses the river near the Hwy 27 put in.
Our lunch stop on a gravel bar provided one of the highlights of our day. We stopped for lunch here. I was moving through the vegetation taking photos, and a small fawn that had been hiding in the knee high weeds took off running. It was way too quick and surprising to even get my camera focused.
Looking down the river at the old steel bridge before taking out at the Poplar Springs ramp which marked the end of a great day on the Tallapoosa.