? for angrysparrow
Saw some of your posts from 2009 detailing your southern tallapoosa paddling/camping trip. Me and a buddy from school are coming down from the carolinas and thinking about doing a trip from tallassee to fort toulouse(sp?) over 3 days/2 nights.
Was looking for any insight/suggestions that you think might be helpful for someone who's never done this trip before, but who has experience doing canoe camping and backpacking trips.
Also, I'm using an eno with the fly and bugnet from before they named them, got the setup with some of my highschool graduation money back in 2005 and been loving it ever since. Used that thing all over the AT and the foothills trail in NC/SC. Also hung it on the banks of the Yadkin, Cape Fear, Black, Green, French Broad, and Congaree rivers. Amazing that I just found the forum. Glad to be here!
Oh and sorry if this is in the wrong forum, since I was looking for feedback/suggestions this seemed like the spot.
Hey wnewell...welcome to the forum.
For reference I think you're talking about this trip report. I also filed one from a section of the northern Tallapoosa here. And one here composed of trips on both the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, as well as Big Bear creek.
Since those reports were filed, my friend Hetairoi and I actually did a complete descent of the Tallapoosa River (~260 miles, including 5 hydro dam portages) during the first week of May 2010. We started north of Vila Rica GA where the headwaters are formed by several creeks and paddled all the way to where it joins the Coosa river at Ft Toulouse. That was an amazing trip that we sadly didn't file a report for. But I can tell you about any given part of the river!
The section of river you are looking at is nice..very peaceful. From the put-in at Tallasee to Ft Toulouse is right at 50 miles on the water. It is largely secluded, and except for one little shoal right at the start is mostly slack water. Plenty of great places to camp, swim, and fish along the way. I especially enjoy watching the herons and hawks fish in that area. Keep your eye out for gators during the last 10 miles if you do it in late summer.
There are plenty of places to hang along the way. In particular some of the large farms have a buffer zone of hardwood trees along the banks that make nice camping areas.
If you have specific questions, I'm happy to help. I don't forsee problems on that section for anyone that has some paddling experience.
I'll just add that depending on when you make the trip will make a big difference. The river goes through changes throughout the year. Right now it's up, but will soon start dropping and you'll have more wide sand/rock bars. It's a beautiful trip any time of year though.
If you get a chance, also try to make the short (9 mile) run on the Coosa from Jordan Dam to Wetumpka, it's vastly different from the Tallapoosa (and a great way to cool off in the summer). It's a fun contrast to see the two rivers that form the Alabama River.
right now we're looking at putting in Monday 2/28 or Tuesday 3/1 and doing the trip that week. should I have any concerns about weather other than the standard being prepared for some nasty **** to blow up out of nowhere since it's the southeast?
Should be no problems, water is up, so you should move pretty fast. Should be no problems, just be on the lookout for the take out at Ft Toulouse (big bend, it's on the right before the river turns back left). The confluence is about a mile down from there, but can be difficult to get back up river depending on the current (and your boat).
If you're going this early I'd skip my suggestion to try the Coosa as well, wrong time of year for that section (unless you're into very, very cold whitewater).
Are you using a local outfitter to put you in? I live close by, they are both great, but each has their own idiosyncrasies ;)
The only one I've talked to is coosa river adventures. Any advice?
Chris from CRA is a good guy...no worries.
Tell him John and Sam said Hi.
Also, since ya'll seem to know the area - any recommendations as to a great restaurant for once we get off the river? I'm talking local greasy spoon type places, where folks will probably look at us like we're stupid cause we don't already know what we want to order.
And where might we find a national/state park campground if we get off the water later in the day and don't feel like driving back until the next morning? I see looking at google maps that the talladega national forest is sort of close by.
Thanks for all the help guys. If you ever have any interest in doing trips on rivers up this way, let me know and I'll be sure to return the favor.
You'll be in Wetumpka AL, so there are a few local cafes in their small downtown. I haven't eaten there, but Hog Rock BBQ gets good reviews.
CRA will let you camp on their property at the takeout. Or, if you'd like to see an entirely different view of AL while you're there, take about 1.5hrs and make the drive up Hwy 9 -> Hwy 49 to Cheaha State Park and camp for the night. It's really scenic, and totally different geography from the Tallapoosa River region. I think it's worth seeing.