Coosa River below Lake Weiss?

For G.K. or anyone else who has paddled on the Coosa River, how long is that section of the river that branches off from the lower end of Lake Weiss, winds out to the east and then back to the west (to almost meet the lake again) before turning south towards Gadsden? If you put in at the upper point, is it possible to take out at the lower point and return to the put-in to retrieve a vehicle? Is is a stretch that could reasonably be covered in a day? I was probably going to scout it in the next few weeks but input or experiences from others is appreciated. Thanks!

Bring up Google Earth and use the
distance measuring function. You have to click “path” and then use the mouse to measure the path in segments.

GK ‘s answer
It is about 18 miles from the Diversion Dam to where this section (called “Dead River” by many) meets the tailrace from the powerhouse dam. It is doable in one day but a long day paddling ducking and dodging several problem spots. There is a parking lot on either side at the diversionary dam and a good take-out just below the intersection with the tailrace on river right at an RV Park. The is no current on the first section until you get to Terrapin Creek. Also when the powerhouse starts generating power the current is reversed so you may be paddling against some current starting below Terrapin Creek until you reach the tailrace channel.

Let me know when you are planning to go and if I can and you want some more company I’ll go with you.

Paddlin’ on


More questions
I had the opportunity to scout the area briefly today. I followed the blue ASRT markers from the bridge by the diversionary dam (between 411 and the nursery) down a gravel road/trail and past a gate to a galvanized railing leading down a steep bank to the water below the diversionary dam. Is this the “official” ASRT put-in or is there another somewhere farther down the gravel road past the gate and past the galvanized rail? Also, I saw that taking out anywhere near the powerhouse dam would be difficult at best and access to the area is limited after hours by Alabama Power gates and fences. I assume the marina you suggested a little farther downriver from the powerhouse for a takeout is accessible from Highway 411. I saw signs for several marinas as I came in on 411 from Gadsden.

More answers

– Last Updated: Jul-25-08 7:40 PM EST –

Yep, that's the ASRT trail. Won't it be wild when it is wet?

On my trip I portaged at the powerhouse dam because I didn't have a cart. Unfortunately there is no easy take-out there and I'm not sure you can drive to that dam. The dirt road on the side I portaged is not accessible to the public. The take-out is Mt. View Fish Camp owned by Bill Trammell. It is a small RV Park. Sorry but I only know how to get to it by water and I don't know how far it is below the tailrace. If you can't find it let me know and I'll send you the number of someone who will know. Or call Don Coley at Terrapin Outdoors and tell him I said, Hello.

Wild ride

– Last Updated: Jul-25-08 9:14 PM EST –

Yep, I think I'll just slide all the way down the hill on that pole, dragging my boat behind me! Sound safe enough?

Funny you should mention Terrapin Outdoors...I was there today and picked up a new kid's boat for my daughter! Nice folks....

Yes, you can drive to the powerhouse dam but only from the east side and only during certain hours. There's a fishing pier and a small parking lot on that side. It's a moderately steep slope and rocky down to the water and I suppose you could use that as a put-in/take-out. It's pretty close to the base of the dam and probably not the safest place to try as the turbines kick on with little warning. To get there you have to go through 2 or 3 gates that I believe are closed after dark (and possibly other times). I was wondering what was on the west side...I could see part of that dirt road you mentioned.

Across from the fishing wall

– Last Updated: Jul-25-08 9:50 PM EST –

I didn't spend much time exploring the side I portaged. It was a 2 1/2 hour non-stop portage for me. Besides there is a gate some distance down the dirt road and you aren't supposed to be there. The distance down to the RV Park isn't far.

The east side looked too rocky for me because I had to portage the dam with a loaded kayak and wanted to stay away from hard surfaces. Those rocks along the river are big (real big) so I hope you took a good look at getting out there.

I was thinking about a weekend on this section parking at Leesburg Park. Paddle up and portage the Diversionary Dam then paddle down to Terrapin Creek where I would call Terrapin Outdoor to come and get us then paddle Terrapin Creek to Dead River and go on down to the RV Park. Camp where ever we were when it got dark.

Paddlin' on

Sounds good

– Last Updated: Jul-26-08 8:07 AM EST –

The RV park sounds good...easy access from a good road and probably plenty safe to leave a vehicle for a day (or two).

I found Leesburg Park and their facilities yesterday as well...another good option.