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It’s hard to find new creeks in the Southeast, but with some local knowledge and a little poking around you can find something new to do most anywhere. Case in point is Bridge Creek – first attempted in the late 90s the result was a long night of hiking and a visit from the rescue squad.. and the local paper.  Reports of ‘North Pole-like boulder fields and the whole creek going underground’ kept paddlers away until recently, then trees turned the next group back just minutes into the trip.

Local paddler Justin Owen lives just miles from this run, which gives him access to the private neighborhood for hiking and maybe boating…  So after he spent a few days in the gorge tossing lumber we headed in after the next rain to see how far we could go.  The section we picked started just below a nice looking falls with a sieved out landing, a cool class 4 going right under a bridge. From there the river just drops away amongst big boulders and logs.  We scouted some but were able to boat-scout most drops by just holding on and looking over the edge. Our Hero’s were perfect for this micro-creek expedition where eddies were small and so were the slots.   There were portages due to the low water and some manky drops we just went ahead and ran.  After a little while of this we came to an obvious horizon line where the ‘North Pole’ rumors looked to be true.  Could be runnable, but definitely abusive and possibly worse.   Due to the late hour of our launch and the time it was taking to scout every 50 feet, we boldly decided to hike back up to the falls and save the rest of this expedition into the unknown for another day.








The hike out was a grueling race against the sunset, though we had headlights anyone who’s ever tried carrying a kayak through rhododendron-filled boulders in the dark knows it’s not as fun as kayaking and makes for slow going.   Luckily we found a very good trail within minutes and were dropping our boats by the car with plenty of light left before dark.   As Tom, Owen and I celebrated out successful mission by cracking a few cold ones, Dane entertained himself by dropping the park n huck tributary we could hear from the parking lot.   Funny how easy it is to entertain yourself when you get off the beaten path and at least try to do something that might not work out.  Even when it doesn’t quite work out.   But we’ll be back..

Clay Wright