From Jordan Sherman:
For hair-boating enthusiasts, Long Creek is worth exploring when Miller, Coon, Jones and the Bear (in Georgia) are at high levels. As another tributary of Miller, it contains four of the biggest rapids I’ve seen in the state of Alabama…the last one being a mandatory portage. Fortunately, the confluence is below all of the action on Miller (which will be blown-out when this runs). All of the scouts/portages are straight-forward, and the paddle out is very easy due to several tributaries coming in after the Miller confluence.
At the put-in you can hike down and scout the put-in rapid. If it looks a bit low, but manageable, then the level will be a good medium flow down in the gorge. Past the put-in rapid, you’ll see a tight slot drop on the right, called, "Your Test Results are Positive." After that, look for a fun 10’ ledge. We ran it on the left several different ways and call it "HNIC" (ask Tyler for the disambiguation). There are several smaller streams coming in that increase the flow through some more boogey water before you’ll find the Big 3 on Long Creek. Be sure to get out and scout these as they are stacked on top of each other and come-up quick (I nearly committed to running it blind). Think a prehistoric version of "Hair of the Dog" on Jones Creek with severe consequences for being off line. These drops are big, scary and runnable. No need to explain the lines on this guide page. Just watch out for the sieve in the middle of the river before the third drop of the series. 70 percent of the flow flushes through a cave before ejecting 15’ below the drop. You’ll say one word: "Wow." We did!
After some more class III-IV boogey, watch for a big horizon when the river is about to bend right. The earth is about to open-up. This is the mandatory portage. It is an impressive spectacle of which you’ll want to take pictures. I cannot even begin to describe it. It’s a must see! After the portage, there is a bit more run-out boogey until you hit Miller Creek. Now is a good time to utilize the GPS you brought along to find your car.
Video was recorded, but it was lost cargo on Coon Creek not long after this trip.
Jordan Sherman, Sam England, and Tyler Phillips
April 16, 2011