DATE: March 19, 1994
When Bob Barnett announced at the club meeting that he was leading a trip to Brushy Creek on Saturday it sounded interesting; besides I had never heard of Brushy Creek.† Bob explained the Brushy Creek is in the Bankhead National Forest, a short drive west of Hartselle and that it flows parallel to the much better known Sipsey River, emptying into Smith Lake.† What Bob didnít tell me was that this war, a narrow, bluff lined class I/II stream with outstanding scenery.† What a find!† I've lived here 11 years and paddled a lot for the past three years and Iíve never beard the name of this great little creek.† Itís amazing how some things of great value wait a long time to be discovered.
The trip starts with a short paddle across Brushy Lake (picnic grounds, restrooms, and a parking lot; great put-in!), then a class IV/V portage to the base of the pour-over dam structure.† Once youíre in the creek itself you have embarked on a ten mile wilderness run; no people, no roads - nothing except the constantly moving creek and truly unique scenery.† We ran the creek at low level and it was scratchy at some shoals (it had not rained for 1 1/2 weeks).† Bob related that with 12Ē more water all the shoals were runnable without scraping.† With higher water an alternate put-in can be made at the juncture of Beech Creek and F. S. Road 245.† Beech intersects Brushy Creek a few miles below the put-in.† From Bobs description, Beech Creek has a little greater difficulty level that the upper portions of Brushy.† The take-out was at the low water bridge crossing F.S. Road 255, a really easy take-out with parallel parking along a gravel road.† Below this take-out is another 10 miles of moving water and 5 miles in back waters of Smith Lake.† Should you elect to do that section, the take-out would be on U.S. Hwy 278.
We had a total of 10 canoes (where were the kayaks?) on the trip.† Club members on the creek were Chuck and Sharon Kittrell, Charlie, Cathy and C.B. Stotts, Murray and Kay Carroll, Chris Parker, Bob Barnett (trip leader), Don Gamble (Bob's able assistant trip leader) and Si Klueger who ran sweep.† Several of Bob's friends also made the trip.
Many thanks to Bob and Don for showing us the "undiscoveredĒ creek and the surrounding countryside.
Iíll be back, for sure!!
Submitted by: Murray Carroll