• 81°

Hatchett good for view, bruises

As the undergrowth blurs the trails and snakes, ticks and mosquitoes come out in force, hiking isn’t nearly as attractive of an activity as it is in the fall and winter.

So, I recently turned to paddling as a possible way to satisfy my need to spend time out of doors.

I went on what I’m told is the 8-mile long lower canoe run on Hatchett Creek with two more experienced paddlers. While it was a great time, I must warn anyone who would try out this activity that it’s not exactly floating down a lazy river.

I was in a canoe with another paddler and flipped twice, with our boat becoming almost completely submerged once. Rushing water and rocks can be rough on one’s legs, as my bruises will prove.

I must insert a product review here. I bought some Merrell Continuum sandals and have been waiting for a chance to try them out. I could not have been happier with how the shoes performed, wearing comfortably and providing plenty of traction on rocks at the bottom of the creek even in flowing water.

The activity is definitely good exercise, though, which is one of the reasons I’m likely to go again. The other reason is the view. When we weren’t dodging rocks (or trying unsuccessfully to dodge them), the beauty was striking.

The put-in we used can be reached by making a left off Highway 22 East and onto Coosa County Road 29 at Kelly’s Crossroads. Then, make a right onto County Road 18.

Stay straight until the road turns to dirt, and bear right at a ‘Y.’ Start looking for the pull off when the road turns back to pavement. Turn left immediately before the bridge over the creek—there will be a sign for Hatchett Creek Adventures, a group that rents canoes, kayaks and tubes, offers a shuttle service.

If you’re going to run your own shuttle, the take out is back down 18, on the left if you’re going back the way you came.