Talking Rock Creek empties into the lower lake below Caters Lake Dam. This is an excellent spot to put in for a short day trip. From the put-in area I headed up Talking Rock Creek. My destination was to reach the first set of rapids traveling from the lower lake. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Where the creek empties into the lake it forms a large freshwater estuary with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. I saw several herons, turtles and bass breaking the water. As paddled further up the creek, it narrows into a quiet slow moving river. It feels like your entering a cave as the steep forest banks block out the sun's rays. The only noise came from the beautiful King Fishers which scolded me, from above, as I disrupted their fiercely guarded fishing territories.
I stopped at a large sandbar to stretch my legs and enjoy the solitude of Talking Rock Creek. There are minimal signs of human activity here. Shortly after leaving the sandbar I began to hear the rapids. They were just ahead. The water quickly turns from deep green to shallow clear whitewater. Just then I heard a splash. A young buck was crossing the creek about 30 yards behind me.
From here I parked my kayak on an island, and waded through the water to reach the rocky bank. I hiked up the right side of the creek until I couldn't see my kayak. The rocks are easy to climb on but very jagged. During heavy rains this creek rises dramatically. I was hoping to hike to a place called Cedar Cliffs, but that was impossible to do from here - time to head back. Before I took out, I paddled around the lower lake for awhile. Great open flat-water.
The access has plenty of places to park. Put-in and take out is easy.
There are no fees since this is an abandoned section of 136.
From Atlanta head up I75 North to 575 North to 515 North Pass Jasper take a left and exit on Highway 136. Follow 136 to Carter Lake. Just before the highway crosses the lake, take a left on a dead end road to the end.