June 29, 2008
The ninety miles of the Conasauga are extraordinarily beautiful and have a rich diversity of aquatic life; including over 90 species of fish and 25 species of mussels. We will be on a two hundred meter section of stream on the Tennessee / Georgia border in the Cherokee and Chattahoochee National Forests. Exploring with snorkel and mask, we will crawl in the shallow riffles and swim in the deep pools amongst an amazing array of beautiful aquatic creatures. Some persons prefer to wear wetsuits in this cold mountain stream. We will meet on the river in Tennessee just upstream from the Highway 2 (gravel) Bridge at 10 am. Detailed directions will be mailed prior to the trip. Camping is available and hotels are nearby.
Camping along the river is very limited. Therefore, the camping may be at Cottonwood Patch Campground. This campground is located only minutes from our snorkeling site and has toilets. Cottonwood is used extensively by horseback riders. Therefore, if you are camping at Cottonwood, plan on enjoying the company of horses.
The Conasauga River historically provided habitat to 42 species of mussels. Today only 25 species remain. It is estimated that those mussels surviving represent only one percent of the original population. Twelve federally listed species of fish and mussels occur in the Conasauga. These southeastern fresh water systems that we visit are very threatened ecosystems. Only the tropical rainforests have experienced more extinctions in the last two centuries. Yet their magic remains. Flowing water beckons us with its music, its song, and its glorious beauty. These places of water speak to us in a voice best heard in our souls and spirits. And so we share these outings and share the experience… and the smiles in our hearts.
Please call Jerry Hightower at 770-971-8919 to let us know if you will be joining us and for more information.