When you enter Owl Swamp and see how really intensely beautiful this area is, you forget all about the directions you were given earlier. Should you immediately paddle under the concrete bridge and turn right or go straight. We decided to go straight and we got lost in Owl Swamp but it was beautiful and pretty much like being in a land near C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. We loved it and all I could think about as we paddled through the trees was Lucy calling out to the trees in the book Prince Caspian: “Oh, Trees, Trees, Trees.” said Lucy (though she had not been intending to speak at all). “Trees, wake, wake, wake. Don’t you remember it? Don’t you remember me?”

We paddled in and out and around seeing very large fish beneath us and the evidence of spring all around us. The white on the water is the blooms or pollen from the Black Willows that have a key role in the branding of the Tugaloo River Water Trail.

More trees and more paddling until we realized that we were lost! That’s when I pulled out the cell phone and called William Tucker!

” I’m lost in Owl Swamp,” I told him. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing and said, “Lost where?!”

“Owl Swamp,” I shouted back as my cell phone faded in and out of service! He told me later that his heart dropped. He is such a sweet guy. But he quickly gave me directions and soon, we were on course and heading up Toccoa Creek.

It’s okay to get lost when you are having fun! And really I was never lost just “off course for a few minutes.”


Once we found Toccoa Creek, we paddled on and were so amazed that this waterway is right here in Toccoa! You can paddle it now but it won’t be there for long. Toccoa Creek dries up as the water levels in Lake Hartwell drop. This area is unreachable then.


Several of us took this same photos of the bend over tree and the reflection in the water. I decided to throw a little HD filter on this photo and a couple of the others just to create a look that was more like what we were all feeling as we paddled in the incredible wetland. We actually did hear an Owl calling out and there was plenty of evidence of animals dropping down into the creek to cross it or to drink from it.

Anne paddles under the canopy of trees.

We hopped over an area with downed trees and then paddled up further until we felt the wind change and leaves started to come down. A thunder storm was on its way!

Over all, a very memorable paddle and a place I can’t wait to revisit!