Hardin Bridge Ramp Update (Lower Etowah)

Thread starter #1

jcarleto

Senior Member
FINALLY!

I drove by the site this morning and found men and equipment busy felling trees and grading. If the ramp at 411 is any measure, once they start, they are finished very quickly. It looks like this Spring will bring a new reliable and safe access point for those who use the river.

This is HUGE for me and for many others, I would guess. It means there is now a 3.2 mile low-impact stretch available with easy ingress at Euharlee ramp and easy egress at the new Hardin Bridge site. This sounds like the perfect "before chores" or "after work" fishing run.

This also provides some other options. Euharlee ramp to 411 ramp is 9.2 miles, a real day-killer (for the old and creaky, such as myself). On the other hand, 6 miles from Hardin Bridge to 411, is about what I usually do, so that becomes manageable. I like fishing the Rock Garden on that stretch, but don't get to often because of the distance and time required. Likewise, for those who prefer the 10-ish mile runs, 113 ramp to Hardin Bridge will now be an option.

Many folks, such as myself, never used the unimproved Hardin Bridge location for several reasons. If you have a heavy fishing kayak, you have to either be REALLY fit or have special equipment to launch and recover there. If it rained, you really need 4-wheel drive as well. Parking was frequently a problem, and because it was not widely used much of the year, security was a risk.

I know there are those out there who regret this addition, in that it may bring more people to the river. I heard many complaints when the 411 ramp was improved. For those people, accept my condolences. It will bring me out fishing more often.
 
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EJC

Senior Member
Looking forward to this ramp myself. Hopefully they won't put a pole right in the middle like euharlee bridge ramp.
 
Thread starter #3

jcarleto

Senior Member
I don't mind the pole so much as long as they don't build one of those silly slide ramps like Highway 113 ramp. Although, sans pole would be good too.
 
I want to preface this statement by saying I have and use an old dagger legend canoe, but I don't understand building paddle specific launches. Access to any water is great but why limit who can access it? Doesn't seem like cost difference would be significant but maybe it is. Possible trailer parking issues? I really like the 411 ramp. Hopefully this will be the same.
 
Thread starter #5

jcarleto

Senior Member
Indeed. The one at 113 isn't even easy to use for ANYTHING when the water is low. The design confuses people. I have seen people having trouble due to the unfamiliar design. Even at the best of times it is not an easy by-yourself launch. You can forget self-recovery unless the water is high.

So, yes. Fingers crossed for another ramp on the 411 model.
 

spkoli

Senior Member
I drove by last week and saw that they still have the grading equipment and no one was working that site. It was a Friday.
 

EJC

Senior Member
Hopefully it'll be ready for the summer rush. Should relieve some bottlenecks we've seen at other put-in locations in and around Bartow.
 
Thread starter #14
Rain Seems to Slow Progress

I live close by and drive past there every week or two. Not a lot of significant work lately. I know the rain slows things down. They did drop a couple of dumptruck loads of rock the other day. Otherwise, it is much the same as it was pictured above.

The Macedonia ramp (Nell's Landing) went similarly. Spurts of activity with long periods of inactivity.
 
Thread starter #15
I went by today (Mother's Day 05/14/2017) and found the site in use. Some of the sod is in, but there would be a real mud bog if it rained. Also, the ramp is just roughed-in, but folks are anxious and there were several vehicles in the lot. Clearly, it is not officially open yet and there is a lot more left to finish up, but it won't be long.
 

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What is the water clarity like down there right now? Looking to go tomorrow but being alone I don't know a good float to do. I wouldn't mind up river but have never done the leg with the portage around the smaller CensoredCensoredCensoredCensored. Any advice on a good half day trip?
 
Thread starter #18
The water looked reasonably clear. Flow is way down. Highway 113 ramp to Euharlee Bridge is a good half day unless you fish a lot, then it can eat a day. With the water low and slow, you'll have to paddle some. Euharlee Bridge to Hardin Bridge is GOING to be a great 3.5 mile run once the ramp is open. I'm sure that's what many of the folk were doing today. On a weekday, you might get towed or ticketed at Hardin Bridge if you happen to park in the way of the workers.
 
Thread starter #19
Oh..and portage around the old electric dam is a pain in the neck (or perhaps lower) unless you have a really light kayak or some help.
 
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