We camped here after kayaking the Taccoa River from Deep Hole Campground. You can also access these sites from a parking area about a half mile from the river. There is a lot of people walking down from the parking area during the day but the campsites are still fairly private. On the other side of the swing bridge is Rock Creek Lake dispersed camping area that can be accessed from Hatchery Road off Hwy 60.
This location will likely get less stars from other campers. It seems like it's in the middle of nowhere up a winding dirt road but once you get there people seem to be all over the place. The flat, wooded, dispersed campsites have a little too much trash to be so far removed and the entire site centers around this behemoth of civil engineering- the large cabled swinging bridge that spans the Toccoa River.
But this will forever be my first love of North Georgia. I stumbled into this site on a winter night during a downpour on the Benton Mackeye trail. I had a trash bag for a backpack cover and had just started working at a wilderness camp for troubled youth. It was the 90s when such a thing could be done. I had just moved back to the deep south with a broken heart and the elements of southern Appalachia in winter seemed to match my internal pain. I had no idea where we were, I just knew from the group of miscreants that we had reached our destination and quickly went to work setting up my 2 pole wal-mart tent with a tarp for a rain fly. In the drowning rain, I used the last dry clothes I had to mop up the puddles inside my tent around my sleep pad. My down sleeping bag was soaked at the head and foot. I remembered an old school trick to fight off hypothermia and stripped down naked and crawled into a fetal ball in the dry center of my sleeping bag and fell asleep for the night.
The next morning the rain had stopped but the sound of rushing water felt like being rebirthed as I emerged from my tent like a wet rat to find this magical river, forest of trees, mountain laurel, a lovely waterfall and the little slice of civilization- the bridge to remind me that I was still in an earthly place. We stayed there for 4 days while the troubled kids staked out their solo sites and journaled. The sun came out during the day and dried everything out and the night campfires warmed my core. I wandered by the river like a haunted widow, checking in on my charges. Each day I became a little less broken. For me, it was a place to unthaw my heart.
I returned in 2005 with my then boyfriend now husband. This time it was by inner tube on the river. It was at dusk and we were behind schedule in reaching our car so we got out and walked the 1+ mile dirt road in the dark with no shoes or flashlight back to the highway to call for help. When my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer she flew to Georgia to see me and I brought her here. She pressed her broken breast to the trees and we listened to the river. She is now in remission 13 years later. When I got married my bachelorette party was here and we all jumped In the river naked after dark squealing with delight at being women.
This place feels like the back country because it is up a road that, in my opinion should be driven by a 4x4. But I saw plenty of mini vans and sedans. The round rocks lining the lovely waterfall and little islands in The river make for great places to just be in the quiet; but there are almost always people there in the summer. Between boaters and fisherman and day trippers it is not as secluded as the spot seems to want to be. But it is worth a visit. Campsites are plenty. They are nice and flat and dispersed. But bring an extra trash bag and try to leave it better than you found it. The land deserves it.