By. Murray Carroll


Heavy rains during the third week of February pushed all of our local streams outside their banks.  On Sunday levels had moderated and we headed to Bankhead National Forest.  The Sipsey River gage was near 4.0' which meant good levels on the forests creeks.  The water level was high enough to put-in on Beech Creek, a small tributary of Brushy Creek.  The trip down Beech Creek canyon featured close bluff walls and several downed trees.  About two miles below the put-in we intersected Brushy Creek.  Brushy was much higher than the last time I floated it, it reminded me of Whites Creek on the Cumberland Plateau.  Several small rapids required some maneuvering to negotiate.  The water was green tinted clear even during this period of heavy run-off.  During our lunch stop at Coal Mine Branch we hiked to a beautiful waterfall, 100 yards upstream.  Further downstream we hiked up another feeder stream to view the majestic Sougahondee Falls.  Many thanks to our guide, "Bankhead Bob Barnett” for another great trip in the forest.  The group included Brad Martin, Chuck Kittrell, Chris Parker, Ben Ferrill, Jeff Bowen, Bob Barnett, Murray and Kay Carroll.