Monthly Archives: March 2019

CS #4 – Gully Branch, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #4, Gully Branch, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you arrive, check for best location for cell connection. If you call 911, give 2351 Gully Branch Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.95949, -84.72231, as your address. First responders will not be able to find you if you only give your campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

This is a small campsite right off Gully Branch Road, immediately west of the Gully Branch Bridge and day use Recreation Area. A vault toilet is available at the recreation area.

There is a creek behind the campsite which runs into the New River.

CS #10 – New River East, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #10 New River East, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Picketts Bay Section. When you arrive on site, check closest cell phone connection location. If you call 911, give 2060 Double Bridge Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.93131, -84.73582 as your address. First responders will not be able to find you if you give only a campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

This is a grassy site which should allow for 3 two person tents and cars.

While it is on the river, there is no safe access to the river for boats.

But not everyone who camps paddles and the view of the water downriver and (below that) upriver is worth camping here.

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CS #5 – Dew Drop, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #5, Dew Drop, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you arrive at the campsite, find the closest cell signal location. If you call 911, give this address: 2121 River Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.93646, -84.73512. First responders will not be able to find you by just a campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

Situated on the New River, this campsite is much smaller than many of the New River Sites. One cannot safely launch a boat in the New River from this site.

A long entry surrounded by pines and palmettos will take you to the campsite.

The site would be large enough for a family, but may feel rather cramped with a small group.

There is no safe access to the river.

The above photo was taken when the river was low.

But it’s a lovely site with river view.

This is a Cotton Mouth – Gully Branch Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest

This cotton mouth (water moccasin) was crossing from one ditch to the other on Gully Branch Road.

Having seen a lot of water snakes on Womack Creek, and not seeing the indicator of a venomous snake — its triangular shaped head — I assumed it was a brown water snake. However, just in case I was wrong, I gave it enough breadt. It stayed put while I walked around it, taking snap shots.

Later, I found out it was a cotton mouth.

This is what I should have known: dark strips by each nostril and pale snout. The triangular head on this one was not noticeably triangular, but the distinct neck should have been another warning. Nonvenomous water snakes do not have necks. In coloration, dark brown, black to olive and with brown or yellow banding, it looks like come water snakes. If I got close enough, I should have noticed that its pupils are vertical, like cat pupils, not round in most nonvenomous snakes.

Fortunately, they are not known to be aggressive. However, had it been warning me, it would have coiled and exposed the inner lining of its mouth.

The bite is highly venomous and one should seek treatment immediately. Anti venom is available for this species.

As a constant paddler, I should have known how to distinguish a cotton mouth from nonvenomous snakes.

CS #7, Borrow Pit, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, Borrow Pit #7, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you get to the site, find the best cell coverage location. If you call 911, give them as address 2500 Forest Road 90, GPS 29.91707, -84.73446, Tate’s Hell State Forest. First responders will not be able to find you by campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

Borrow Pit campsite #7 has its own borrow pit and is on a rarely traveled road off West River Road, west of the New River. The pond has fish and, like Borrow Pit #6 site, is on a large flat area suitable for running and games for children (and adults). These two sites are perfect for petanque (like bocci but not requiring a prescribed court and more compact to carry). The road around the pond is long enough for biking for children and within eye sight of parents. Access into the pond is easy for kayaks, SUPs or canoes. The pond here is smaller than the larger pond on CS 6.

The damaged fire pit and grill and table are unshaded, except by the pines surrounding this very large site. Iff camping during warmer months, some shade cover is recommended.

It’s near the New River, so paddlers can have a driver drop them off one of the river campsites with a good launching area (separate post to be written later) and paddle down to another New River site where there is safe take-out landings, east or west of the river, to be picked up later. Gully Branch Recreation Area has a day use area suitable for lunch stop-overs (or put-in or take-outs) and vault toilets.