From the calm coastal waterways to rushing wild rivers, the glorious state of Georgia is a haven for anyone looking to escape the white noise from a busy city. The dense system of Georgia waterways makes it the ideal place to learn and improve your kayaking skills. The water is so attuned to kayaking, which is why it is so easy to create memories for yourself and your family. You can venture into the tupelo trees, moss-draped cypress, or the more preserved woodlands. So, where do we start? Well, don’t worry, we have a list! Just get ready with your kayak, fishing gear, camera, and some pretty functional binoculars.
1. Altamaha River, GA
Did you know that the Altamaha River is the second-largest watershed in the eastern United States? Did you also know that it supports more than 130 rare and endangered species? Well. Now you know. The 138-mile-long river runs from Lumber city and empties to the Atlantic Ocean. There are about 29 access points along its stretch where you can launch your kayak. Apart from the idyllic surroundings, you can enjoy plenty of fresh crystal-clear flowing water and scenic woodlands as you kayak.
2. Chattahoochee River, GA
If you are looking for a lifetime experience in white water, the Chattahoochee River is an excellent place to be. This scenic river starts at the northeast of Georgia and flows through several other parts of the state, including metro Atlanta, and then winds down to the Gulf of Mexico. For a better whitewater experience, go down to the town of Columbus. This is where you will experience the long urban whitewater course with exciting rapids that range from class II to class IV. There are good sections for beginners and fishers as well.
3. Flint River, GA
Known for having a lazy current, the Flint River is a great place for beginners. The 344-mile river is dotted with some beautiful blue hole springs, abundant wildlife sightings, and panoramic views. This could be a fun trip for beginners, family, or group kayaking as currents are pretty mellow. If you want to camp nearby, you can set up your camp and spend most of your time fishing and exploring the scenic surroundings.
4. Chattooga River
Located in extreme northeast Georgia, the Chattooga river marks the border between Georgia and South Carolina. The wild river is also considered the longest free-flowing river in Southeast Georgia. It is a popular spot for whitewater kayaking during summer but also accommodative to beginners and intermediate kayakers. For easy class I and II rapids, you can head down to Earl’s Ford or paddle to Bull Sluice for more some heart-thumping challenge off class IV rapids. What is more intriguing about this river is its primitive underdeveloped nature, which keeps you a little far from civilization. As you kayak, you will rarely come across residents around, and that’s why you may need to hire a guide if you are still new to kayaking.
5. Toccoa River, GA
If you are a fishing enthusiast, head down to the Toccoa river armed with your fishing gear to catch some trout. The river runs into great Tennessee and beyond the Blue Ridge dam. It is an excellent place to camp overnight for groups and families as it has a spectacular wilderness appearance. With an average of class I and II levels of rapids, anyone can enjoy kayaking here while also exploring and enjoying the art of fishing. If you don’t have a kayak, you can rent one nearby, just make sure to carry enough supplies if you are camping.
6. Okefenokee Swamp, GA
Ever considered kayaking in a swamp? The Okefenokee swamp is one of those irresistible places when it comes to blackwater kayaking. The spot offers some incredible landscapes and beautiful scenery to look at as you kayak along. The swamp is surrounded by rows of trees on both sides, which are draped with Spanish moss and different species of birds–you can even spot an alligator here, so be careful! The diversity in ecology around this swamp makes it one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders. If you decide to kayak here, make sure you start with the Monkey lake, the scenery there is spectacular
7. Crooked River State Park, GA
The crooked river provides kayakers with some great flatwater kayaking opportunities and adventure. From tourists to locals, people flock here to have some enjoyable water-related activities. The trip down the river can take much longer, so make sure you have some packed food and necessary supplies. Some of the great trails for kayaking include the Harriet Bluff trail, the Cherry trail, and the Grover island trail.
8. Fort Yargo State Park, GA
Another relaxing and peaceful place to kayak along is the Fort Yargo state park, which is conveniently located in Winder Georgia. The park’s 260-acre lake offers you an opportunity to kayak and explore a well-maintained natural ecology. The calm, still clear waters eliminates all your everyday troubles, giving you a peaceful day with nature. There are kayak renting services in case you didn’t come with one, and the water here can accommodate both families and kids.
9. George Smith State Park, GA
If Fort Yargo did not impress you or if you find it too crowded, you can try George Smith state park at twin city which comes with an incredibly beautiful southern scenery. The breathtaking landscapes are littered with wildlife, making it a great place to connect with nature.
If you are not in a hurry, you can use the help of a guide to make sure that you don’t miss anything on your trip. The park is home to hundreds of different plants with moss being the main species–makes you feel as if you are in a jungle.
10. Balus Creek, GA
Looking for some quick water kayaking spots? The 4.5 miles Balus creek can be covered in less than 2 hours. This creek is a little off the grid that offers a perfect kayaking zone for beginners and intermediate kayakers. The landlocked creek ironically has clean water, and the currents or tides are pretty low, which makes the place ideal for new kayakers. There are several launch points, but you will need to come with your kayak.
Summing Up Kayaking in Georgia
If you have been kayaking in Georgia, you will agree that there are plenty of waterways to choose from. In fact, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when searching as each waterbody is unique and has something different to bring to the table. Whether you want to conquer with the class IV rapids or want to bring your children to have some fun, Georgia has something for everyone. You just need to find it out!