Whitewater Rafting in Georgia
The Ocoee River begins its first 53 miles in Georgia; however, there it is called the Toccoa River. The entire river is 93 miles long and runs northwest through the Appalachian foothills. Once the river hits Copperhill, Tennessee, it is then referred to as the Ocoee. The Toccoa is mostly flat water and known for its tubing trips. Not until the river makes its way to Tennessee does it start creating the exciting and challenging rapids that you’ll experience on your whitewater rafting adventure.
However, there is whitewater rafting in Georgia. For instance, the Chattooga and Tallulah River are the better-known whitewater rivers in Georgia; however, they are both much narrower and rockier than the Ocoee River and you can only raft the Chattooga. The Tallulah River is not commercially rafted, but it is very popular with kayakers. Also, you must hike a good bit to get to each of these rivers and the rapids are rather spread out. On the other hand, the white water rafting in Georgia is not dam released so you are much more likely to catch the river at high water. Whitewater rafting in Georgia is more varied than the constant flow of the Ocoee. This makes some rapids bigger and some smaller depending on the levels. If you can catch the Chattooga on a good water day, it is definitely worth the 3-hour drive from the Ocoee.
There are also many whitewater rivers in Georgia that are great for beginners. For instance, the Chattahoochee River located just North of Atlanta is great for introducing little ones to whitewater rafting. The rapids are small and can even be tubed certain times of the year. The scenery is beautiful and the water is cold and relaxing. This river is great for a hot summer day if you’re near Atlanta.
This is also a good spot to begin whitewater training if you’re interested in kayaking. The smaller rapids give you a chance to learn to read the water and get used to the feel of the currents under the boat. Kayaking is a great sport and highly recommended, but only with proper training and dedication.
Georgia does not have as much whitewater rafting as Tennessee, but its rivers are still scenic and lend themselves well to kayakers who are willing to put in the extra effort to get to them. Most of the rivers in Georgia are more populated with creek boaters than anything else.
In essence, the Ocoee is a much more enjoyable river to raft in general because of its direct access by highway and constant water flow. Whitewater rafting in Georgia is a good experience if you have extra time allotted in your schedule.