Canoeing or kayaking the Buford Dam section of the Chattahoochee River will surprise you. Water coming out of Lake Lanier is crystal clear and ice cold! Since the river is virtually reborn at the dam, the river has very little trash along the banks. It is much nicer that the stereotypes that the word “Chattahoochee” have come to represent.
Access to the Chattahoochee at Settles Bridge for is very good for canoeing and kayaking with only a moderate carry to the river from the parking lot.
This section of the river is flat with a few rocky shoals along the way. The largest risk is from strainers. There are very few rescue spots, so long swims and hypothermia are a possibility. Water level is still influenced but Buford Dam.
Access at McGinnis Ferry Road is difficult. The bank is steep and parking is VERY limited. To further complicated matters, the road is busy and traffic is fast.
- River Difficulty: Beginner (Moving water – Class I)
- Distance: 4.1 miles (Settles Bridge to McGinnis Ferry)
- Avg Gradient: 3.7 fpm
- Minimum Suggested Level:
- Suggested Level: Use extreme caution when the dam is releasing
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USGS Buford Dam Gauge:
Put In / Take Out Location:
Put In: 34o 5.907N, 84o 6.566W (Cut and paste into Google Maps, then delete the degree symbols)
Parking is relatively limited at the put in out and fills up completely later in the day. This is a nice put in with a moderate carry to the parking lot.
Take Settles Bridge Rd To Johnson Road, Turn Left.
Drive 1.1 miles to Suwanee Dam Rd., Turn Right.
Drive 3 miles to Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Turn Right.
Drive 1.4 miles to Mc Ginnis Ferry Rd., Turn Right.
Dirve 0.3 miles to Chattahoochee River.
Take Out: 34o 3.040N, 84o5.863W
Access to the river is difficult with very little parking.