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.
This is a favorite section for fishermen. Give them as much space as possible and share the river.
The largest (only) rapid comes 2-1/4 miles downstream. A large flat rock on river right squeezes the river against a tall rock formation that extends from river left to the middle. The resulting chute is a thrill for beginners! The hazard lies 50 yards downstream in a large pile of logs that the current drives straight into.
There are very few rescue spots, so long swims and hypothermia are a possibility. To check Buford Dam release schedule, call 770-945-1466.
- River Difficulty: Beginner (Class I to +I)
- Distance: 4.1 miles (Buford Dam to Settles Bridge)
- Avg Gradient: 1.4 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 9.479’N, 84o 4.635’W
Cumming GA, 30041
From Atlanta, go North on GA400 35 miles.
Take GA20 East 0.2 Miles
Turn Left on Left on Market Pl Blvd. Drive 0.8 Miles
Turn Right on Buford Dam Road, Drive 4.2 Miles
Turn Right on Little Mill Road. The road is gravel. Bear to the left down to the river.
Take Out: 34o5.907N, 84o6.579W
Parking is relatively limited at the take out and fills up completely later in the day. This is a nice take out with a moderate carry to the parking lot.
From the Put In:
Cross Buford Dam to the East. Drive 3.8 miles
Turn Right on Suwanee Dam Rd., Drive 3.5 miles
Turn Right at Johnson Rd., Drive 1.1 miles
Turn Right on Settles Bridge Rd.