The Upper Chattahoochee River is one of the most popular white water rivers in Georgia. It is too technical for beginning canoe and kayak paddlers. It is easier than the Nantahala, but provides more than enough play spots to keep an advanced paddler entertained.
The rocky technical nature of the river keeps rafters and tubers away. It just is not fun for them. Floating down this river is not a really good option for rafts, tubes, or beginner boaters. Because it is not a dam controlled river, the peak rafting season of June, July and August is GENERALLY the worst time of the season for water flow. Watch the gauge for Summer spikes.
River flow moves from side to side and rewards those that pay attention to the subtle details of the current. River reading and planning are required. It is very much like a junior Chattooga river in feel and scenery. This entire section demands that you maneuver your boat to avoid rocks. Failure to bring solid trained beginner skills can result in harsh punishment by the river gods!
1st, 2nd, 3rd Ledge
- River Difficulty: Intermediate (Class II-III)
- Distance: 4.1 miles (Highway 115 to Duncan Bridge/Hwy 384)
- Avg Gradient: 23 fpm
- Minimum Suggested Level: 0.8 on the Leaf Gauge
- Suggested Level: 1.2′ on Cornelia Gauge or 2.0′ on the Leaf Gauge
- Fun Level: 3.0′ The rocky nature of the river starts to diminish, but the speed and size starts to increase.
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USGS Cornelia Gauge:
USGS Leaf Gauge at Hwy 115 Put in:
Put In / Take Out Location:
Put In: 34o 34.511’N, 83o 38.026’W
From Atlanta, go North on I-85. Bear Left on I-985. Drive 40 miles on I-985. Turn Left on Duncan Bridge Rd (Hwy 384). Drive 6.8 Miles. This will pass by the take out. Turn Right on Hwy 254, drive 1 mile. Turn right on Hwy 115 drive 1/2 mile.
Take Out: 34o32.511N, 83o37.381W
The land at the put in and take out is owned by Wildwood Outfitters. Unloading is allowed at the put in, but parking is not. Wildwood Outfitters will provide shuttle for about $7.
Phone: 800-553-2715 or 706-865-4451
Rents: Kayaks, Canoes, Inflatables & Sit On Tops