My son and friends and I recently spent four hours kayaking down the Chattahoochee River. This mighty stream begins from a spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains and flows some 430 miles where it merges with the Flint River at Lake Seminole. The word “Chattahoochee” is believed to be an American Indian name meaning “rocks-marked.” This may refer to some of the colorful granite outcroppings featured along the Hooch’s banks.
The trip started from the boat ramp located next to the Hwy. 16 Bridge. From there, we floated about 7 miles to our take-out at McIntosh Reserve. With steady paddling, one can make the journey in about 2 hours. Just a few hundred yards past the Yates Power Plant, we encountered a class 2 rapid. Our group easily ran the rapid even with our sit-on-top kayaks. Just stay to the right of the river and enter the rapid straight on; if you get sideways, it will capsize you. Beyond this point you will find some smaller, very tame rapids. Only once did we have to carry the kayaks over any rocks, and it was only a ten-foot span.
Along the way, we spotted ducks, turtles, fish and one awesome looking Osprey. About 40 minutes downstream, we discovered a nice rope swing. The boys got out and swung to their hearts content as my friend snapped picture after picture. Because we took our time, played, and soaked in the sights, the trip took us about 4 hours instead of 2.
You can also float from McIntosh Reserve down to Chattahoochee Bend State Park, another 8 miles. The Chattahoochee Bend Park is Georgia’s newest state park and just so happens to be in our county. If you’re interested in doing this float trip, feel free to email mail me, and I’ll be glad to answer any questions. You can also use a guide service called Georgia Trail Outfitters. They rent out kayaks, offer guided trips and provide helpful knowledge about the river. You may also want to spend some time exploring McIntosh Reserve where there’s a great deal of history.
Here are some pictures, courtesy of my friend, Curt Good: