This interactive map shows natural lazy rivers in Georgia to go tubing. It also includes some whitewater rafting, and kayaking locations. The map contains major and minor rivers of Georgia. It also incorporates major cities for reference. Since many of these sites are nearby parks, they have been depicted in green. To get more information on each River, Park, or Tubing Site, hover over the map. To get a closer look, zoom over. For more information scroll down.
Lazy and Whitewater Rivers in Georgia
This map has the most complete tubing locations in Georgia. It includes the most popular ones, as well as the most scenic ones.
Most articles focus on the best rivers for floating. This map attempted to include all of them. It even includes sites for kayaking and whitewater rafting in Georgia.
This sites are mainly located in North Georgia where there are more mountains.
The timing to float down the rivers in Georgia is highly dependent on water level, not just because of rain, but because many rivers are dam controlled.
The few whitewater rafting sites are classified. The higher the value the higher the waves and the speed. The rivers on this map barely reach Class II.
Below is a description of the rivers and paddling sites.
The Chattahoochee River originates in the southern Appalachian Mountains, in the North East corner of the state of Georgia.
It is of particular interest not just because it hosts different kayaking and tubing locations, but because it flows through the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Chattahoochee River spans most of the length of the state, and terminates in Lake Seminole, at the Georgia-Florida border. The total length of the river is 434 miles (698Km). In Florida its name changes to Apalachicola River. GA Rivers
Columbus is the second largest city in Georgia. Columbus offers different activities but if you enjoy playing in the water, this is also the city for you. Tubing here is the perfect activity for the whole family.
Even more advantageous, this area also offers whitewater rafting. In fact Columbus has the largest urban whitewater rafting course in the world!
1 mile (1.6Km), 2 hour flat water float
The Lazy River tour is a great opportunity to explore the area, relax in the sun, and share a day with friends and family.
Whitewater express offers different trips that include different difficulty levels and rapids, besides tubing.
One of the visitors favorite is a combination of fun and adventure. The trip includes rapids, a lazy river, and well known Pemberton Falls Whitewater Express
You probably have heard of Helen, GA before. This city has a small population, but it is well known for its Alpine feel. Founded by European settlers, it resembles a Bavarian village, in North Georgia.
This is thanks not just to the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains but to cobblestone walkways, food, drinks, and architecture.
If you want more than history, architecture and floating down the river; Helen, GA, is not far from Anna Ruby Falls, Raven Cliff Falls, and Smithgall Woods State Park.
Short trip 1 hour, long trip 2 hours tubing
Most of the river is ankle deep. Deeper areas tend to be more calm. You will find some small rapids along the way. The bottom is mostly rocks.
Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia, in fact it is the 10th largest economy in the U.S. Because of its size there are different locations for tubing in the Metro Area.
Tubing: 2 to 4 hours on the river
On this map, there is a location marked on Powers Island, but there is another location at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Both locations are within 16 minute drive.
At the Atlanta Metro Area, it is possible to go tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and even have an intro class to whitewater rafting.NOC
The location by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is just an added bonus. The site is home to more than 240 bird species and 20 fish species including bass, trout, and catfish.
While floating down the river you may also see rabbits, bats, and white tailed deer. The river corridor is home to many species. It is also a station for other organisms migrating. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Whitesburg is a small town located in Carroll County, west GA. Whitesburg is situated between historic Newnan and Carrolton, this town could be overlooked if it it wasn't because of Historic Banning Mills.
7 mile kayak trip, 3 to 4 hours depending on water depth
Historic Banning Mills is a premier adventure resort that holds the World's Largest Zip Line and the world’s tallest free-standing climbing wall! Both are certified by the Guinness World Records.
The kayak trip on this location, has Class I rapids and it is for participants at least 10 years old.
While you kayak, it is possible to see historic Chief William McIntosh Reserve, plus the beautiful natural surroundings. Source: Historic Banning Mills
The river starts as Toccoa River in Georgia but its name changes to Ocoee River when it crosses the border to Tennessee. (This map only reflects the Tennessee name.)
The Toccoa River originates in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Toccoa River is 93 miles (150 km) long, and it flows north westward.
McCaysville is a particular location as it is right across the state line and crossing the river from Copperhill Tennessee. Both cities are going through a revaval thanks in part to the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Source: Explore Georgia.
1.5 mile (2.4 Km) to 3 mile (4.8Km) and 20min to 1 hour or more depending on water level.
The Toccoa River is dam controlled, so the float time changes depending on water level. The ride offers a beautiful scenery and glimpse of wildlife.
This is a popular river in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a perfect activity for families with children over 5yrs.
Not far from this location in the Ocoee River in Tennessee there is whitewater river rafting.
The River offers a few small rapids, also depending on water depth. When water is released the speed increases. Rolling Thunder River Co.
This is a 32 mile (52.72 km) long river, in the Appalachian Mountains, it is a major tributary of the Chattahoochee River.
Dahlonega is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This town offers mountain scenery, waterfalls, clear streams, and wineries.
20-25 minutes trip tubing
When you go down the Chestatee River you can expect to see wildlife, rock cliffs and woodland. Some of the aquatic life include turtles, Striper, Blue Heron, Perch, Bass, and Catfish, maybe even a beaver!
Tubing does not require a shuttle. Returning to the starting point requires a 10 minute walk.
Kayak trips take longer, about 2.5 hours. Source: http://www.chestateeriveradventures.com/
The Cartecay River is a 19.1 mile (30.7 km) long river. The headwaters of the Cartecay River begin in the Chattahoochee National Forest. At its end the Cartecay River, joins the Coosawattee River.
Ellijay is Georgia's Apple Capital and small town filled with shops and restaurants to explore.
1.5 miles long, roughly 1.5 hours
This location is open for tubing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. The Lazy river is a calm float down the river.
The other experience contains class 1 and 2 whitewater. Source: http://www.cartecayriverexperience.com/index.html
North Fork Broad River
The Broad River is a 60 mile (96km) long river, and is tributary of the Savannah River. The North Fork of the Broad River begins in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
This is one of Georgia's last free flowing rivers.
4 mile run takes about 3 hours
North Fork Broad River is a beautiful river with a slow float, great for a family experience.
If you do the kayak experience it will be 4 miles and it will take 1.5 to 2 hours. Source: Slow Water
The Ocmulgee River runs through the heart of Georgia and it is 255 miles (410 km) long. The Ocmulgee River is also a major tributary of the Altamaha River.
Macon is in the middle of Georgia. An ideal town for visitors thanks to its history and architecture. But if you are just interested in the outdoors, Macon has 180 acres of forest at the Amerson River Park, it also has orchards and farms for visitors. To upgrade the visit, there is the Ocmulgee River.
2 to 6 hours depending on trip. These are on kayaks or canoes.
This is a flat water river with a few Class I shoals.
Paddling down the river is an excellent opportunity to view the natural beauty and actually enjoy Amerson River Park from the water!
The Ocmulgee River is home to blue herons, bald eagles, and turtles.
The river offers the opportunity to explore a stretch of the Seven Islands. This area winds through a forest of pines, hickory, oaks, magnolia trees, willows, and sweet gum trees. Source: Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions
The Savannah River is about 301 miles (484 km) long. This river is a major river in the southeast of the U.S. It is also characterized as the border between Georgia and South Carolina.
Evans is considered a suburb of Augusta, GA, and Augusta is considered the third largest city in the state, after Atlanta and Columbus.
Columbus is located in the Georgia - South Carolina Border. This, as many other cities in Georgia, is distinguished by its historical district.
One of the many trips is a 7 mile down the river on a kayak
The river has different opportunities for calm floats and for light to medium rapids. Above all, this paddle gives you a chance to enjoy nature. Outdoor Augusta Riverside.
The Altamaha River is a 137 mile (220Km) long waterway formed at the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers, it ends its course in the Atlantic Ocean.
Trip length vary, starting from 2 hours and on canoes
Because this recreational spot is located at the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers forming the Altamaha River this area is also known as the Three Rivers Doors.
While you paddle, you will be able to experience a well preserved freshwater wetland, rice fields, woodlands, and salt marshes right before the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Source: Explore Three Rivers
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Tips for Tubing and Kayaking in Georgia
Tubing usually goes from Labor Day weekend to Memorial Day weekend. Kayaking has an extended season, but it is always good to call or check the sites webpage to know the opening and closing dates.
Most outfitters offer different tubes. Those with bottoms are usually for children.
The time it takes a canoe to travel down a river will take at least twice as much time floating on a tube.
All trips include a shuttle and offer kayaks or tubes. In some cases you can take your own, and the outfitter will offer you transport for it.
To prevent water from spoiling all the fun, make sure you can protect your electronics like cameras, phones, and even car keys. I have personally used grocery zip bags and they did not last the whole trip. I suggest you buy on Amazon LOKSAK bags. These are reusable storage bags of 12"x20". They can protect your electronics from water, humidity, sand, and snow.
Proper shoes are a must. Be sure to wear shoes which fit securely to your feet. Flip flops won't do the job. This water shoes found on Amazon are perfect for a day at the river: Water Shoes for Men and Women Barefoot Quick-Dry, this is an Aqua Sock for Outdoor Athletic Sports, Kayaking, Boating, Hiking, Surfing, or even Walking.
Some county ordinances allow coolers, but no glass containers are permitted.
Most locations allow non-swimmers, but it is always preferred visitors wear a life jacket.
Some banks and shores may be private property. Move along, and be respectful!
Keep rivers clean and leave no trace!
Sources to Make Tubing in Georgia
The data on Georgia State Parks was obtained from TPWD.