You can’t mark White Water Rafting Georgia off your bucket list until you’ve manhandled the Ocoee, Chattooga and Chattahoochee rivers. We’ve gathered the outfitters in Georgia that can help you on these rivers. From family-friendly beginner trips to advanced adventures on a national wild and scenic river – even overnighters! Grab a paddle – let’s do this!
WHITE WATER RAFTING GEORGIA - OCOEE/TOCCOA
- In McCaysville, Ga, it is the closest whitewater rafting venue to Atlanta, open since 1977. It's about an hour and half away and straddles the Georgia/Tennessee border.
- Trips on the Ocoee River/Toccoa River are moderate and guided. Kids must be 12+ (Tennessee law.)
- Expect a 3.5 hour trip, with 2 hours on the water in Class III Rapids and Class IV Rapids. If you want to raft the full river, expect a 6-hour day with about 3.5 hours on the river.
- Trips on the Toccoa are an easy rafting experience for everyone. Kids must be 5+. Adventures include canoeing, kayaking, tubing.
- Trips on the Nantahala are family-friendly for kids 7+. The trip is 8 miles – about 2 hours on the water with about 20 rapids, most of which are class 2. Go with or without guides.
- Begin in the Cherokee National Forest via short bus ride
- Half-day and full-day trips available
- Beginner, moderate and advanced trips available
- Book your trip the first part of April through September
- In Ducktown, TN (12 miles/20 min from the Blue Ridge Mountains)
- The oldest river rafting company on the Ocoee
- Book your trip on select days April thru October
- Trips on the Ocoee/Toccoa are moderate and guided. Kids must be 12+ (Tennessee law.)
- Expect a 3.5 hour trip, with 2 hours on the water in Class III and Class IV rapids. If you want to raft the full river, expect a 6-hour day with about 3.5 hours on the river.
- A little pricier than Rolling Thunder, but tons and tons of accolades
- You can pair your rafting trip with a zip line adventure
WHITE WATER RAFTING GEORGIA - CHATTOOGA RIVER
- There are five Wildwater locations – 1 in Upstate South Carolina, which they call their North Georgia location because it is just over the border from Clayton/Mountain City
- Other locations include Asheville, Western North Carolina (near Bryson City,) SE Tennessee and in the Gatlinburg, TN area.
- They also have great canopy tours and ropes courses at most locations
- Trips are on the Chattooga and include the following: mini, Section III and Section IV and even overnights
- Half-day trips are guided on easy-to-moderate rapids and offered M-F from mid March to mid October. Kids must be 8+. Full trip is about 4 hours. Snacks included.
- Full-day Section III trips are guided on Class II and Class III rapids including the 14ft drop on Bull Sluice. Kids must be 8+. Full trip is about 7 hours and runs beginning of March to beginning of November. Lunch included.
- Section IV trips is an addition to the Section III trip and requires kids be 12+. It is the ultimate adventure with a skilled guide always available. It’s about 7 hours and runs beginning of March to beginning of November. Lunch included.
- For the ultimate adventure, try the Chattooga Overnighter. At the end of Section III your camping gear awaits while you swim, hike or fish and enjoy a full steak dinner around a camp fire under the stars! Plus, a bacon and egg breakfast the next morning.
- Gorgeous cabins and yurts are available for those who want to make this a weekend adventure.
- The oldest rafting company in the Southeast, having been around since 1972, purchased the equipment from Warner Brothers after they filmed Deliverance!
- Trips must be paid in full 1 week prior to rafting!
- Just under two hours from Atlanta!
- Rafting Sections:
- Section III trips are guided on Class II and Class III rapids including the 14ft drop on Bull Sluice. Kids must be 8+, but if the waters are rough they may require kiddos be 10+.
- Section IV trips are on the most intense rapids east outside of the Mississippi or Colorado rivers. 7 hours long; must be 12+ years old.
- Southeastern Expeditions also offers an overnighter option. All you need is a sleeping bag and camping pad. This package includes lunches, dinner and breakfast! On the first day, enjoy an easy day’s paddle through section III and the beginning of section IV. Then they’ll treat you to a playful day and night in Sumter National Forest. You’ll need the rest because the next day embarks on section IV’s class three and four rapids – combating the likes of Corkscrew, Jawbone, and the finale, Sock 'em Dog.
- Trips run Spring through first part of November. Discounts available at end of season on weekdays.
- Not to be outdone by Southeastern Expeditions, NOC’s company founder Payson Kennedy was a stunt double in Deliverance.
- Section III trips require kiddos to be 8+ for the intermediate ride, and last about 5-6 hours. Both Chattooga River trips are full-day trips and feature a scenic lunch along either a beautiful stretch of river or at the base of Long Creek Falls.
- Section IV trips are advanced, for kids 13+. They also last 5-6 hours but include five Class 4-5 rapids. Lunch is at the base of Long Creek Falls.
- From my experience, NOC is one of the best outfitters out there.
- This outdoor adventure center also offers ziplining, mountain biking, tubing, kayaking and summer camps!
WHITE WATER RAFTING GEORGIA - CHATTAHOOCHEE
- Located in Columbus, Ga
- You’ll experience the longest urban whitewater rafting in the world
- The dam release offers class 2 – class 5 white water adventures
- The Classic trip runs in the mornings on class 2 and 3 rapids. Kids must be ages 7+ or weigh 60lbs to participate.
- The Challenge trip runs in the afternoon when cranks up to 5-15x more flow than morning, with class 3-5 white water. Kids must be 12+
- There is also a Carnage trip for 4 people + a guide (kids must be 12+.) It’s the same route as the Challenge trip, but in a mini raft with more white water thrills.
- Other adventures here include ziplining, kayaking, paddleboarding, biking, fishing and more.
- Hubby and I took on the Chattahoochee - here's the info and video!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR ADVENTUROUS TRIP
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- BLUE RIDGE: 50+ BEST ADVENTUROUS THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE GA
- WHITEWATER EXPRESS: WHITEWATER EXPRESS: WET AND WILD ADVENTURE IN COLUMBUS
- ATLANTA DAY TRIPS: 31 DAY TRIPS FROM ATLANTA THAT SHOULD BE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST
WHITEWATER RAFTING FAQS
Can kids go whitewater rafting?
Yes. But it will depend on the outfitter you choose and the rapids' class levels. Always check with the outfitter before booking. Most outfitters have a minimum age limit and weight limit.
What is the closest whitewater rafting to Atlanta?
Rolling Thunder River Company located in McCaysville, Ga, is the closest whitewater rafting venue to Atlanta. It's about an hour and a half away and straddles the Georgia/Tennessee border.
What should I wear to go whitewater rafting?
Most outfitters recommend quick-dry clothing or bathing suits, a t-shirt for sun protection, and some sunscreen!
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