6 Peaceful Water Trails To Go Kayaking In Georgia & Most Are Completely Free

There are hidden coves and abandoned mills ready to be explored!

Georgia Contributing Writer
A kayak navigating George L Smith State Park. Right: The shore at Back River on Tybee Island, GA. ​

A kayak navigating George L Smith State Park. Right: The shore at Back River on Tybee Island, GA.

Kayaking is a tried and true way to beat the infamous Georgia heat.

Getting together a group of friends and spending time out on the water is an ideal active summer pastime.

Whether you prefer a leisurely creek or a more intense trip out in the ocean, these water trails will allow you to cool off and still get your heart rate up.

These are the best spots in Georgia to go paddling, and most are free if you bring your own boat to launch! If not, however, there are plenty of local tour guides who will show you the way around the water.

George L Smith State Park

Price: $5 parking fee

Address: 371 George L. Smith State Park Road, Twin City, GA

Why You Need To Go: Here you can paddle below towering cypress and tupelo trees in the park's Mill Pond, which feels like nature has formed its own ceiling of foliage. The waters are calm and rustic, and there is a boat ramp with a parking lot to launch your kayak.


Tybee Island Back River

Price: Free ($2/hour parking)

Address: Back River, Tybee Island, GA

Why You Need To Go: Locally known as "Back River", this quiet stretch of beach is one of Tybee Island's hidden gems. You can launch your sea kayak right from the beach free of charge, however, for less experienced paddlers Savannah Canoe & Kayak offers guided tours.


Sweetwater Creek State Park

Price: $5 parking

Address: 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, GA

Why You Need To Go: Sweetwater Creek State Park is an outdoor oasis just outside of Downtown Atlanta. Escape the city and navigate calm waters that will take you on a journey past an abandoned historic mill and under eerie bridges.


Altamaha River

Price: Free

Address: Altamaha River Ramp, U.S. Route 1, Baxley, GA

Why You Need To Go: The Altamaha River Water Trail, part of The Nature Conservancy's ''Last Great Places'', will take you through wildlife preserves, forests, and past sandy shores where you can hop off and swim.


Skidaway Narrows

Price: Free

Address: 25 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA

Why You Need To Go: You can launch your boat into the Intracoastal Waterway at Rodney J. Hall Boat Ramp and make your way around and through the rustic narrows of Skidaway Island State Park. You can stop off and swim at Butterbean Beach along the way, where there's a manatee preserve.


Lake Sinclair

Price: Free

Address: Sinclair Dam Boat Ramp, Milledgeville, GA

Why You Need To Go: This massive human-made wonder is a popular destination for weekend getaways. On the calm, blue waters you can navigate hidden coves and expansive shorelines that are ready to be explored.


Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Maeve Browne
Georgia Contributing Writer
Maeve Browne is a Contributing Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on food and Internet trends and is based in Savannah, Georgia.