If you're familiar with the Atlanta area, you've probably heard the term "shoot the hooch" more than once. Georgia's beloved Chattahoochee river, hence "hooch," is a popular spot to cool off in the hot months (so basically always). Whether you want to relax or you're in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can kayak in Georgia at the nation's largest outdoor center in an inflatable kayak and so much more.
The Nantahala Outdoor Center is the largest outdoor recreation company in the U.S., offering over 120 land and water activities throughtout the Southeast. It covers eight rivers including The Chattahoochee which runs through Atlanta all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It's a great spot to get in touch with your outdoorsy side on its 430-mile running rapids.
Named "One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure, NOC is home to 22 Olympians, two of whom are gold medalists. The outfitter offers a wide span of activities including white water rafting, tubing, kayaking, zip-lining, international paddling, climbing, fishing, biking and more. Whatever outdoor adventures you seek, you will definitely want to experience them at NOC. They were also named the “Nation's Premiere Paddling School" which means they have tons of top-of-the-line professional guides to lead you through your exciting excursions (there are tons of solo excursions, too).
Among these excursions are the inflatable kayak rentals, which you will not find anywhere else in Georgia. The concept combines tubing and kayaking to create personal, inflatable boats (known as "duckies") for a comfy and bouncy water adventure.
Whether you are an expert in all things outdoor adventure, or just want to chill by the water with friends, NOC has a range of different intensities to fit your tastes. NOC is the only outfitter conveniently located inside the Chattahoochee National Park, allowing you to gain exclusive access to the most beautiful parts of the environmentally-protected area.
With outposts at Johnson Ferry and Powers Island, the Chattahoochee River excursions include tubing ($25); sit-on-top kayak rentals ($35); SUP rentals ($50); whitewater kayaking course ($130); river raft rentals ($35) and inflatable kayak rentals ($35). Keep the Chattahoochee River Tube & Brew with SweetWater ($30) in mind next June and July for some boozy river fun.
You and your crew can explore up to eight miles of flatwater and Class I-II whitewater on a scenic route of colorful flowers and unique wildlife. You can choose from half-day or full-day rentals.
You can also sign up for river rafting courses on the Chattooga River in Clayton, Georgia for $105-150. Even if you aren't vibing with the idea of adventurous excursions, you can simply go hiking on your own or hang out by the water with your friends and your dog(s). There are tons of package deals, an adventure pass, restaurants and more venturesome offers awaiting you, if you so choose to travel a bit to North Carolina or Tennessee.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Why You Need To Go: To experience an exclusive day of outdoor thrills on one of Georgia's most beautiful rivers.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.