Places to paddle in north Ga/N.Carolina

I’ll be picking up my first kayak later today (spend 8 hours yesterday spring cleaning my garage in preparation for its arrival!), and, I was wondering if anyone out there could recommend some really pretty places to paddle in north Ga. or even N.Carolina - since I am just a beginner and will be alone 99% of the time, I need to start out on really calm bodies of water, preferably where there isn’t too much boat traffic. Lake Lanier is just a few blocks from my home, but, it would be nice to explore other areas, as well. Also, since I am a female, I would feel more comfortable in places that aren’t too secluded. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Probably the two nicest lakes more or less in the area are Carter’s Lake (to the west a bit) and Jocassee, in northern SC. Chatuge is also nice, and you can paddle from GA to NC, which is kind of amusing. I’ve heard Blue Ridge lake is nice, but haven’t been there. Lanier is fine, pretty much wherever- I usually put in at Tidwell park, just off exit 16 on 400, but there are many other places as well. The area up by the Lanier Canoe and Kayak club in Gainesville is very protected and calm (that’s why the flatwater racers are there). Further north I’ve heard good things about Fontana Lake, but haven’t made it there.


Lake Fontana is large , but very nice.
Calderwood is small and very nice.Both in far western NC. Calderwood is mostly in Tennessee.
got to, and sign up for the forum. There are a bunch of topics and trip reports. The Chattahoochee, Etowah, Carter’s Lake, Lakes Lanier and Allatoona, Jocasse, etc, etc, etc.