Vacationing near Blairsville, GA

Will be vacationing this summer near Blairsville, Georgia. Does anyone know of any slow moving rivers or a section of a river with class 1 and 2 rapids in that area? How about outfitters in the area, as I need info on that also. Lastly, we’re planning to do some white water rafting in the area. Any suggestions on that? Thanks for your help.

Nice rafting area
Over the mountain near Helen Ga. You Might google it and see what all they have there. Harris Lake is Nice when it’s got water! Thats all I know!

There are two sections of the Toccoa
above Lake Blue Ridge, and you can also run the Toccoa below the dam. The Toccoa (renamed the Ocoee when it enters Tennessee) usually has enough flow for summer paddling.

You might check and find the river descriptions for Georgia. These will be of help. Consider joining the organization. Being a member increases the usefulness of the site. There is also a Georgia guidebook published by Menasha, edited by Welander.

The Hiwassee in Tennessee, though wide, also has fairly easy whitewater.

As for rafting, Blairsville is not far from the Nantahala and the Ocoee, both big rafting venues.

blairsville, ga

– Last Updated: Feb-01-10 1:37 PM EST –

There are some nice lakes for paddling in that area, notably Lake Chatuge near Hiwasee, GA, (which I have paddled) and Lake Nottely (which I have not paddled). Chatuge is wonderfully clear but boat traffic can be heavy on weekends.

The Nantahala River in WNC is relatively slow-moving for a mountain river, but has some Class 3-4 sections. Plenty of guides, shuttles and equipment rentals available at Nantahala Outdoor Center. The Chattahoochee River from Helen is also relatively slow-moving, but Helen is a zoo. The 'Hooch is nice once you get out of the Helen area. Ocoee River in WNC/Tenn is probably too much if you are seeking Class 1-2 water.

Rafting trips and rentals are available for the Nantahala, Ocoee and Chattahoochee as well as the Chattooga river further east near Clayton, GA. Nantahala has the most facilities and options, but the Chattooga probably has the biggest rapids.

Relatively slow moving for a mountain
river? Nanty has about a 33 ft/mile gradient and moves along better than the Chattooga. The upper Chattahoochee has access problems even below Helen, until you get to hwy 115. But for an easy float with occasional rapids, I recommend Duncan Bridge road to Belton Bridge rd, or to save a bit of paddling, take out at Mud Creek.

Thanks for the suggestions
We’ll be staying on L. Nottely so will def. paddle around on that one. Just need a fairly easy river paddle to take the grandkids on. One more question…I’m bring three yaks but will need to rent a few more, anyone know of any outfitters in the area?

There is an outfitter on the lower
Toccoa that might have some sit-on-top kayaks to use on that river.

This is being a very wet spring in Georgia, and the Nottely River above the lake is an easy run for kids. But I don’t know of a rec kayak supplier for that river. Ask around when you get there.

thanks again
thanks again, you’ve been a big help. I’m located in southeat Georgia and know full well about the rain we’ve had this year. Our rivers are at flood stage and have been for a while. Had hoped to get on the water tomorrow but looks like I’ll be doing some farm chores instead.

others near nanty

– Last Updated: Feb-05-10 11:18 PM EST –

I live in Bryson City, near the Nantahala. If your looking for something a little slower than the Nanty, the Little Tennessee, or the Tuckaseegee are all around Bryson City. Both have different sections you can paddle with some only having riffles. Also the Cartecay in Ellijay may work for you depending on the level. A little farther like the post before is the Chattooga. Section 2 of the Chattooga offers some great scenery, fun, easy rapids. Again, that depends on the water levels. One more worth mentioning is the Hiwassee in TN/NC. Just north of Blairsville is Murphy which the Hiwassee runs through. The most common section is a bit further north. Dam controlled and moving class 2 fun. ]Might look here for info on all of these

And right now,there is a lot of water.

Copperhill, Tn

– Last Updated: Feb-06-10 8:14 AM EST –

When you go into Copperhill, Tn from Blue Ridge (hwy 5) take a right at the dead end. On the right is a small operation that rents canoes, kayaks, blow-up kayaks and tubes. They provide a shuttle with the tubes for about $5 or the longer trip with boats for a good price with the shuttle. At low water it is still high enough but you have to pick your lines carefully. It is a great trip for kids. At high water it is swift but is still mild. Of course you can get into trouble on any water but the ducky boats are very stable. Just start early so you will miss the release if the kids will be alone in the boats. They usually don't require reservations and have plenty of boats. It looks like a ratty place but the guys are super nice and helpful. There equipment is also cleaned after every use so you know you are getting nice stuff.

So they’re running trips on the lower
Toccoa. A good option for an easy float, not as tight or technical as the Toccoa above the reservoir.

They will take you up to a bridge at Curtis Switch which gives you about 4 or 5 hours depending on the water level. Some put in below the dam but that makes for a very long day. There are only a couple places for public access so your choices are limited. Putting in at horseshoe park only gives you a short tube ride.

You are right about it not being technical but it can be challenging to pick your way through the shallow areas and rocks.

If you like to fish bring you pole. It is one of the best trout streams in the south east. There are lots of trophy fish. It is highly managed for trophy catches so I always catch and release.

My 2 cents
Cartecay in Ellijay

Etowah near Cartersville

I agree with the Upper Hooch outside of Helen, and the Chatooga.

All are excellent.

I think the Cartecay and Upper Hooch

– Last Updated: Feb-09-10 3:12 PM EST –

are a step above what the original poster is asking for. Maybe two steps. And I can run both in my sleep.

Chattooga section 2 gets very spread out and scrapey unless the 76 bridge gauge is 2.5 or higher. I don't usually send folks there for an
"easy" run unless they have someone along to help them through the wider shoals. ALSO Chattooga 2 requires a quarter mile uphill portage to get boats to the parking lot.

Another guestion
And, thanks to all the contributors to my first question. Being that we’ll have our young grandchildren on this trip I think we’ll stay with the Toccoa above Lake Blue Ridge. I wouldn’t have run across the outfitter without ya’lls help. Question two: Wife and I will be at Brasstown for a long weekend at the end of April and would like to paddle the Toccoa below the Lake. Looks like our style from our Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia Are there any outfitters in the area who may rent yaks and provide shuttle services? Thanks again all!

That would be the link provided above
by gibsonra.

Looks like they probably can make you happy.

Maybe I’m not following something here
That website is for an outfitter north of the Lake, which we will use when paddling during vacation in Blairsville. What about an outfit below (south) of the Lake? Same ones?

No, sorry. There is an outfitter
for the “upper” Toccoa, but I will have to see if I can find the link.