There is something mystic about Georgia’s waterways. The surrounding woodlands are well preserved standing strong within a mixture of tupelo and cypress trees that are draped in moss. It is picturesque with sights that seem straight from a painting.
And what is the best way to enjoy Georgia’s, canal and waterways? Using a kayak of course.
These are the 10 best places for kayaking and canoeing in Georgia.
1. The Chattahoochee river
The Chattahoochee river starts from the east of Georgia winding its way through the heart of Metropolitan Atlanta and headed straight towards the Gulf of Mexico. This is a protected river and the fact that it is easily accessible and being located downtown makes it one of the most sought-after rivers in Georgia by kayakers.
You may want to do recreational kayaking whereby you will need a good recreational kayak. Some people prefer to combine their kayaking with a little fishing, in which case you will require a good fishing kayak.
This is a fun place to be which explains why it attracts millions of Atlanta and Georgia residents.
2. Chattooga River
Chattooga river is one of the most stunning rivers surrounded by nature. There are miles upon miles of kayaking to be done here and is the longest river in the southeast United States.
The Chattooga river is found in the far northeast of Georgia, it acts as the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia. It also offers excellent white waters kayaking opportunities.
For the beginner kayak fisherman, you may want to learn how to set up your kayak for fishing and visit the Chattooga in the fall. This is the time the fish are spawning and are also fattening up for the winter months. They love smaller insects so carry a fly that resembles a grasshopper, worm, or a blue-winged olive.
3. The Chattahoochee river
This river was picked for hosting the national kayaking championships in 2018. That alone should tell you that it is the perfect river for some fun kayaking in Georgia. It is indeed known throughout the United States and the world as one of the best places to kayak.
White water kayaks are common among the extreme rapids. They are some of the biggest to be found east of the Colorado River and offer the largest stretch of whitewater in the world.
And just to put things into perspective, it is a complete 2.5 miles and is categorized from class II to class V stretched over 8 rapids.
4. Lake Blue Ridge
Lake blue ridge has some amazing clear waters. Indeed, this is one of Georgia’s most iconic mountain lakes and is a result of the blue ridge dam construction on the Toccoa river back in 1930. This is also a scenic place for fishing from your kayak. One of the most common fish to be found here is trout.
The Toccoa river continues with its flow under the lake blue ridge dam and makes its way northwards towards Tennessee where its name changes to the Ocoee River. This is also an excellent location for trout fishing on your kayak as there are many fat and large trout to be found under these waters.
You can find different types of trout which include rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout. And once you reel in your catch with your kayak fishing rod, you can camp next to the river and enjoy some delicious fish.
5. Okefenokee swamp
The Okefenokee swamp is the largest blackwater swamp in North America full of natural beauty and wildlife. This is among the seven natural wonders of Georgia. The trees here are covered with Spanish moss and as you kayak or canoe through, keep a lookout on the water and you may see the occasional alligator.
If you are traveling to Georgia, you will not always have to carry your kayak as you can rent kayaks or canoes at the many vendors to be found here.
6. Flint river
The flint river takes you close to nature being several hundred miles long and offering spectacular views of wildlife and forest. You will also see the blue hole springs.
The current on the flint river is mellow which makes it an ideal place for kayaking and canoeing in Georgia with kids. If you have never done this before, you will need valuable information on canoeing with a toddler. You may even want to incorporate camping with your kayaking so pack your camping gear and bring your camping kayak for an unforgettable experience.
Fishing is also something that you may want to try out so bring along your fishing rod and reel. If you are out looking for shoal bass then this is the right place. Shoal bass are only found in select regions in the United States.
The one thing with the shoal bass is that it shares a lot of the characteristics of the black bass. These are fish that grow fat and will taste delicious on that pan. This is because the fish tend to gobble up anything that can fit inside their mouths.
Just one shoal bass is enough to keep you well-fed for the day as these fish can grow anywhere between 16 inches and 19 inches long.
Savannah is a good place to explore the marshlands, the intercoastal waterways, and the barrier islands of Georgia. There are many launch areas for your kayak or canoe. One park that you want to check out is Jones Creek Park. This is located on a tidal creek so always check the tides before getting into the water.
It’s a great idea to kayak or canoe in the evening as it gives you a spectacular view of the sunset. The extraordinary colors are simply magical. Always go through your kayaking checklist and make sure that you have the most essentials before heading out into the water.
8. Fort Yargo State Park
If you live in Atlanta then you need to try kayaking at Fort Yargo. The waters here are calm and clear making them ideal for recreational kayaking in Georgia. For people who want to just spend time on the water and perhaps do a bit of fishing then the Fort Yargo state park is the place to be.
This is also an excellent place for canoeing or kayaking with kids. Fort Yargo state park has some events hosted specifically for families and kids. If you want to take part in any of these events, start by checking the schedule first.
You can even rent a boat here and try out some kayaking and canoeing in Georgia before spending your money on a new kayak or canoe.
9. Altamaha river
One major reason why the Altamaha River is one of the most ideal places to kayak in Georgia is that it is rated as the best place to conquer by the nature conservancy. There are plenty of access points along its 138-mile stretch. Surrounded by scenic woodlands and salt marshes, the crystal clear waters of the Altamaha river make it a great place to bring your fishing kayak.
You can see and capture images of wildlife as you paddle along the river. And if you are up for a bit of challenge and you are a big fan of the flathead catfish then the Altamaha river is the best place to do a bit of flathead catfish fishing also known as the appaloosas.
If you specifically came to the Altamaha for just this, then you should pick the best time of year to get the flathead fish and this is during the summer months. Make sure you bring a strong fishing rod and these fish are feisty. But it wouldn’t be much of a great adventure without a bit of a challenge would it.
You might also reel in a bluegill or red gill sunfish.
10. Tallapoosa River
The Tallapoosa River is not the longest in Georgia being just 4.5 miles as it snakes through the countryside. However, it still offers some strikingly beautiful scenery and calm waters. You may decide to paddle its entire length a trip that should take you around 4 hours.
You may want to however spend more time in the river so why not bring long some packed lunch and enjoy a good meal while on the water in your kayak or canoe.
The Tallapoosa river begins in west Georgia. The one we are talking about here is the little Tallapoosa river and crosses into Alabama. Among the most common fish that you are going to find here are the three species of black bass which include the redeye bass, Alabama spotted bass, and the largemouth bass.
You may also reel in a sunfish while on your fishing kayak.
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Georgia has plenty of rivers to take your kayak for camping. Due to the abundance of fish here, every water sports enthusiast should seriously consider incorporating camping and fishing. The sights around the rivers and lakes are spectacular with natural beauty all around.
If you want to get back in tune with nature while also enjoying a bit of kayaking and canoeing then check out the 10 best places for kayaking in Georgia. You are never short of things to see and do here.
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