This paddle is the same as the popular “Back to the Chattahoochee River Race” course that the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers host each year. The paddle logs in about 8 miles on calm water, with a few rapids in the last few miles to keep it interesting.
What Makes It Great
Get out before 10 a.m. to experience the serenity of morning fog, which clings to the chilly waters and envelopes you in a layer of cool air as you paddle through. As you round each river bend, the fog seems to thin slightly, allowing more and more visibility. Keep an eye out along the shorelines for wildlife, like Blue Herons, ducks, and on the logs, you’ll often see turtles sunbathing. A glance toward the sky could offer views of Red Tailed Hawks. Easier to spot are the luxurious mansions of OTP folks- sure to give you some major house envy.
Depending on the water levels, some sections along the banks are extremely shallow, so in the widest sections of the river, stay in the middle. Toward the last 2 miles, you’ll have to navigate through a few rocky shoals. The best path is usually to hang to the left and follow the river’s V’s. Near the shoals, you’ll often see fly fishermen, whereas in the deeper, wide sections of the river kayakers or small fishing boats stake out their spot on the river, looking for a good catch. The closer you get toward Roswell’s Riverside Park, the more people you’ll see “shooting the Hooch,” AKA tubing down the river.
Who is Going to Love It
The majority of the paddle passes through wide,calm sections of the river, so any level of paddler will find this paddle approachable. The shoals are easy to navigate, and the only concern is gettingcaught up on rocks. There’s an option to take out earlier as well, at Don WhitePark off Azalea Drive. This cuts off about 1 mile.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is free at both Holcomb Bridge Park and Riverside Park (575 Riverside Road, Roswell), and it’s a short 15 minute drive between the two. Both parks have bathroom facilities and pavilions. While on the river, each person in the boat must have a PFD. In the summer, wear sunscreen and bring a hat, as much of the second 4 miles tends to be in full sun.