The Chattachoochee River is Georgia's largest river basin as it runs from the mountains of north Georgia to the Apalachicola Bay in Florida. Most of the rafting, tubing, canoeing, and kayaking on the Chattachoochee River takes place north of Atlanta in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA).
It consists of a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River and begins at Lake Lanier's Buford Dam, near Buford, Georgia, and continues downstream through to Peachtree Creek near downtown Atlanta. CRNRA provides outdoor recreation for more than 3 million visitors a year.
Because the river is released from the bottom of Buford Dam, the Chattahoochee River usually flows clear and cold and slow. Floating the Chattahoochee River here is a great treat in the hot summer months whether you're tubing, canoeing, kayaking, or rafting.
However, there are times when the river will spill over the top of Buford Dam. When this happens, the Chattahoochee can become a raging torrent through its rockbound shoals. You will normally hear an alarm so unless you're an expert whitewater kayaker, be sure to get out and wait for the river level to drop.
Wildlife is abundant in the park. Some animals you will see every time you visit CRNRA and some, like the playful river otter, will delight you with a rare appearance.
Your best bet to 'shoot the hooch' is to rely on one of the local outfitters who can rent you the gear necessary for a great float on the Chattahoochee River.