Whether you are looking to float lazily down a calm river surrounded by exquisite scenery and solitude, take the kids tubing through scenic rainforests or surf some of the most challenging rapids in the world, Ellijay is in the heart of some of the world’s most exciting white waters!
The Cartecay River
The Cartecay River starts its 19-mile journey in the Chattahoochee National Forest and runs west through Ellijay, perfect waters for kayak enthusiasts with both calm waters and challenging class II and III rapids. Ride the waters from the class II Rock Garden’s shoals and pools to Surfing Rapid through the swirling eddy of Whirlpool and on to the breathtakingly scenic grand finale, Blackberry Falls. The Cartecay and Ellijay rivers meet in the town of Ellijay to form the Coosawattee River, one of the largest rivers in North Georgia that gently carves its way for 22 miles through a spectacular gorge and lush forest to Carters Lake. Enjoy breathtaking views on a fun tubing excursion on mild rapids down the river, perfect waters for the entire family.
The Toccoa River
For the ultimate in kayaking and canoe adventures, the 17-mile Toccoa River Canoe Trail runs from the Deep Hole Recreation Area in Blue Ridge to the scenic pristine waters of Lake Blue Ridge, passing by the Swinging Bridge across the Toccoa River. 14-miles of the trail features mellow class II rapids running wild through the Chattahoochee National Forest and the remote Cohutta Wilderness. The sparkling waters tumble down mostly mild rapids through primitive forests teeming with wildlife and beautiful scenery along the way. The Trail is also popular with fishermen floating the waters in search of the perfect cold water trout.
The Toccoa River is the headwaters of Tennesee’s famous Ocoee River, the most popular rafting river in the US with some of the most exciting white-water rapids in the world. 10 raftable miles with an age limit of 12, these big splashy warm waters of the Ocoee run through the beautiful rocky gorges of the Cherokee National Forest offering two challenging sections of Class III/IV white water with big surfable waves, challenging rapids and continuous action, known to many as the ‘Ocoee Coaster’. The Upper Ocoee is more remote than the middle section and begins mildly with gentle class II rapids becoming more intense as you reach the well-known Mikey’s Ledge and the Olympic Slalom Course. From here on it’s a challenge for even the most experienced rafters as you head to the class III and IV rapids of Let’s Make a Deal, Best Ledge, Smiley Face, Slam Dunk, Callihan’s Ledge, Humongous, Roach Motel and Edge of the World. The names alone speak for themselves. The Middle Ocoee is five miles of continuous class III/IV waters, the more popular section of the river with lots of big water fun and plenty of rapids to play in! Ride the big-name rapids of Grumpy’s Ledge, Broken Nose, Double Suck, Double Trouble, Table Saw, Hell’s hole and Powerhouse Ledge. The Ocoee River offers the ultimate white water experience!
The Nantahala River
If you are not one to ride the big waves, the perfect family-friendly white water experience begins in the pristine mountain waters of the Nantahala River that runs for 8 miles through the beautiful gorge in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest. A colorful parade of kayaks, canoes and rafts, these family-friendly cold mountain waters welcome you to easy class II rapids suitable for any age over 7. Travel these mild rapids through scenic rainforests ending off your journey in the exciting class III wave white waters of The Nantahala Falls. For the less adventurous, be sure to use the take-out point before the more challenging Nantahala Falls.
Whatever the challenge, from quiet lazy waters to big wave rapids, Mountain Memories Cabins has the perfect cabin rental to make your vacation special.
Photo Credit: Nikhil Nair via Flickr