7 Unforgettable Places to Kayak in Georgia

A little off the beaten path, these Georgia rivers and lakes offer unbeatable scenery for paddlers.

Kayaking at George L. Smith State Park
Wesley Hendley, Mill Pond Kayak

Kayaking at George L. Smith State Park

Venture through preserved woodlands, among moss-draped cypress and tupelo trees, past historic sites and to fantastic fishing holes on these rivers and lakes that are just perfect for a Georgia kayak trip.

Altamaha River

Formed by the confluence of the Ocmulgee, Oconee and Ohoopee rivers near Lumber City, the Altamaha River watershed is the largest river system east of the Mississippi. - GDECD Photography

Named by Nature Conservancy as "one of 75 last great places in the world," the un-dammed Altamaha River is the second-largest watershed in the Eastern United States and supports more than 130 rare and endangered species.


  • Three Rivers Outdoors - Featured on NOAA's "Rivers to Reefs," and "Survivorman," Three Rivers Outdoors is the perfect adventure for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Paddle along the mighty Altamaha River through preserved woodlands, freshwater wetlands, and scenic salt marsh on trips ranging from two hours to two weeks!

Augusta Canal/Savannah Rapids, Augusta area

Kayaking the Augusta Canal. Photo by Candy Cook

While kayaking the Savannah River is reserved for more advanced paddlers, Augusta Canal is an experience everyone can enjoy. Kayakers have an amazing view of historic sites and wildlife on the hours-long paddle to Olmstead Lake.


Flint River, Albany

Boating on the Flint River

Flowing free for 200 of its 344-mile length, the Flint River is dotted with the mysterious appearance of blue hole springs. Known for having a lazy current, abundant wildlife sightings and scenic views, a float down the Flint is fun for all ages.


George L. Smith State Park, Twin City

George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia

Serene waters, picturesque Southern scenery and abundant wildlife encounters make this secluded water trail a must-see. A multitude of blue heron and white ibis, soaring and nesting above, lends a surreal, jungle-like feel to the paddle.


Lake Blackshear, Cordele

Lake Blackshear, Cordele

Kayakers on Lake Blackshear enjoy amazing sunset views, paddling the 8,700-acre lake, and wildlife encounters with a variety of birds, turtles and alligators.


Ocmulgee River, Macon

Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions, Facebook

See a view of Macon you can't get anywhere else, floating through town and forest, passing historic sites, and paddling class I rapids.  


Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs

Paddling Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo by Candy Cook


  • Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from downtown Atlanta. A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful rapids below. The 215-acre George Sparks Reservoir is popular for fishing and provides a pretty setting for feeding ducks and picnicking. SUPs, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats can be rented. 

Candy Cook is Georgia's official Outdoor Explorer. Find more of her outdoor trip ideas on ExploreGeorgia.org.

Published: May 2017
Written by: Candy Cook