Kayaking at George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia

Kayaking at George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia

7 Unforgettable Places to Kayak in Georgia

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

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.

Outfitter: 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 + Serene 18 Paddle Trail, Augusta area

Kayaking in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @gracemyers25
Kayaking in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @gracemyers25

Although kayaking the Savannah River is reserved for more advanced paddlers, the 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.

Outfitter: Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental

Located alongside the Augusta Canal in Savannah Rapids Park, Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental provides launch and shuttle for paddlers exploring the Savannah River or Augusta Canal.

Beyond the Augusta Canal, you could explore three more waterways in Augusta to complete the Serene 18 Paddle Trail. Complete a route and have the official passport stamped at one of five approved locations. Once you've received all four stamps, stop by the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau office at 1000 Business Blvd. Evans, GA 30809 to pick up your free t-shirt!

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.

Outfitters:

Kayak Attack Adventures

Join Kayak Attack Adventures on the Flint River in Albany for an exciting adventure that compliments a visit to the amazing Flint RiverQuarium. Choose a two or five-hour adventure, exploring unique river features, near one of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders, Radium Springs. Kayak Attack guides paddlers through historic downtown Albany, to fantastic fishing holes, and searching for mystical blue holes!

Flint River Outpost – Camilla

The Flint River Outpost located in the Flint River Park provides canoes and kayaks for rent and for sale. Choose from several trips, including the most popular from the Radium Springs landing to the Flint River Outpost, which is approximately eight miles.

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 in George L. Smith State Park a must-see. A multitude of blue heron and white ibis, soaring and nesting above, lends a surreal, jungle-like feel to the paddle.

Outfitter: Mill Pond Kayak / George L Smith State Park

Led by the expertise of Mill Pond Kayak, paddlers tour thick stands of moss-draped cypress and tupelo near the restored Parrish Mill.

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.

Outfitter: Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club

A popular outdoor getaway, Lake Blackshear Resort is located in Georgia Veterans State Park. The resort offers an outstanding lodge, with two restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, and a museum honoring our nation's veterans. A sandy swimming area, watercraft rentals and a pro shop with fishing tours provide a wide variety of watersport recreation.

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.

Outfitter: Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions

Choose a quick float or a half-day adventure, and experience Macon from the waters of the Ocmulgee River with Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions.

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.

Published: February 2020
Written by: Candy Cook