Where to Kayak, Canoe and Cool Off in Atlanta
Need to get in, on or near a body of water this summer? Atlanta has pools, kayaking, canoeing and more. Atlanta and the surrounding metro area have plenty of places to stay cool this summer.
Learn How to Shoot the Hooch
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area makes up a series of parklands along the Chattahoochee River, roughly 48 miles. This river flows through the northern metro area of Atlanta. Float down the river (or shoot the ‘hooch) with help from these outfitters.
- Nantahala Outdoor Center – The locations of Powers Island and Johnson Ferry along the river have rental outposts for tubing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and inflatable kayaks.
- Shoot the Hooch – Shoot the Hooch is directly on the Chattahoochee River at Powers Island. Jump in a raft, canoe, kayak, tube or stand-up paddleboard and take a fun and relaxing trip down the Chattahoochee River.
Take Guided Canoe Trips
The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers guided canoe trips, suitable for all levels. The nature center provides all equipment for guests. River Canoe Trips are for all skill levels (ages 6 and up) and take 2.5 hours. Family canoe days and date night canoe trips are offered.
Go Chasing Creeks and Waterfalls
Hike or run the Morningside Nature Preserve featuring a sandy beach and tall swinging bridge on South Peachtree Creek. Hike Cascade Springs Nature Preserve to a beautiful waterfall and a historic springhouse. In Roswell, the Roswell Mill Waterfall is a popular place for locals to get wet.
Visit Lake Lanier
About an hour north of the city is Lake Lanier. Margaritaville at Lanier Islands has a water park, marina, sunset cruises, pontoon boat rentals, a beach and several restaurants. Don Carter State Park is located on Lake Lanier and offers aqua cycling, fishing, biking, a beach, and paddleboard and kayak rentals.
Make a Splash at Attractions
Splash pads can be found at Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park, Old Fourth Ward playground and Piedmont Park. Water parks around town are located at Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell and Six Flags White Water in Marietta.
Day Trips at State Parks
Find even more ways to cool off at these state parks, listed with the water adventures available at each place. All have camping, yurt, lodge or cottage accommodations.
James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park: fishing pier, boat ramp, two ponds and rentals (jon boat, kayak, canoe and pedal boat), plus a beautiful marble mine trail.
Unicoi State Park: beach, swimming area, boathouse (pedal boat and canoe rentals) and fishing.
Fort Yargo State Park: large swimming beach, fishing and rentals (jon boat, kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard and pedal boat), plus a 1792 log fort.
High Falls State Park: a hiking trail around rushing falls, a swimming pool, fishing, rentals on the lake (kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and aqua cycles).
Sweetwater Creek State Park: two fishing docks, boat rentals (jon boat, kayak, canoe, paddleboard and aqua cycle), plus the large rocky creek where visitors frequently wade.
Red Top Mountain State Park: sandy beach with swimming, fishing, two boat docks, two boat ramps.
Check out our ultimate guide to summer in Atlanta for more cool things to do.
Get to know Atlanta, and discover the best things to do around the city.