Headquartered amid a 6-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River, Urban Currents equips its guests with 46-inch inner tubes designed for leisurely drifts down the softly flowing stream, though that's not to say they have no sense of adventure. Throughout the week, Urban Currents offers SUP board river trips, rafting trips, and sit-on-top kayaking trips.
Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters utilizes its location in the Aska Adventure Area to gift outdoor recreation fans with sweeping views during inimitable excursions. Navigate the two provided kayaks down the Toccoa River for the two- to three-hour unguided kayak expedition to encounter serene waters, as well as rainbow trout working on their ROYGBIV dissertations. The kayak rentals come with life jackets, paddles, and a shuttle ride from the Outfitters' Lilly Pad meeting location to the kayak-launching area.
The current of the Chattahoochee River becomes a natural playground with the help of Paddle Pusher, which rents out vessels for aquatic exploration. The company’s fleet of kayaks includes standard and inflatable single-person kayaks for those looking to traverse the river, as well as tandem kayaks ideal for couples trying to tame the rugged outdoors or sasquatch owners trying to reintroduce their pet into the wild. All kayak rentals include paddles, and for an additional $5, Paddle Pusher also rents out helmets, life vests, and waterproof bags for valuables.
White Water Learning Center of Georgia plunges people into raging rapids with its kayak, canoe, and paddle board classes and tours. Lessons teach paddlers how to navigate all classes of rapids in rivers and in the ocean. After learning how to explore local waterways, students can sign up for one of the learning center's excursions, or rent a canoe or kayak to take on a solo journey to the location where Atlantis' food court once stood.
As former designers of water courses at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Whitewater Express opens up the wonders of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to youth groups, coworkers venturing out on corporate outings, and outdoorsy vacationers with a wealth of activities and exploration opportunities at four different camps. Visitors hike and bike through the fresh, pine-scented air of the Great Smoky Mountains at the Ocoee location, which features 225-plus acres of unspoiled wilderness—or raft past downtown Columbus on a Chattahoochee River trip. Guests can survey the scenery as guides pilot whitewater rafts and kayaks down the scenic Ocoee and Nantahala Rivers; relax in rustic log cabins; or play paintball on a woodsy outdoor course.
The courteous staffers at River Tubing pair up customers with comfortable, dual-chamber tubes perfect for warm days spent on the calm waters of the Chattahoochee River. Two-, four-, and six-hour tubing trips take place seven days a week on stretch of river between Rogers Bridge and Medlock Bridge populated with wildlife including beavers, turtles, and otters. Shuttles carry customers and their gear to the drop-in spot and return them to the rental station at the end of the trip. While on the water, guests can sip drinks from coolers, connect their tubes to those of friends, hop out and swim, or issue speeding tickets to fast-moving schools of trout.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2 hours
Brands Used: Crescent and Emotion kayaks; Walker Bay 10 and Compac 16 for sail; Sunchaser 20 pontoon
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Lake Arrowhead - the mountain hideaway
Recommended Age Group: 25+
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
When I was in Vietnam with the US Army. For relaxation, special services provided sailboats for us to use. When I returned from overseas and started managing Sears stores, it was a great therapy to get out on the water.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Watching the faces of my customers change after a lesson or rental. They are so much more relaxed. It is like a mental massage for them. It is a great stress-buster to get out on the water.
Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?
Being part of a class and enjoying in the team-building fun.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
My dad was a naval commander. I was born in the Oakland Naval Yard. I built my first boat when I was 8 years old. My wife and I both hold a 50 ton US Coast Guard Sailing Captains License. We have spent 150 days in a 25-foot sailboat circumnavigating Florida. I love the peace being on the water brings.
Georgia Kayak Adventures’ experienced staff guides tours centralized on the Etowah River, which plays host to 75 native species of fish and strategic Civil War battle sites and crossings. Its eco tours embark on the green, natural waters of the river surrounded by lush foliage as guides explain the ecology of the area, with chance sightings of deer, birds, and incredibly lost scuba teams. Weekend evening tours tempt romance beneath the moonlight, whereas history tours explore covered bridges and Civil War hot spots. Kayak fishing trips come in both day and overnight versions, in which anglers search for bass or etowah and cherokee darters, which are native only to this area of the world.
Iran-born Dante found his home in the American wilderness, exploring landscapes from the Hawaiian tropics to the Carolina mountains. He shares his love of the outdoors through Georgia Wine Kayaking, leading guests on seasonal tours of Georgia's rivers, including ones that take place during full moons, sunrises, and the winter solstice. In addition to immersing guests in the state's natural surroundings, Dante extols the physical benefits of kayaking and canoeing, such as toning muscle and relieving stress.