Paddle Georgia Begins June 21, 1014

Paddle Georgia 2014
Paddle Georgia 2014

Paddle Georgia — the seven-day canoe/kayak adventure on the Chattahoochee River — hits the water on Saturday, June 21st for this year’s trip from Suwanee to Franklin.

More than 400 paddlers will traverse 110 miles of the Chattahoochee River June 21-27 as part of Paddle Georgia 2014, organized by Georgia River Network (GRN). Approximately 50 paddlers will also participate in the weekend only version – Paddle Georgia Lite.

The 2014 edition of Paddle Georgia will begin in Suwanee and end in Franklin seven days later, and introduce paddlers to the Chattahoochee River as it courses through metro Atlanta — from its northern suburbs in Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, and Fulton Counties and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area — to the river’s rural haunts in south Fulton, Douglas, Coweta, Carroll and Heard counties.

On the river by day, at night, the participants will camp at nearby facilities such as local high schools.  For additional fees, hot breakfasts and dinners are provided, along with sack lunches. The paddlers will call Suwanee, Smyrna, Newnan and Franklin home for the week, camping at the Lambert High School June 20-22, Riverview Landing June 23-24, Newnan High School June 25-26, and Heard County’s Riverside Park June 27.

The event includes educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment, and even a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program to give a snapshot of the river’s current health.

The trip culminates June 27 with a Journey’s End celebration and feast hosted by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Flint Riverkeeper at Heard County’s Riverside Park in Franklin. Members of the community are invited to attend the event, which includes a fish fry. The celebration is from 2:00-8:00 PM, with dinner at 6:00.

Tickets for the fish fry ($15) are available at

Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park, in partnership with MainStreet Newnan, are hosting a downtown Street Party and Festival at the historic Coweta County Courthouse Square on Wednesday, June 25 from 4:30-9:30 PM.

The festival will feature canoe and kayak demo rides and canoe tug-o-wars in a massive portable pool to be set up on Broad Street; a Paddling Film Festival at the Newnan Carnegie Library; and a D.J., music and dancing. Paddle Georgia participants will also be dining out at local restaurants for their evening meal.

Community members are also invited to two evening programs during Paddle Georgia’s stay at Riverview Landing in Smyrna.

On Monday, June 23, at 7:45 PM, historian and Civil War expert, Clarke Otten, will present a program on “The Atlanta Campaign and the Chattahoochee: Soldiers battle one another and nature in one of the Civil War’s epic struggles.”

On Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00 PM, the Georgia Water Coalition will recognize Georgia legislators who champion clean water and columnist and political correspondent, Tom Baxter, will speak on “The Politics of Water: Epic Battles and Endeavors to Protect Georgia’s Water.”

All Paddle Georgia community events are free (except the fish fry), open to the public, and held outdoors. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs.

Details on all Paddle Georgia community events can be found at

This is the ten-year anniversary for Paddle Georgia. In the event’s first nine years, GRN has introduced more than 2,800 paddlers to more than 900 miles of water trails including the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee, Oostanaula, Broad, Savannah, Oconee and Altamaha rivers. Along the way the event has generated more than $200,000 for river protection.

Paddle Georgia participants range in age from four to 84 and come from across the country and the world.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization working to protect the Chattahoochee from its headwaters in the North Georgia mountains to the Florida state line.

Information for the media, including a daily itinerary, directions to campsites, launch sites, and take-out sites can be found on the Paddle Georgia website:

Paddle Georgia is a project of Georgia River Network. Georgia River Network is a statewide organization working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to protect, restore and enjoy our rivers from the mountains to the coast.

Event Sponsors: Riverview Landing, Georgia Power; Columbia Sportswear; Hennessey Land Rover; Atlanta Attachment Company; Captain Planet Foundation; Maxxis International; Simmons Bedding Company; Patagonia; Len Foote Hike Inn; Cary S. Baxter, CPA, LLC; The Outside World; StreamTechs; Sweetwater Pools; R. Terry Pate, PC; Oglethorpe Power; Outdoor Nation; Cedar Creek RV & Outdoor Center; AGL Resources; China Clay Producers Association; Chris Shiver – PE LLC; New Belgium Brewing Co.; The RainBarrel Depot, Carrier Transicold, RS Industrial Inc.

Event Partners: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Georgia Canoe Association, American Canoe Association, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, Project Wet, National Park Service-Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Cobb County Water System, Flint Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee NOW, Cafe Campesino.

Click Here for Paddle Georgia


About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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