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Canoeing & Kayaking

Chattahoochee River at Powers Island and Paces Mill, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Copyright 2001 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez,
  • Date Submitted: 7/2001
  • Location: northern Atlanta
  • Class: 1 typically
  • Distance Paddled: About 3 miles from Powers Island to the Paces Ferry take out.
  • Water Level: typically not affected too much by low water drought conditions elsewhere, the current can vary considerably based on rainfall and releases of water from Lake Lanier upstream.
  • Water: fresh
  • Wildlife:
  • Special Regulations: No glass containers, pets leashed, children under 10 must wear lifejackets, no personal watercraft

Entry - Powers Island

  • Directions: From Atlanta, take I-75 north to I-285 east. Exit at the first exit (Exit 22) for Northside Powers Ferry. Take a left on Northside to cross back over I-285. Then take another left at Interstate North Parkway heading southwest back the way you came on I-285. Just before you cross the bridge over the Chattahoochee at the bottom of the hill, enter Powers Island on the right. The walkway to the Put-In is on the near side of the parking lot. For more information on shuttles, etc., contact the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, 770-399-8070.
  • Fee: $2 parking
  • Description: steps down to the river.
  • Parking: paved about 200 feet up the path
  • Facilities: restrooms, concession, raft rental, shuttle service. The Cochran Shoals linear park complex with extensive trails is just across the river on the same side Interstate North Parkway.
  • Handicap Access: none

Exit - Paces Mill

  • Directions: From Atlanta, Take I-75 to Exit 256 Mt. Paran Northside Parkway. Take Northside Parkway west across the river and enter the Paces Mill Park area at the sign. Proceed to the ramp.
  • Fee: $2 parking
  • Description: ramp
  • Parking: paved nearby
  • Facilities: restrooms, picnic areas, concession, raft rental, shuttle service.
  • Handicap Access: ramp

What We Saw

Powers Island and Powers Ferry are named after James Powers, a plantation owner who ran a ferry across the river here in the early 1800's.

Cochran's Ford saw a civil war detachment cross the river wearing only their hats and carrying their weapons overhead on July 9, 1864 to scout the river area pending Federal crossings.

Today, this area is part of an extensive linear park that spans Cobb and Fulton counties with miles of trails and recreation.

It's fantastic that there can be a paddling venue in the midst of Atlanta. This is also a popular area for rafters, which probably explains the steps down to the river.

The kayak slalom course shown at right is on the east side of the Powers Island put in, though when we were there, it didn't have much current.

When we were there, the water level seemed a little low, so I would take a plastic boat as there are a few rocks along the way.

Look for the Paces Mill takeout shown above on river right just under 1 mile after passing the I-75 bridge.