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“Dawson Forest Wildlife Area kayaking”

Appalachian Outfitters
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2014

This is a wide, slow river without perils... but you still need to be able to steer. You park at Kelly Bridge Landing, then AO takes you upriver to put you into the water. Go at your own pace, and arrive back at your car accordingly.

There is a suitable but primitive (no running water) changing station at the end, as well as a portable potty. Bring a bottle of water, something to hold glasses onto your head, a hat, sunscreen, and perhaps insect repellent. If you bring a camera, you do so at your own risk.

The guide will give you instructions on how to find Barefoot Falls. It's easy to find and the walk not too strenuous. For river conversation, you might look up the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory before you go. There's some visible remnants, and the river likes nothing better than a conspiracy theory.

AO was on time, has good equipment, and are as helpful as you need.

Thank Reese C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 55 of 62 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2014

We had a group of 4 adults and 5 children under 10 and had little to no experience kayaking or canoeing and were interested in doing the 2-3 hour ride on the Chestatee River. These people were incredibly patient as we toyed back and forth as to whether we go on the river let along take a canoe or kayak. We were quite nervous as the river seemed to move quickly and with that many young children wondered if it was for us. We finally decided to do it and they set our group up in 2 canoes and 1 kayak (in the future I'd take their recommendation and do all kayaks). They even provided some extra bench seats and back rests for our comfort. Despite their clear directions we STILL went the wrong way on one bend in the river and got stuck just minutes down the river on rocks (so listen to the guide's directions! shame on us). But after being on the river only 20 minutes, we realized how wonderful it was. It truly was good for the inexperienced and and seemed to be enjoyed by many experienced kayakers. The route we took was 6 miles which takes about 2-3 hours. There's a small beach mid-way which is a great spot to stop, stretch out your legs, maybe have a snack. At the end, they were there to pick us up and drive us back to the starting point. The grounds are super clean and had picnic tables so we could eat lunch before going down the river. There are clean changing rooms and bathrooms. They also have a nice little shop. We will definately go back the next time we are in Georgia!

Thank us4travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

Called ahead to reserve boats for the group of friends I had coming. We were going to put in at 3 pm, which is the last departure of the day. The day of some of my friends had to cancel last minute, but the owner, Ben, was very accommodating.
We paddled the peaceful, secluded Chestatee River. It's right about 6 miles and takes between 2 and 2 and a half hours to complete the trip. The river is great if you are a beginner. There are a couple of Class 1's, but nothing too difficult.

The water was brown because of the rain the night before, but the current wasn't bad. There were a couple of shallow sections to avoid as to not get stuck.

Overall, it was a great experience. The staff was still very friendly and courteous after a long day. I would recommend this spot for families, as they also rent tubes and canoes.

1  Thank Jason N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

The Chestatee River is a beautiful, undeveloped river. The 6 mile stretch takes 2+ hours. It's generally wide open and slow - perfect for beginners.

That said, we tacked on the Yahoola Creek portion before entering the river. This section is open dependent on water flow, but is gorgeous and, while not difficult, certainly gives you obstacles to navigate around (rocks, limbs). The river is an easy float; the creek gives you something to do. This adds another hour to the trip, and the river seemed a bit boring afterwards in comparison.

We saw one young deer at the river, a bunch of turtles and what we think was a muskrat. That said, the vendor warns against taking cameras that are not waterproof. I got wetter in an open top kayak than I have in more enclosed ones, so it's a wise caution.

They make it simple. Show up, they provide the equipment, they handle transportation back to your car. Take a bottle of water and clothes/shoes you don't mind getting wet.

Great trip, friendly people, reasonable prices. Highly recommended!

Thank Reese C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

Took their trip on the Chestatee from their headquarters downstream to near the GA400 bridge. Had not been on the water in ages, and the other in my group never at all. We rented sit-on-tops and didn't have any trouble at all. It was so nice and peaceful floating along. The water was us to paddling really wasn't necessary. Besides, it was a "free day" and we were not in a hurry. The staff went out of their way to get us newbies settled in and ready to go. Class outfit.. Had a great time and a return trip is already in the works!

Thank Meridian_West
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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