Go-to Guide: Tubing with Kids Around Atlanta
Traveling down the Chattahoochee by inner tube or raft is a great way to cool off. Do it yourself, or visit one of these companies for a relaxing day on the river.
Be sure to check the website or call for special instructions.
Cool River Tubing, Helen
This tubing company sits right in the German-inspired town of Helen, and also has a zip line, water slide and climbing areas. After snaking down the Chattahoochee River, explore the town and have a taste of German food.
Cost: Purchase tickets at the Headwaters or Chattahoochee Outposts and the Main Street Booth. $14-$18 per person; prices vary for other activities.
The Details: Open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The minimum age for tubing is 3.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Float down the Chattahoochee River at one of NOC’s three outposts: Roswell at Azalea Park, Powers Island or Johnson Ferry. Kayak, canoe, paddleboard and raft rentals and guided trips are also available; book tickets online.
Cost: From $35 per person.
The Details: See website for hours, and note that there are different check-in locations based on the time of year. Minimum tubing age is 8.
Chattahoochee River Tubing
Purchase tickets at the Abbots Bridge Road check-in area; a shuttle will take you to the put-in location for a four-hour ride down the Chattahoochee. Straps are available to tether your tubes together, or rent a 4-person raft.
Cost: $25 (4 hour trip)
The Details: Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Minimum tubing age is 5.
Helen Tubing & Waterpark
This family attraction in Helen offers a 2.5-hour tube ride from 2 launch locations – Highway 75 N. or Brucken Street. While you’re there, enjoy the waterpark’s slides and activities.
Cost: $14-$20 per person for a single-tube trip (prices vary on weekends and holidays).
The Details: Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shoot the Hooch
Tube the Chattahoochee on a 2-3 hour trip, from Power Island Park NPS to Paces Mill NPS.
Cost: Starting at $25 per person.
The Details: Open daily, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Minimum tubing age is 5.
DIY Shoot the Hooch
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is open for rafting and tubing from dawn to dusk during the summer; all you need is a life vest and raft or tube. Parking is $5 at any of the parking lot access points. Make sure to leave a second car where you decide to end on the river.
Check weather reports and call for dam water release information: This provides recommended calm water times for floating. Buford Dam: 1-855-326-3569. Make sure you are in a safe location when the river begins to rise.
Minimum age to float down the river varies if renting supplies from a company; if not, it is up to parental discretion.
Ages 12 and younger must wear a life vest at all times. Ages 13 and older must have one in the raft or tube.
Rubber-soled shoes are a must for tackling slippery rocks.
Where to Go:
Abbotts Bridge to Medlock Bridge, 4 miles; 3-4 hours.
Medlock Bridge to Jones Bridge, 3 miles; 1.5-2 hours.
Morgan Falls Dam to Johnson Ferry, 2 miles; 1-2 hours.
Johnson Ferry to Powers Island, 3.5 miles; 2-4 hours.
Powers Island to Paces Mill, 3 miles; 1-3 hours.
Visit nps.gov or call 678-538-1200 for more information.
Meet at Appalachian Outfitters’ Dahlonega outpost for a tube ride on the Chestatee River. A shuttle will take you to the put-in site for the 30-45 minute ride. If you want to do the trip again, take a 10-minute walk back to the beginning (or pay a $3 shuttle fee for each additional ride). You can also rent canoe and kayaks for trips on the Chestatee and Etowah Rivers.
Cost: $8 per person; $3 for additional shuttle rides.
The Details: Open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The minimum age for tubing is 4.
Toccoa River Tubing
This tubing adventure is worth the trip to the scenic Blue Ridge area – take a 1.5 mile trip down the calm waters of the Toccoa river. Single and two-person funyaks and kayaks are also available for rental.
Cost: $12 per person.
The Details: Open daily, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The minimum age for tubing is 5.