A friend and I decided to take an overnight kayak/camping trip. We parked one vehicle at the Heard County recreation center where we would take out at and put one vehicle in at the ramp at Hollingsworth Ferry Rd. We loaded up my Perception Sierra and the borrowed Perception Swifty and off we went.
The river was running at a normal level when we put in and we had zero problems due to water level. The Chattahoochee is a wide river, so there were no problems with down trees or anything.
I'm no expert paddler, but we had very few problems with rapids on this one. If I had to guess at the class, I'd say we maybe encountered 2 class II rapids and the rest were easy class Is. One of us did get beached on a rock going through one set....that was an interesting rescue.
Camp at your own risk
We had planned to camp out on a set of islands in the middle of the river, but that was a no-go since there was really no suitable place to camp. A little further down, we found a clearing that looked to have been used for camping before, so we opted to setup there for the night. From the boat ramp, at a slow pace, we made it in a little over three hours to camp.
When we left the next day, the river was up....way up. It was still slow, and there were no mentionable rapids, but it was nice and easy getting down to the take-out. It may have taken us an hours worth of moderate paddling to make it to the boat ramp at the recreation center.
Along the way we saw a few cranes, a blue heron, and a couple of deer running across the river.
It was an easy trip and an apt paddler could certainly tackle this in an afternoon with relative ease.
The boat ramps at Hollingsworth Ferry and Heard Co. Rec center are really nice. We parked overnight at both places with no problems. Although regular camping on the islands in the middle of the river would be no problem, it would be difficult to setup camp. Where we camped, we had no problems, but we didn't see anyone either. Use at your own risk.
Perception Sierra w/ Orleans Paddle
Perception Swifty w/ Easy Rider Paddle
From Franklin, you'll find the Heard County Rec Center at the corner of Hwy 100 and Glover Rd. Park one car there and go North on Highway 100. Five Notch Rd is roughly 2 miles north on your right, but the Road is unmarked. If you can't find it, don't worry, just keep going to Hwy 27, take a left and go to the first road on the right. It dead ends into Five Notch. Take Five Notch until it dead ends into Hollingsworth Ferry Rd and take a right. Hollingsworth Ferry dead ends at the boat ramp. Keep in mind that half of Five Notch and Hollingsworth Ferry are dirt roads.
I used Mapquest arial view to get a good idea of what we'd be going through.
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)