Paddle Georgia river trip to include Coweta

by Sarah Fay Campbell


Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park River Committee Chairman Greg Hyde arrives with a boatload of trash at the Sweep the Hooch cleanup event in April 2013. The Chattahoochee will be the focus of a paddle event in June. 

The annual Paddle Georgia canoeing/kayaking event will travel through Coweta County this year.

The seven-day, 115-mile river journey will begin below Buford Dam near Cumming on June 21, and will end on June 27 in Franklin.

Paddlers will travel about 16 miles each day, and will camp at nearby facilities such as schools and parks. Paddlers will also have the opportunity to explore everything from historic sites to water treatment facilities.

“The trip is much more than just a paddle,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator. “The goal is to show people not only the river’s beauty but also how we use and depend on the river for everything from our drinking water to producing electricity. It’s an educational adventure.”

Last year, the event sold out in less than 24 hours. This year, 150 spots have already been claimed through priority registration for participants who raised more than $200 through a Canoe-A-Thon to benefit the Georgia River Network, which hosts the annual event.

The remaining spots will be awarded through a lottery. You can enter the Paddle Georgia Lottery now through Feb. 27 at the Paddle Georgia website, .

The event is suitable for all levels of experience and paddlers range in age from 4 to 84, with many families participating. Registration fees range from $155 to $350 for the trip.

In addition to supporting GRN’s efforts to protect Georgia’s rivers, 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.

This year is the 10th annual Paddle Georgia. The first Paddle Georgia in 2005 followed the same route.

During Paddle Georgia’s first nine years, GRN has introduced more than 2,800 paddlers to more than 900 miles of water trails on 11 different rivers. Along the way the event has generated more than $180,000 for river protection.

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