If you haven’t been tubing down a river this summer, what are you waiting for? Both the Chestatee and Chattahoochee rivers have several tubing companies alongside their flowing waters. For a cheap, fun activity, you might want to visit these spots and rent a tube. But be sure to bring some shoes that won’t fall off as you float, and don’t even think about taking any valuable items on the river.
Which river should I choose?
The Chestatee River offers more shade and is less crowded than the Chattahoochee. The main tubing companies are located in Dahlonega, so you can make a trip through the mountains on your way up.
The Chattahoochee’s northern end tends to get crowded with its most popular spots in Helen. Tubing is one of the main attractions for the city, so expect a lot of people but a good time while you view the city from the water.
The Chattahoochee south of Buford Dam offers tubing trips closer to Atlanta. The river is wider and deeper and the terrain not so mountains, but the view will still be filled with trees.
To float down the Chestatee River at Appalachian Outfitters, you have to be at least 4 years old. The trip is a quick 30 to 45 minutes, but you’re welcome to take a shuttle back to the top of the trail to do it all over again for only $2.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends through Sept. 4
Where: Appalachian Outfitters, Dahlonega Outpost, 1182 Golden Ave., Dahlonega
How much: $6 per tube
More info: 706-867-7116
Chestatee River Adventures in Dahlonega offers a 25-30 minute float for $5 per tube. After your first trip, you can re-enter the river from three different places on your way back up to the shop. You can float down the river as many times as you wish. There is no minimum age, but there is a 5-8 minute walk at the end of the river to get back to Chestatee River Adventures.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day through Sept. 4
Where: Chestatee River Adventures, 2718 S. Chestatee St., Dahlonega
How much: $5 per tube
More info: 770-540-9950
Chattahoochee south of Buford Dam
If you want to go toward Atlanta, you can try tubing at Shoot the Hooch in Roswell. Their price includes only one trip, but it is a mile and a half long. Plan to be on the water for about two hours or more. And if you want to try more than tubing, Shoot the Hooch also rents rafts, canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards. Children must be at least 5 years old to get in the river.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tubing. Must exit the water by 6 p.m.
Where: Shoot the Hooch, Azalea Park, 203 Azalea Drive, Roswell
How much: $26
More info: 770-650-1008
Chattahoochee’s north end
For $20, you can float down the Chattahoochee River all day and enjoy the waterpark at Helen Tubing & Water Park. If you prefer to just tube, each ride down will cost $5. There is no age requirement for tubing, but you must be 42 inches tall to ride the waterslides at the park.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day for tubing; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday for the waterpark
Where: Helen Tubing & Water Park, 222 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen
How much: $5 per ride for tubing and $20 admission into waterpark with unlimited tubing included
More info: 706-878-7465
With Cool River Tubing
In Helen, you’ll find longer tubing trips. Both a one-hour float and a two-hour float are offered at Cool River Tubing. And if that’s not enough, there is also an area with two waterslides that you can stop at halfway down the river. Children must be 2 years old to tube, and the height requirement for the waterslides is 42 inches.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through September, weather permitting
Where: Cool River Tubing, 590 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen
How much: $8 for one tube trip, $12 for all-day tubing and $5 for waterslide pass
More info: 706-878-2665