The dog days of summer are here, and while many people are hunkering down indoors to try and beat the Georgia heat, tubing down one of the many rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a refreshing alternative. Tubing provides an excellent way to cool down and have a great time with friends and family, and it can be enjoyed by novices and children. Several water sport companies offer tubing trips in North Georgia, and for a reasonable price they provide all of the supplies you will need for a fun summer adventure.
In Ellijay, the Coosawattee River Tubing Company offers tubing trips down the lazy Coosawattee River that last about an hour and a half. The Coosawattee is a mild ride, but lots of fun, and located conveniently close to rental villas for those looking for a weekend retreat. For people interested in more exciting rapids and a longer adventure, Cartecay River Experience offers a tubing expedition that lasts between 2.5 – 3.5 hours and includes exhilarating 10-ft. drops along the Cartecay River. They also have a family-friendly “Recreational Float” trip which follows a calmer stretch of the river and includes a sandbar where tubers can take a break and explore. For more fun on the water, Cartecay River Experience provides kayak rentals and trips, as well as river guides by appointment.
About 15 minutes outside of Blue Ridge, Rolling Thunder River Company in McCaysville offers tubing trips down the Toccoa River that last up to an hour. Rolling Thunder is also a summer stop along the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, and booking a trip for both activities can make for a fun-packed day.
Just outside of Dahlonega, Appalachian Outfitters Tubing Trips takes tubers on a 30-45 minute ride down the Chestatee River. This trip can be repeated by taking a short nature hike back to the drop-off point. Dahlonega, the site of America’s first gold rush, is full of fun tourist attractions and especially known for its gold-panning operations.
Tubing during the summer months is a fun and affordable way to cool down and enjoy nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each tubing operation has different age requirements for the activity, but kids older than 5 are generally allowed to participate, and some companies allow younger kids to join in. Tubes and life jackets are included in the cost of tubing expeditions. Hours of operation vary and weekends are a popular time to float down the river, so try to make advanced reservations for your tubing adventure.