Rising River Waters Can Kill!
Watch for rapidly rising river levels on the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries. Water released from dams and heavy rain can turn a day on the river into a tragedy! More »
Call for Water Release Schedule
With colder temperatures you can expect longer and more frequent water releases. For water release schedule info, call 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569) for Buford Dam and 404-329-1455 for Morgan Falls Dam. Save numbers to your cell! More »
Things To Know Before You Come
A U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device is REQUIRED TO BE WORN if you are boating, tube floating, or wading in river areas between (1) Buford Dam and the GA 20 highway bridge and (2) between Morgan Falls Dam and the Morgan Falls boat ramp.
You must have a wearable, appropriately sized, U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for each person on board your watercraft (i.e. canoes, kayaks, rafts, boats, float tubes, inner tubes, air mattresses). Additionally, all children under the age of 13 MUST WEAR a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD when the watercraft is underway.
Glass containers are not allowed on the river. Broken glass can cause serious injury to river users and damages personal equipment.
Operating a power boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal! Drinking alcohol impairs coordination and judgment putting you at greater risk of injury.
Always be cautious of rising river water levels due to dam releases or rainfall. Flash floods do occur on the Chattahoochee River. Check the water release schedule before entering the water directly below dams. For the Buford Dam water release schedule call 770-945-1466. For the Morgan Falls Dam water release schedule call 404-329-1455. You can obtain real time water levels for three locations by visiting the National Weather Service website.
The water in the Chattahoochee is much colder than you think! Water is released from the bottom of Buford Dam and is approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This cold water is great for trout, but dangerous for you. Beware of Hypothermia -- the severe lowering of the body's temperature. When exposed to these low temperatures, exhaustion or unconsciousness can occur in less that 30 minutes. If you fall into this cold water, get out quickly and warm yourself. Hypothermia can occur even in the warmest summer months.
Watch the weather and head for shore if bad weather threatens. If lightning occurs, get out of the water, stay away from trees, and seek low shelter. Lightweight, quick-drying clothing is adequate in the summer. During cooler seasons wear clothes of natural and synthetic fiber blends. For cold weather wear wool or synthetic fibers -- they retain heat even when wet. Water levels may rise quickly even if it is not raining on you.
Always wear appropriate footwear. Although glass containers are not allowed on the river today, you stand a good chance of finding glass that was left in the past.
Never dive or jump in the river. There are dangers in the form of submerged rocks, murky water, and fluctuating water levels that can cause serious injury.
Let a family member or friend know your plans. Give them the name of the park unit and trailhead if you are staying on land. Give them the name of the park units where you are putting-in and taking-out if you are floating the river. If you do not check back with them by a predetermined time they should call the park dispatch at 770-952-0370 or dial 911. Remember, the boat ramp at Paces Mill is the last take-out point in the park. It is located a short distance downstream from the Interstate 75 Highway underpass on the right side of the river.
Bring drinking water and snacks or non-perishable food. Drink and eat periodically to avoid dehydration and keep your energy levels high. Do not drink the river water.
Please remember, an entrance fee is charged for all vehicles entering the park. You may purchase a $3 daily pass at all parking areas in the park. You may also purchase a $25 annual park pass that will cover the entrance fee for one year. Visit our Fees & Reservations page for more information about entrance fees.
Did You Know?
While many caterpillars make cocoons to molt into moths and butterflies, some, like the Hickory Horned Devil, bury themselves in the ground over the winter emerging in the Spring fully changed.