For Non-Emergency Law Enforcement Assistance

A non-emergency is an event that does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of you and others people. Examples of when to call the non-emergency line are when you see a property crime (car break-ins, vandalism) suspicious activity or a threat to the park's resources (digging, metal detecting).

For Emergencies
An emergency is an event which represents a direct threat to the health and safety of visitors or employees. Example of when to dial 911 are for missing person, fire, physical altercation, or injury.
DIAL 911


Zika Virus

The Zika virus is a viral disease transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes (Aedes species, a non-native species introduced by humans). Visit the National Park Service Zika Virus page to learn about the virus and how it impacts our visitors.

Drawing of a person wearing a Life Jacket in water with the words "Wear It!" at the bottom.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

A U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) is Required To Be Worn if you are boating, tube floating, or wading in river areas between

  • Buford Dam and the GA 20 highway bridge and
  • Morgan Falls Dam and the Morgan Falls boat ramp.

On all other river sections in the park, you must have a wearable, appropriately sized; U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD on board all watercraft, including float tubes and air mattresses for each person. All children under the age of 13 MUST WEAR a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD when a watercraft is underway.

Capsized raft on the river with empty PFDs.
Swift waters can overtake you!

NPS Photograph/Robert Armstrong

Check The Flow

Always be cautious of rising river levels due to water releases from Buford and Morgan Falls Dams. Check the water release schedule before entering the river. Entering the river directly below a dam as water is released is very dangerous. Rising river levels further downstream may not be as dramatic and thus be just as deadly. For the Buford Dam water release schedule call 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569) or 770-945-1466. Or visit their Hydropower Generating Schedule website for release times and amounts for the current day. Visit the Georgia Power's Chattahoochee Hydro Real-Time Operations website for the Morgan Falls Dam tentative water release schedule. Please visit our Downstream Flow Rate page for approximate times that it takes for river levels to begin to rise at various locations below Buford Dam.


Flash Floods

While not as frequent as the daily water releases from the dams, you must be aware that natural flash floods do occur on the Chattahoochee River. If you are on the river during a hard rain you would naturally expect for the river level to rise. How about those days when the skies remain sunny overhead all day but you see dark clouds nearby. Besides a sunburn you may soon be in a flash flood. Use common sense on days like this and be prepared to get off the river immediately.



Bring fresh drinking water and non-perishable food or snacks. Drink and eat periodically to avoid dehydration and keep your energy levels high. DO NOT drink the river water as harmful levels of bacteria may be present! For additional information about the water quality of the Chattahoochee River and the BacteriAlert Program visit the Chattahoochee Riverway Project website at


Water released from Buford Dam comes from the bottom of Lake Sidney Lanier and is approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This cold water is great for trout, but dangerous for you. Beware of Hypothermia which is the severe lowering of the body's temperature. When exposed to these low temperatures, exhaustion or unconsciousness can occur in less than 30 minutes. If you fall into this cold water, get out quickly and warm yourself. Hypothermia can occur even in the warmest summer months.

Severe Weather

Watch weather and water conditions 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. Always wear appropriate footwear.


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.


Know your planned fishing spots and tell others your plans. Paces Mill is the last take-out point in the park. It is located a short distance downstream from the I-75 Highway underpass on the West side of the river.

Last updated: October 22, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350


(678) 538-1200
If you should receive a message on the phone that the number is out of service or has been disconnected then try calling or texting 404-695-2620. If you know the cell number of the person you are trying to contact please use it.

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