Photo by Doug Letterman
Photo by Doug Letterman

When I moved back south to Alabama about four and a half years ago from Jackson, Wyoming, I thought I would have to get creative about finding an outlet for my outdoor activities yen. The Greater Yellowstone Area is famous for its world class scenery and recreational opportunities. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this area of the country has a plethora of outdoor options for fun. There are creeks, lakes and rivers to fish, diverse public lands to explore, and vistas to be enjoyed. And let’s not forget the beach! One of the activities I wanted to explore was kayaking. I love all the rivers and big creeks covered by arching trees and hanging moss. I’m even keen on sharing them with the snapping turtles, snakes and alligators. As I researched kayaking in Alabama, I learned that the southeastern region of the US has some great areas for boating. Last summer, my family kayaked (aka floated) the Coosa river just north of Montgomery. It was a glorious day! My husband and I were more than content to leisurely drift along the shady banks for a few hours. My thirteen year old son, on the other hand, was slightly less than thrilled with the afternoon’s pace. He wanted to know when the rapids would appear. In the meantime, he entertained himself by using his kayak in ways that no kayak was meant to be used. He would go from sitting on one end, so the boat was floating at almost a ninety degree angle, to kneeling on the opposite end. At one point I looked over to not see any part of him except his feet wrapped like claws around the sides as he dangled under the water. There were a few moderate rapids that afternoon, but not enough to thrill the boy. By the end of the day, he was drenched and a little bored. This year I have a plan to satisfy the boy. I will be sending that kid down the largest urban whitewater course in the world! With 2.5 miles of rapids I seriously doubt I’ll be seeing the kayak monkey act revisited. The best part of this scenario is that I don’t have to travel far.  The city of Columbus, Georgia opened the Chattahoochie River for whitewater on May 25th.  The Chattahoochie flows along the downtown border of the city, and Columbus has celebrated this resource by developing a pedestrian area and park along its bank. There is also an entertainment area along nearby Broadway Street that has a variety of restaurants, shops and outdoor entertainment. So I figure this will be a great afternoon for all.  The boy can commit death-defying feats of kayaking, and the husband and I can lounge near-by with a frosty beverage and full belly.  I love being outdoorsy!  For more information on boating the Chattahoochie, check out the official Columbus, GA whitewater site,, and this video on

Mary Prater





One thought on “Columbus, GA Whitewater by Mary Prater

  1. PorchScene Staff

    If you are intersted in floating the Coosa River contact the Coosa Outdoor Center in Wetumpka for equipment rental and drop-off information. We had a great experience using their services! – Mary Prater

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