PADDLE GEORGIA

PADDLE GEORGIA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many people participate?

Before COVID-19, each year, between 300 and 450 people participated in Paddle Georgia, Georgia River Network’s week-long canoe/kayak camping adventure. Now, Georgia River Network offers a series of small-group paddle trips, usually limited to about 30 people. As conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic change, Georgia River Network may choose to expand the number of participants on our weekend and day trip adventures. Paddlers range in age from 4 to 84, and bring a wide range of skill levels. Most of Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia Adventures are suitable for novice paddlers. 

Can I go for just part of the trip?

Yes. Before COVID-19, many people choose to participate in Paddle Georgia Lite, paddling for just the first two days or the last two days of our 7-day Paddle Georgia trip. When we return to our before COVID-19 trip model, we will again offer Paddle Lite options. For now, our weekend trips are arranged so that if you wish to paddle just one day, that’s easy to do. However, registration fees remain the same whether you choose to participate in the full trip are not. 

What does my registration fee include?

Your Paddle Georgia registration fees for weekend trips include a T-shirt, boat decal, maps and river descriptions, camping with bath facilities, shuttles and guide services, entertainment and educational programs. For our day trips, registration fees include shuttle and guide services, educational programs and river maps.  

What’s a Canoe-A-Thon?

Like a walk-a-thon, Paddle Georgia’s Canoe-A-Thon will raise money for Georgia River Network. Each participant is asked to solicit donations on a per-mile basis. Those participants generating more than twice their registration fees may choose to request a refund on their registration fee. For instance, if you register for a weekend trip with a fee of $350 and you raise at least $700, we’ll refund your registraion fee (it’s one way to get your friends, family and associates to pay for your river adventures while supporting a great cause!). Additionally, the top 250 Canoe-A-Thon participants who raise at least $300 will be eligible for priority registration for Paddle Georgia 2023. Canoe-A-Thoners compete for gifts and prizes, including new canoes and kayaks and other great merchandise and services from our many sponsors.

How much does it cost?

Registration fees range from about $70 for our day trips on up to $400 or more for weekend and week-long adventures. Check each individual trip for pricing. Registration fees cover the costs of campsites, shuttle transportation, catered meals, insurance and registration processing fees, t-shirts and other swag, educational programs, maps and guide services. Revenue from Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia River Adventures is used to portect our rivers and develop water trails across the state. 

Do I need to be an experienced paddler?

You don’t need to be an expert, but a little experience is helpful. We’ve had complete beginners participate in many of our events, and most trips are generally suitable for novice paddlers. Review the descriptions of each event to determine your comofort level. Generally, trips designated as flatwater/Class I are suitable for beginners. If you are new to paddling, we ask that you take a basic canoeing or kayaking instruction class. Georgia River Network periodically offers basic kayaking classes as do other paddling organizations such as Georgia Canoeing Association. 

What about boats? And, what do I need to bring?

You are responsible for bringing a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or other person-powered vessel, paddles and a personal floatation device. Georgia River Network has a small fleet of rental kayaks and you can reserve these boats when you register (rentals inlcude paddle and PFD). You can also rent from local outfitters near our river destination. See our list of outfitters to find an outfitter.  Also bring standard camping gear including a tent and personal items. Your boat should be of a size and weight that you and another person can carry. 

 

Where do we camp?

Our campsites for our weekend paddle-camping trips are typically private campgrounds that provide tentsites, restrooms, showers and a central sheltered gathering place for serving meals and conduction evening education programs and entertainment. Some campsites include options for indoor accommodations with beds and many include options for RVs/campers. In most cases, these campsites are located on the water body we’ll paddle. 

Do I need to bring food?

Breakfast, dinner and sack lunches are included in registration fees for our weekend paddle-camping trips as well as our 7-day Paddle Georgia journey on the Chattahoohcee River June 19-25. These meals include options for vegetarian and vegan diners. Breakfasts include coffee. No meals are provided on our day trips. Participants are responsible for bringing their own food.  

What's the proper attire?

River rat chic is preferred, but we welcome all styles! Plan your clothes according to the season and conditions under which we will paddle. Our paddle trips continue rain or shine except in circumstances of severe weather.  Please note…everyone wears a personal floatation device at all times on the river so your PFD is your most noticeable fashion statement!

Where do I leave my car?

Shuttle services are provided on all Georgia River Network Paddle Georgia River Adventures. Generally, for our day trips, vehicles will be left at the take out site and shuttles will be run prior to launching. On our weekend paddle-camping trips, we use a variety of shuttle schemes to reconnect you and your boat with your vehicle at the end of the trip. These services vary depending on launch and take out conditions and availability of commercial shuttle services and outfitters. When you are in camp, your vehicle will be at your campsite. We do our best to mimimize driving and maximize time on the river!

Can I fish during Paddle Georgia?

Yes, but you are responsible for obtaining appropriate licenses and understanding and following the proper rules and regulations.

Paddle Georgia Policies:

For your safety and the safety of others.

  1. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the river. Depending on campsites, Georgia River Network provides Molsom/Coors/Terrapin beer products with dinner each evening during our overnight paddle trips. 
  2. All participants must attend the pre-launch safety briefing. Participants must adhere to the safety guidelines presented.
  3. Participants must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device at all times on the river.
  4. Participants under age 18 are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian.
  5. Sorry, no pets allowed.
  6. All participants must sign a Medical and Emergency Contact Information sheet and a Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability form. Parents must sign for children under the age of 18. (These forms will be sent in the info. packet.)
  7. Person-powered watercraft only.
  8. All participants must respect private property along the river.
  9. All participants must have basic paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water.
  10. No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
  11. All participants, especially small children, must have a designated seat in the vessel in which they are traveling.
  12. Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.
  13. No firearms are permitted on the trip.

Code of Conduct
At Georgia River Network, we like to think of our river adventure participants as our “river family.” We come from many different backgrounds, but the river is the great equalizer and our common bond. We want all participants to treat one another as family.

  • Be respectful of all participants, including their property, their person and their personal views. On our river adventures you will paddle, eat and camp with people that are very different from you. Please respect and celebrate those differences.
  • Be helpful. If you see someone that needs a hand in camp or on the river, please lend yours.
  • Be courteous. Be prepared to wait in lines for restrooms, shuttle buses, meals and more. Remember, we are all in the same boat; only by working together can we get everyone safely down the river.
  • Do not use inappropriate language. This is a family event with participants of all ages.
  • Do not verbally or physically intimidate or abuse other participants.
  • Do not become intoxicated or under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
  • Do not violate quiet hours by engaging in loud talk and disruptive behavior between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. 

Violations of these policies can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.

 

Refund Policy

Changes can be made to Kick Off and Trip’s End shuttle, meals, and merchandise through May 31. Any registration cancellations made prior to June 1, will incur a 10% processing fee. As of June 1, no refunds will be granted.

The paddling and time on the river is, of course, the reason we come but the people that come together for the week have become the main reason I do the trip. It is the highlight of the summer.

~ Alan Kendall

Georgia River Network

126 South Milledge Avenue, Suite E3, Athens, Georgia 30605 | (706) 549-4508 (phone) | info@garivers.org