Growing up in Georgia, long before country singer Alan Jackson made the Chattahoochee River famous, “shooting the ‘hooch” on an inner tube was basically a rite of passage.
Tubing in North Georgia has only grown more popular since then. For us, it ranks right alongside lazy days at our local lakes among our favorite ways to beat the brutal summer heat.
From the Chattahoochee and Chestatee to the Cartecay and Toccoa, North Georgia has a number of scenic rivers that have cool water and beautiful views the whole family can enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for a more adventurous ride or a serene float where you can simply relax, there are lots of different options to choose from.
To that end, we’ve compiled a guide to some of the best places to go river tubing in North Georgia, each of which offers river tubes for rent. Many also have shuttles to get you back to your car after your float.
Most of these North Georgia tubing companies don’t even require advance reservations, so you can just show up, check-in, and enjoy a day on the water!
River Tubing in North Georgia Guide
- Cool River Tubing
- Helen Tubing & Waterpark
- Toccoa River Tubing Company
- Blue Ridge Tubing
- Rolling Thunder River Company
- Toccoa Valley Campground Tubing, Rafting, & Kayaking
- Ellijay River Outfitters
- Cartecay River Experience
- Appalachian Outfitters
- Chestatee River Adventures
Tubing in Helen GA
1. Cool River Tubing
590 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen GA • 706-878-2665
Cool River Tubing in Helen GA strives to make it simple for families to “shoot the ‘hooch” and safely enjoy the outdoors. They have three locations, but the main one is their Chattahoochee Outpost.
There you can purchase river tubing tickets, push sticks, lockers, pictures, and browse the gift shop. Changing room, restrooms, and concessionsare available as well.
For your Chattahoochee River tubing experience, you can choose between a long ride that takes 2 to 2.5 hours, or a short ride that takes just 1 to 1.5 hours.
The cost from Monday through Friday is $14, while on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays the cost is $18. This price includes a tube, life jacket, tie straps, a shuttle ride, and their key-saver service.
You can choose tubes with and without bottoms, but all kid-sized tubes have bottoms (which are recommended for ages 12 and under).
After purchasing your ticket and getting your tube, you can hop on a bus to get shuttled to your take-off point. From there, you can enjoy the river before eventually floating back to the Chattahoochee Outpost.
Kids ages 3 and up are also welcome to tube. But note that if the water level is deemed unsafe, the age limit may be raised.
Be sure to call or check their website/social media for any water level restrictions before making the trip.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Helen GA
2. Helen Tubing & Waterpark
222 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen GA • 706-878-7465
Offering a ton of fun water activities, the Helen Tubing & Waterpark is open 7 days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting).
Their Helen, Georgia tubing experience takes you down the Chattahoochee River and lasts about 2.5 hours, but may vary slightly due to the level of the water.
Tickets can be purchased at the beginning location (9917 Hwy 75N) from 9 am to 5 pm, or from the ending location (685 Brucken Str.) from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Both of these locations have free parking and free shuttle services, so you can count on getting back to your vehicle either way.
They also have picnic tables, restrooms, changing rooms, and a gift shop. The ending location also has the Wild Hog BBQ, one of the most popular Helen restaurants, if you’ve worked up an appetite after the float.
Tickets for ages 2 and up are $14 from Monday through Friday, or $18 on Saturday, Sunday, and all holidays. Note that all visitors ages 13 and under are required to wear a life jacket.
Tubes are available with or without bottoms, and headrests are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tubing in Blue Ridge GA
3. Toccoa River Tubing Company
340 Toccoa Ave, McCaysville GA • 706-492-5280
For a truly relaxing day spent floating on calm waters, try tubing in Blue Ridge Georgia.
The Toccoa River Tubing Company offers a 1.5-mile float, which typically takes around 1.5 hours. However, you’re welcome to go at your own pace and may even stop for a picnic along the way!
Their outpost (which is open every day from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm) offers plenty of parking, with an overflow parking lot right across the street. Restrooms and changing areas are also available.
When you check in, you can purchase a tube rental for just $10, which includes a life jacket and transportation to the river put-in point.
The only requirement for this Blue Ridge tubing hotspot is that all participants must be at least 5 years old.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to do in Blue Ridge GA
4. Blue Ridge Tubing
8436 Aska Road, Blue Ridge GA • 706-455-9421
Located just outside of Blue Ridge GA in the Aska Adventure Area, Blue Ridge Tubing also offers a tranquil ride down the beautiful Toccoa River.
Tubing is available from May 1st through September 30th, and runs from 9 am to 6 pm daily.
Admission here is $12 per person and includes a float, life jacket, and shuttle drop-off.
No reservations are required, so feel free to show up anytime and be ready to have fun!
After you make your way down the river, you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the surrounding restaurants, like the Iron Bridge Cafe.
You can also shop for souvenirs, or try your hand at gem mining at the Aska Mining Company.
READ MORE: The 13 Best Restaurants in Blue Ridge GA
5. Rolling Thunder River Company
20 Hughes Street, McCaysville GA • 800-408-7238
The Rolling Thunder River Company offers all sorts of adventures on the Nantahala, Ocoee, and Toccoa Rivers.
For the Toccoa River experience, guests can choose to kayak or tube, taking a 1.5-mile float down the river. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the speed of the water on a given day.
The section of the river you’ll be floating is relatively gentle and suitable for most people who are able to swim.
However, there may be small rapids and rocks along the way, so only ages 5 and up are allowed.
Inner tube rentals at Rolling Thunder cost $10 per person. Single funyaks (a.k.a. whitewater kayaks) or kayaks start at $22, while double funyaks or kayaks start at $32. Lifejackets and shuttles are included in this cost.
After purchasing your Georgia river tubing ticket and grabbing your tube, the bus shuttles run all day.
From the center, they shuttle you up the river and then you float back down to where you checked in.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Waterfalls Near Blue Ridge GA
6. Toccoa Valley Campground Tubing, Rafting, & Kayaking
11481 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge GA • 706-838-4317
The Tocca Valley Campground has been offering fun for the whole family for over 50 years now.
Tubing is available Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm for $12 per person. Tickets can be bought on-site, but you can also book online and save $1 per person!
All individual riders must be at least 4 years old, but smaller children can ride with parents on a 4- or 6-person raft.
If you bring your own tube, you will still be required to pay the $12 charge to launch from the TVC property.
There is free parking and a free shuttle to bring you back to the starting location after the approximately 2-hour ride.
Tubing in Ellijay GA
7. Ellijay River Outfitters
88 Holt Bridge Rd, Ellijay GA • 706-889-8697
Running through the town of Ellijay and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, the Cartecay and Ellijay Rivers merge to form the Coosawattee River.
The area has beautiful scenery throughout, and makes for a great North Georgia tubing experience.
Ellijay River Outfitters provides all the essential gear for a day on the water. This includes inner tubes (or kayaks), life jackets, and a shuttle service from their outpost to the river.
Their 1-mile float takes about an hour and costs $12 per tube. For the 3-mile float (which takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours), the cost is $23.
There’s no age requirement for the one-mile trip, since it’s calm and has no rapids.
Smaller kids can either ride in a tube with an adult or use the kid-sized tubes (with bottoms) that can be attached to a parent’s tube.
For the three-mile trip, it is recommended that all tubers should be ages 5 or older.
If you want to bring a furry friend along, you’re more than welcome! Pets are allowed as long as they can fit into your lap in the tube/kayak.
8. Cartecay River Experience
2400 Hwy 52, East Ellijay GA • 706-531-4746
The Cartecay River Experience offers two Ellijay tubing options for guests to choose from.
The first is their Lazy River Experience, which is family-friendly and has no age limit. It’s approximately 1.5 miles long and takes 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.
The second option is the Adventure River Experience, which is more intense and best suited for guests ages 5 or older. It’s approximately 3 miles long and takes 2.5 to 3 hours to complete.
Tube rentals for both options are $13 in cash or $16 if you pay with a credit card. Kayaks are also available for $28 in cash or $32 with a card. All the safety gear you need is included.
Push sticks, which are highly recommended, can be rented for $3 or purchased for $5.
If you have your own tube or kayak and just want to take advantage of their shuttle services, it’s not a problem.
But they do require you to pay $7 in cash or $10 per person with a credit card to use the service.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Ellijay GA
Tubing in Dahlonega GA
9. Appalachian Outfitters
1182 Golden Ave, Dahlonega GA • 706-867-7116
Located in Dahlonega GA, Appalachian Outfitters is a great place to go tubing in North Georgia.
They offer refreshing floats on the Chestatee River from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and are open from 10 am to 5 pm.
The cost is $8 per tube, which includes a life jacket and one shuttle ride. All guests must be at least 4 years old to ride.
Their shuttle service will take you to the beginning of the float, which lasts about 30 to 45 minutes.
If you wish to extend your float, you can take a 10-minute hike back to the beginning and enjoy this great Dahlonega tubing experience one more time.
If you want to get on the river even faster, you can download the liability waiver online and complete it in advance.
After your float, consider stopping by any of one of the great wineries in Dahlonega GA to finish your afternoon.
10. Chestatee River Adventures
27118 South Chestatee/Hwy 60, Dahlonega GA • 770-540-9950
Chestatee River Adventures offers both kayak and river tubing trips on the scenic Chestatee River.
Their North GA tubing trips are offered from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, offering great fun for all sorts of guests.
They have two types of tubes to choose from. One is a large tube with no bottom, while the other is a smaller tube with a bottom and headrest for kids (who must be at least 4 years old).
You enter the water right behind the Chestatee River Adventures building and float for around 20 to 25 minutes before exiting the river. From there, you’ll have an 8 to 10-minute walk back to the shop.
There are three places where you can re-enter the river to float back down to the exit point if you want to extend the adventure.
The best part is that you can make as many trips as you want for just $5 a tube, and all their trips can be booked in advance online. -by Christina Maggitas; lead image of tubing in Helen GA by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett