How to Shoot the Hooch

Want to “Shoot the Hooch,” but not sure how? Whether you decide to B.Y.O.T. (bring your own tube) or use a rental service, this guide will equip you with everything you need to know for a fun-filled journey along Cobb County’s eastern border, The Chattahoochee River.

Guide for Self-Service Tubers

Shootin’ the Hooch is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Atlanta or just encountering the South’s notorious summer heat. The most popular entry and exit points surrounding Cobb County are Johnson Ferry, Powers Island, and Paces Mill. These are all part of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area and provide other recreation opportunities (hiking, biking etc.) as well.

Popular Routes: 

  • Johnson Ferry to Powers Island–  3.5 miles or 4-5 hours. Drift through a cool, gentle current alongside colorful granite outcroppings and wooded banks. 
  • Powers Island to Paces Mill– 2.5 miles or 3-4 hours. Known for a faster current, some gentle class 2 rapids and landmarks like Jump Rock and Sandbar Beach. 
  • Johnson Ferry to Paces Mill- 6 miles 6-7 hours. Combine the best of both floats on this all-day adventure.

*Note that time does vary based on water conditions and stops you make along the way.

What you will need:

  1. The Tube– You can get your own gear for practically the same price as a one-time rental. Opt for a classic tube or go fancy with extra features and cool designs! A double tube instantly creates a fun date activity. Some tubes even have built-in coolers for your drinks (It also helps to have a pump to fill your tube quickly.)
  2. Life Jacket (PFD as the pros call it)- You MUST have one with you. It’s the law and the river is patrolled. Anyone over 13 isn’t required to wear one but you still need to have it with you.
  3. A Second Car– You will need a way to get back to the entry point, so make sure you drop off a car at the endpoint before you start your journey.
  4. $5.00– Parking at Chattahoochee National Recreation Areas costs $5.
  5. Water (and maybe some snacks)- Depending on the route you decide to take, you could be spending the majority of the day on the river. Stay hydrated and energized!
  6. Sunblock/Sunglasses- The water may be cool, but the sun is hot! Keep yourself protected from harsh rays.

Chattahoochee Tubing

Photo Credit: Nantahala Outdoor Center

Guide for Renters

Renting is a great option for visitors or first time floaters. Nearby rental companies provide a plethora of options including tubes, kayaks, paddleboards, rafts and more! They also provide convenient shuttles to take you back to your car at the end of the trip.

Nantahala Outdoor Center– NOC rents dual-chambered and closed-bottom tubes at Johnson Ferry and  Powers Island.  Both Atlanta tubing trips showcase the Chattahoochee’s colorful granite outcroppings , wooded banks and cool, gentle current.Each tube accommodates one person and is offered in a small or large size. Tube rental includes tube, shuttle, and personal flotation device (PFD).

What you will need:

  1. $5.00– Parking at Chattahoochee National Recreation Areas costs $5.
  2. Water (and maybe some snacks)- Depending on the route you decide to take, you could be spending the majority of the day on the river. Stay hydrated and energized!
  3. Sunblock/sunglasses– The water may be cool, but the sun is hot! Keep yourself protected from harsh rays.

Photo Credit: Nantahala Outdoor Center

TIPS From the Hooch Experts

  • The National Park service will not allow anyone under the age of five on the river.
  • Water temps are a tad chilly, usually between 55 and 65 degrees. Great for summer, but not so great for spring or fall.
  • No glass or Styrofoam is allowed on the river.
  • Check and double check the weather.
  • Leave your towels and dry clothes in the car (at the end point if you took two cars).
  • Don’t forget to bring the car keys (both sets if you have an end-point car)!
  • Rope will be handy to tie your tubes together.
  • Water shoes are not required, but are helpful.
  • Check for bacteria levels before you head out.
  • The water levels change constantly. Call 1-855-DAM-FLOW to check first.
  • Be mindful of your exit point. No one wants to be “rescued.”

 

For more ideas on how to spend your summer in Cobb, check out our blog page or our activities listings.

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