Our first experience in Columbus, Georgia was two years ago. We spent a week in late November and were so impressed with everything that the city had to offer – both on the water and off. It was definitely a “must do” for our travels this fall in the south east. Lucky for us, it is an incredible paddler friendly town with a secret parking lot that is steps from the river. Urban camping at its best…
The main features are located on the Chattahoochee River, which runs right down the Alabama / Georgia border and through the main business area of Columbus (aka Uptown Columbus). There is a 2.5 mile stretch of whitewater that ranges from class II to III+ depending on the water level. There is also park and play off the island with a number of different waves that come and go at different water levels.
Water levels range from 1-4 generators and can be checked here. Predictions can be found at the Georgia Power website (select Bib Mill Pond) but they are often wrong… (to translate 1000 cfs = 1 generator, 5000 cfs = 2 generators, 10,000 cfs = 3 generators). As you can see from the chart, the water levels move around a lot. The positive note is there is something fun at every level.
One of the best parts of our year this year has been meeting so many other great kayakers. It was fun to get to connect with people in Columbus that we originally met back in May at Buena Vista at CKS Paddlefest.
At the top part of the island is a small wave hole and a set of rocks that is super fun to practice pogo flips off of.
Next up comes Waveshaper wave (what you can see through the boys).
Then you get to Oli wave, which shows up at 2 generators and above – super smooth surf wave with a nice pocket.
Good Wave is next in the line up (photo of Matt Hargrove styling it!) – it shows up at 2 generators and really picks up at 3 generators. Considered comparable to Garborator Wave at the Ottawa.
This is Good Wave at 1 generator – definitely a different feature… great for beginners to build up their surfing skills.
Just after Good Wave is Micro Wave, which comes in between 1 and 2 generators, and is a great beginner surf wave and a fun place to play King of the Wave, which Tim was pleased to be crowned winner…
At 2 generators and above, Great Wave is also in, which is the last wave in the line up and can be a first experience at a wave that you drop into and it stops you before zipping you down the face of the wave, ala baby face on the Ottawa.
It was pretty fabulous to spend 4 days with the Hargrove Family during our recent visit. Nothing better than having like minded friends to hang out with, on and off the river, especially for travelling families…
Once again we have to say a HUGE thanks to Outside World Columbus for their amazing hospitality. Be sure to check out their store when you are in town!
We also strongly recommend both Barberitos and Your Pie pizza shop for yummy affordable lunches and dinner. They are both located in Uptown Columbus, which is only a few blocks from the river.