If you like to get up close and personal with waterfalls then spend an overnighter at Blanton Creek Campground above Columbus, Georgia and kayak up the Chattahoochee River to inspect two beautiful old power dams that the river topples over.
To reach the first dam is a 6 to 7 mile paddle. Along the way swing into a side canal to the right to stay clear of the noisy motorist. Since this is a man-made trench, the edges are steep with woods and brush lining the bank. I had my dog Dawson along for the ride and pulled up to let him off for a run. Excitedly, he jumped into the woods and immediately turned around and lunged back into the boat chased by a herd of yellow jackets! I shoved away from the bank but they kept coming at us as yellow jackets do. Dawson got stung on the back leg before I could swat them all off him and me. Fortunately he recovered and after a few miles we exited the canal at the head of the first of two dams.
The first dam holds back a creek from across the river and is a beautiful old structure with exposed shoals that people were already crawling around on. Kids were swinging from a tree rope and dropping into the water just below the falls. I watched from afar patiently waiting for them to leave but more and more people showed up. Soon there must have been 30 folks chilling out by the waterfall. The high density dampened my spirits and I decided to bypass exploring the first dam.
The journey to the second dam was blocked by a couple of hundred yards of exposed shoals and water pockets with slippery rocks before returning to an even flow. This being the only direction left to go, I got out of the kayak and slogged forward dragging the boat behind me. When I arrived at the second waterfall it stretched the entire length of the river with not a single soul in sight! To the right was a desserted beach. This is definitely the destination you should reach for. A couple of massive trees were wedged on the downside of the dam wall. There’s a line of shoals just after the drop so you can get up real close and let the sound of falling water engulf your senses. The hard to reach places are always the best!