Our Kayak Adventure: Nantahala Outdoor Center Roswell

New outpost rents tubes, paddleboards, rafts, kayaks, canoes and bikes for Chattahoochee River

By Karen Cohen, publisher of Macaroni Kid Alpharetta-Roswell-Milton July 3, 2020

We love the outdoors. Add water, some adventure, and it equals the perfect family day. And that is exactly what we had on our recent kayaking trip with Nantahala Outdoor Center in Roswell. This outfitter just recently opened up at Azaela Park on the Chattahoochee River. It offers tube, paddleboard, raft, kayak, canoe and bike rentals to use along the Chattahoochee River. There are several trip and rental options, so it is flexible to meet your individual needs and interests.

At a recent baseball tournament to north Georgia, I drove past a river and saw a bunch of people on kayaks. It was while I was roasting in the stands at a hot baseball field that I couldn't get out of my mind the idea of what fun it would be to kayak on a river. That very week, I saw Roswell opened Nantahala Outdoor Center, offering kayaking trips and I immediately added it to our summer bucket list. By some amazing luck, we found a day where all four of us were open and we booked a kayak trip!

Our boys are 11 and 13, so we had the option to have tandem kayaks or all have single kayaks. And after months of spending a lot of quality quarantine time together... we opted to each have our own individual kayak. Also, for the kayaking, we had the choice to do trips from Don White Park or Island Ford Park to Azalea Park that would take two to three to four hours. Or you could put in at Azalea Park and just kayak around the area at your own pace and get off any time within two hours. We opted to go at our own pace.

As we had a specific reservation time at Nantahala Outdoor Center, we did not encounter a long line or crowd during our check-in process. All the indoor and outdoor staff and guides were helpful and wearing masks at all times. We quickly moved through the check-in process and out to our kayaks and were sent to the Chattahoochee River for our adventure!

Our two competitive boys quickly found ways to race against each other in the kayaks and came up with obstacle courses along the river. My husband was kayaking as a way to get in his workout time. And me... I was alone on a kayak -- slow, steady, calm, peaceful, and ALONE! Did I mention, alone?!

It was beautiful. This section of the Chattahoochee is wide. It was not crowded and we were there on the Fourth of July weekend. There was plenty of room to social distance and maneuver a kayak with ease. 

At some point, the boys found a shallow spot to beach their kayaks and they just played in the water for awhile. They had fishing nets, so they spent some time trying to catch fish. 

We spent a full two hours out on the river. It was a nice peaceful escape. As many are having staycations this year, Nantahala Outdoor Center is a great local activity.


  • We all wore flip flops that were easily stored on the kayak.
  • There is room on the kayak for water bottles, so bring water -- you will get thirsty!
  • I had a waterproof bag for my phone and keys. The kayak will get wet from the rowing, so be prepared for anything you bring on to get a little wet.
  • There are plenty of picnic tables and green areas nearby, so pack snacks or lunch for before or after your trip. 
  • Our reservations requested arrival 30 minutes ahead of time to allow for check-in. Plan on that and add a few extra minutes to find parking. Parking is limited in the area, as everyone is enjoying the outdoor parks right now. 

PRICING: Pricing varies from $20+, check website for specifics.

LOCATION:   203 Azalea Dr RoswellGA


We did receive complimentary tickets in exchange for this review, however it did not influence my opinion.