Canoeing the Flint River in Georgia
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It is possible to canoe from Atlanta but the best section is the 32 miles, described below, between Flat shoals and the Chris Callier Bridge.   iGreens canoed this lovely river in 1999.  We also canoed on the Ocmulgee above Macon (rhymes with bacon) and on the Okefenokee swamp. 


If you don’t have your own canoes or transport, the first port of call is Jim McDaniel at the Flint River Centre, about 60 miles south of Atlanta.  He’s located on the right bank just downstream of the Highway 36 Bridge, six miles south west of Thomaston.  Click here or here for more.


0 miles - David Knott bridge

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Flat shoals at low water

Easy launching from left bank just above the bridge.  The launch spot lies in the middle of Flat Shoals rapid, grade II, borderline grade III.  Our party ranged in age from 10 to 77 years, we had all been paddling kayaks on the rivers Wye and Severn in Britain for most of our lives, and Jim McDaniel’s helper, who drove us up, was reassuring about our abilities.  Nevertheless, the first drop was intimidating - much bigger than Monnington falls or Symonds Yat rapids on the Wye (click here).  The shoals continue for about ¼ mile below the bridge and the line is not always easy to find.  We made frequent inspections but still fell in.  However, once through that, the next seven miles to the Highway 18 bridge are straightforward.  

 4 miles - Reedook Creek joins right


6 miles – Pooey’s Creek joins right


7 miles – Highway 18 Bridge.  Good launch point and parking.


8 miles - Elkins creek joins left

We camped and swam around about here.

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9 miles – Dripping Rocks shoals grade I – II

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10 miles – Double branch joins left. 

Land left and follow the stream to Dripping Rocks, a scenic waterfall.

15.5 miles – Goat Mountain shoals grade I-II

Goat Mountain campground left.  Spring water.

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16 miles - Pigeon Creek joins left.

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"It doesn't get much better than this"

16.5 miles - Natural Dam grade II


17 miles – Rock House Mountain.  Tally Gap

The site of a proposed dam ever since 1955.  Fortunately Jimmy Carter vetoed it when he was Georgia’s Governor.  Click here to read his account of how the US Army Corps of Engineers colluded with local politicians to produce pseudo-scientific economic justifications for dams like this.  The Engineers got to  justify their existence as dam builders and the politicians named recreational lakes after themselves. 

18 miles – Island.  Pasley shoals grade II.


19 miles - Sprewell Bluff left


19.5 miles - land left for Sprewell Bluff picnic area.   

Good access for a half-day trip to the highway 36 bridge.   Shoals grade I-II

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22 miles – Owen’s Island.  Rebel shoot.  Grade II

The site of an ancient river crossing.   The old stage coach road from South Carolina to Alabama used to cross the river by ferry about a mile south of here until two bridges were built joining the island to each bank.  The local stretch of the Old Alabama road is still called Double Bridge road.   It was the site of a small Civil War battle in 1865 when Union cavalry routed the local Georgia reserves and destroyed the bridges.

24 miles Seven island.  Surprise rapid grade II


26.5 miles Wynns bridge.  Highway 36.  Access.  

Land at boat ramp below bridge on the right bank.  Those who intend to paddle below this point should check the water level marker at the bridge.   Above 10 feet Yellow Jacket shoals will be dangerous.


27 miles –Yellow jacket shoals grade III.  IV in high water

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27.5 miles - Shelley island


28 miles – Daniel shoals.  Grade III.   Gibson Island


29 miles – Hightower shoals grade II


29.5 miles -  Hickman island

Time for a poem - "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop

30 miles – Noel island


31 miles - Adams island


32.5 miles – Chris Callier bridge S656.  Po Diddy Road.   Access


36 miles – islands


37 miles - Sniper's shoals Grade II


46.5 miles - US 80 bridge.  Access


51 miles – island.  Grade II rapid.   

This is the last significant rapid on the river.   The surrounding mountains recede and the river enters the coastal plain.  Sandbars appear on the inside of bends at low water. 

57 miles – Colonel Hawkins Bridge. GA 137  Access


Jim Thornton  October 2004.   


As usual with iGreen canoeing itineraries, I've done my best.  But my trip was three years ago and my notes are a bit scrappy.  If readers report any errors and tell me about your trips, I promise to update regularly and acknowledge all contributions.


Click here to read more iGreen canoeing stuff.



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Last modified: September 26, 2006