Select Page

Cartecay River

Class I-II+(III)

Situated on the edge of the Cohutta Wilderness in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, the Cartecay River is a gently rolling mountain stream that becomes a fun, Class II+ run for two and a half miles outside of Ellijay, Georgia.

A step up in from the Hiwassee River for beginner paddlers, the Cartecay’s signature rapids require a little more technical and maneuvering skills.

The river levels are subject to rainfall and at high water, some rapids increase in difficulty to Class III. Conversely, in drought periods, the river can become a very low and scrapey.

American Whitewater Cartecay River Information


Most of the land along the banks of the Cartecay is privately owned. There are no places to take out for bathroom breaks or other necessities, so plan accordingly.


There is very limited parking along the Cartecay, so using parking and shuttle service from a commercial outfitter is highly recommended.

Related Activities

Tubing, rafting

Activity Type

Class I-II+ (III) whitewater kayaking, canoeing, standup paddleboarding


Ellijay, Georgia

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga

75 miles | 1 hour, 30 minutes

GPS Coordinates


Google Map


Sunrise to sunset



Overnight Camping

Yes. Private campgrounds in and near Ellijay, GA

Contact Information

Cartecay River Experience

706-531-4746 (GRIN) or 706-889-1108

Cartecay Water Shed (Bubba’s Rentals)

Phone: 706-698-7655 

© 2018 Outdoor Chattanooga

Land     Water     Air     Events     Contact     Programs