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.
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.
Class I-II+ (III) whitewater kayaking, canoeing, standup paddleboarding
Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga
75 miles | 1 hour, 30 minutes
Sunrise to sunset
Yes. Private campgrounds in and near Ellijay, GA
706-531-4746 (GRIN) or 706-889-1108