Have you heard of "shootin' the hooch"? If not, then you may wonder what exactly that is. 'The Hooch' is the shortened nickname for the Chattahoochee River. "Shootin' the hooch" simply means to take a plunge into the river itself. Not only is the name fun to say, but the plunge is fun too. So much so, that it has become a very popular activity among both Georgia natives and tourists alike. Along with the many Helen GA attractions, shooting the Chattahoochee River is one of the most thrilling.
"River of painted rocks" is the Native American meaning of the word Chattahoochee, and as you stroll near the river you will see why this name is so fitting. All along the riverbed there are several varieties of colors to be seen in the rocks below the water's surface. This magnificent river begins it's 430 mile journey from a very small spring located in northeastern Georgia. It's path takes it through beautiful lush forests, various towns and through a series of reservoirs, until it merges with the Flint River in southwestern Georgia.
Shooting the Hooch
Every day, people from across the nation create lasting memories on the Chattahoochee River, making it an all time favorite of Helen GA attractions. Comments from visitors such as, "So fun and enjoyable!" and "Shooting the hooch through Helen is a treat!", is only a sneak peak at how much fun the river can be.
You can discover this for yourself, with the many ways available to take the plunge. Depending on your preferences and skill level you can kayak, tube, raft, canoe or even paddle board down the river. Whichever you choose, you can enjoy a relaxing experience as you float down the waters of the Chattahoochee River. It is a great activity for the whole family. Since the river is typically calm and it's water is shallow, "shooting the hooch" is ideal for all age groups.
Not only will you have excellent bonding time with your family, you will also experience the beauty found all along the river. The Chattahoochee River passes through the thick, shady forest of northern Georgia. It also offers a close up view of wildlife at it's finest. Be sure to keep your eyes on the shore and you will likely see a variety of animals such as rabbits, deer and chipmunks. The river also takes you straight through the center of Helen, where you will pass German-style shops and riverside restaurants.
For anyone in your group that prefers to stay out of the water, there are other Helen GA attractions available. Numerous hiking trails canbe found along and near the Chattahoochee River. Trails located at Anna Ruby Falls, Smithgall Woods and Duke Creek Falls all offer spectacular views and easy hiking. Of course, there is also the Appalachian Trail for those wanting to take a day trip.
Weather to Expect
Although the Chattahoochee River is beautiful all year long, the best time for taking the plunge is from September through October. During this time frame, the weather is calm and comfortable with temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to low 80s. It is also the driest time of the year. In fact, October is the driest month in Georgia, which makes water activities during this time even more ideal.
What to Bring
Anytime you are going to be on the water it is important to bring all the necessary safety supplies. This includes a life jacket for each person in your group, sturdy water shoes and sunscreen. You will also want to bring along snacks and plenty of water. Additionally, to make your trip hassle free, be sure to bring a push stick. This you can use to free your tube or raft from others, as well as rocks that you may encounter along the way.
You can either bring your own gear or go through a local company such as Cool River Tubing which can supply everything you need from equipment to scheduled trips. With the appropriate supplies, you can ensure a safe and fun trip for everyone.
Getting to the Chattahoochee River is convenient as it passes right through Helen. From Cedar Creek Cabins, go southwest on Zeppelin Strasse. At Brucken Strasse turn left. Turn left on Edlewiess and this will take you directly over the Chattahoochee River as it leads to Hwy 75 in Helen.
From child to adult, there is always fun to be had on the Chattahoochee River and this is a great time of year to do so. On your next visit, be sure to add 'shooting the Chattahoochee' to your list of Helen GA attractions. What is your favorite family activity?
If you're looking for more great things to do in Helen, Ga check out our free guide: