The Upper Amicalola has rapids ranging from Class II up to Class IV; several of the rapids are major drops requiring either basic whitewater skill or a short portage. The upper river runs swiftly through a forested valley flanked by hemlocks and oaks, dropping from one section to the next in a series of ledges and falls guaranteed to keep boaters on their toes. Canoers, rafters, and kayakers often share this section of the river with inner tubers and trout fishermen.
The Upper Amicalola lies within the Dawson Forest WMA for the most part, making the entire river accessible to the public for outdoor recreation. Horseback trails, mountain bike trails, and myriad fishing holes draw visitors to the area year round. Several of the rapids on the Upper River are infamous and offer challenge to even experienced whitewater boaters. The Ledge is a Class II river-wide drop of 4-5 feet. Devil’s Elbow is a Class III/IV rapid caused by a sharp, 90-degree turn in the river’s course, forcing the river’s current against high rock walls and kicking up standing waves and rapids. High cliffs above the deep pool following the rapid tempt the daring diver to toss caution to the wind and jump into the crystal waters some 20-40 feet below. The Play Hole is a Class II/III hydraulic suitable for kayak surfing when water conditions are right.
Upper Amicalola Creek Section