I am at my best when outside. On hard days I surround myself with fresh air and something green, and I am instantly better. While warmer weather beckons outdoor enthusiasts like me to spend every moment outside, there is a threshold for the activities I can tolerate in 90-degree weather. Unfortunately, my go-to activities like hiking and mountain biking become miserable on a muggy hot day. Thinking along the same lines, someone suggested kayaking the Broad River, which seemed like a PERFECT outdoor adventure. We’ve floated rivers before, but nothing with class II rapids, so this would be a challenge. Kayaking suited my crew, and I was excited to try something new.
Many rivers in the area offer kayaking, but we decided to head up to Danielsville to explore a portion of the Broad River. We chose Broad River Outpost for our rentals, and for $35 a person, we received kayaks, paddles, life jackets, soft-sided coolers and some guidance. We brought our child’s kayak, life jacket and cooler from home, which is welcome but not required as the outpost can provide all the needed equipment. Once we arrived, the rental company had a map that guided us on where to avoid the largest rapids and where to put in and take off. Soon we were off. Slightly nervous, we headed out into the river, knowing there was no end in sight until we reached the take-out point, unsure what class II rapids may lay ahead of us.
We floated, laughed and took pictures. We rested on rocks for snacks and sunscreen breaks. We paddled through rocks and rapids and got wet and sunburned. The scenery was peaceful, with old camping spots and fishing hunting cabins dotting tree-lined banks. We saw myriad wildlife: herrings, turtles and deer (I am sure a few hidden snakes were lurking nearby too.) The rapids gradually increased in difficulty, which was perfect for a novice like me. I soon learned that the rapids are manageable if you can maneuver a paddle. And even if not, the current always pushes you to calmer waters. Our boats occasionally took on a little water, but nothing flipped us over or out of our kayaks. By the end, we wished we had more rapids and rocks to paddle around to continue testing our skills.
Advice for a Novice:
Most of the river was only about three feet deep, but the depth changes constantly, so it’s best to check before hopping out of your kayak. Higher water levels can drastically change the terrain, so always call or ask before you go to ensure you are qualified to navigate the river. The upper river is tame, while the lower river has about ten rapids, four requiring some maneuvering.
We plan to try Sandbar Kayaking out of Bowman, GA on our next adventure. We discovered parking at the take-out point and shuttling to the input point is a better and quicker exit after the float. Their kayaks also have stiff backs that seem more supportive for three hours of kayaking.
Must Pack Supplies
We brought waterproof covers for our phones, a dry bag for sunscreen, a waterproof speaker, drinks and snacks.