Kayak, canoe, and tube on the Cartecay River in the North Georgia Mountains — with the whole family on your memorable getaway! Flowing from the headwaters in the Chattahoochee National Forest and through 19 miles of East Ellijay, GA, the sparkling Cartecay River of Gilmer County is a great option for family-friendly fun in the great outdoors.
Dip into the Cartecay River Experience and avoid Class II and Class III whitewater rafting rapids for a relaxing time together. You can also go fly fishing for bream and bass, hike the Cartecay River Loop Trail, and take in the stunning sights of Blackberry Mountain. Notably, the ‘Cay and the Ellijay River eventually form the Coosawattee River that leads to Carters Lake, another great place to splash in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Add some water fun to your family vacation in Ellijay — with a day on the Cartecay River and an evening at your waterfront cabin rental!
Cartecay River Experience
Instead of bringing your own water floats, opt to rent kayaks, canoes, or tubes with the Cartecay River Experience which offers 2 river adventures. Plus, there’s a pizza shop at the end of your journey to refuel and cap off your great time with yummy food. You can plan a group event or just opt for a family day on the Cartecay!
All safety gear is included with each rental, including life jackets in all sizes, for the best self-guided river experience. Cold weather gear and push sticks are also available. On the river, you may bring one 32-ounce non-alcoholic beverage, and it’s recommended to leave your valuables in a secure place onshore. Do note that water levels play a part in how long you’ll remain on the river.
Lazy River Experience | 1-1½ Hours
Family friendly for all ages, the Lazy River Experience is about 1½ miles long and offers a relaxing time on the river together, gazing at passing birds, the treelines, shore rocks, and fish swimming by.
- Tube Rentals — $10 cash / $13 card
- Kayak Rentals — $22 cash / $25 card
- Canoe Rentals — $45 cash / $50 card
Adventure River Experience | 1½-3 Hours
Kick up your kayaking or tubing time on the Cartecay with the Adventure River Experience that’s 3 miles long and ideal for families with children who are at least 5+ years of age.
- Kayak Rentals — $28 cash / $32 card
- Tube Rentals — $13 cash / $16 card
Even if you do bring your own water gear, the Cartecay River Experience offers a shuttle service for only $5/person.
Cartecay River Pizza Company
Neighboring the Cartecay River Experience is the Cartecay River Pizza Company, the perfect way to end your river excursion. Grab a couple of cheesy slices and chat about your experience together before heading back to your North Georgia cabin rental.
Operations run Memorial Day through Labor Day. However, the Cartecay River Experience is open year-round. You can call ahead to see when they are open for your river journey.
Location & Contact
2400 Highway 52
Ellijay, GA 30536
Cabins on the Toccoa River
Can’t get enough of river fun? Your family will appreciate a Blue Ridge, GA, cabin rental nestled right on the Toccoa River! At Georgia Cabins for YOU, we have vacation rentals of all shapes and sizes (including pet-friendly and budget-friendly options) that feature relaxing and entertaining amenities for all ages plus homey conveniences to keep everyone comfortable. Of course, we also have cozy cabins in Ellijay to stick close to the Cartecay!
- Mountain/wooded/river views
- Hot tub
- Rocking chairs
- Home theater
- Big screen TVs
- Game room
- High speed Wi-Fi
- King suites
- Queen/bunk beds
- Indoor jetted tubs
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Gas/charcoal grill
- Community extras!
Book YOUR river cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy a memorable time on the Cartecay River with the whole family!