Careful as you put your canoe into the Chattahoochee River just downstream from Buford Dam, because the water can rise suddenly when they're generating power. You'll work up a sweat paddling through the BOWMAN'S ISLAND UNIT
of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which remains one of the least developed river stretches in the metro area. Then, when you reach a nice, deep pool with maybe a rock to slide off, ease into the drink. The Chattahoochee's polluted and cool once it meanders into Fulton County, but further upstream, just below the dam, it's clean and frigid. That's because the H20 has no time to heat up after being pushed through generators from the icy depths of Lake Lanier.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - Bowman's Island Unit (put-in at Lower Pool Park, off Buford Dam Road on Forsyth County side of river). 770-399-8070. www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm.