Chattahoochee - 7 - The Wave - Upstream of Atlanta Road

Chattahoochee, Georgia, US


7 - The Wave - Upstream of Atlanta Road

Usual Difficulty II(III) (for normal flows)
Length 0.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 8 fpm

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Photo of Tim at wave by Carson T taken 09/24/09

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02336490 500 - 2000 cfs II(III) 00h58m 957 cfs (running)

River Description

As of 2015, the old wave is gone and not surfable at 1000cfs.

Maybe at higher flows a wave will form.   See photos here.  
However, there is access in the new Standing Peachtree Park (the old waterworks plant).  It involves a hike, but it beats using S Atlanta Rd as an access point from a safety standpoint.


The Wave is a park-and-play spot in metro Atlanta. Also a slalom training area. Usually slalom gates hung over the rapid.

Located at the Atlanta water works intake.
Immediately upstream of both the Cobb and Fulton county sewage treatment plants. A breeze to the southeast helps keep the smell to a reasonable level.
How Polluted is the River?? It runs adjacent to a Power Plant area, Industrial parks and railyards. The Chattahoochee Trail Park is a nice buffer, Atlanta needs more creek and river buffer space.  Bacteria, pathogens and many other neat things are in Peachtree Creek and other urban Atlanta creeks.

We need to foster a community awareness of the beauty and gifts that our local watersheds represent.

How to get there:
From the Atlanta Road exit on I-285 North, the wave is about 4 miles south, toward Atlanta, down Atlanta Road. When you see and smell the sewage treatment plants, you are really close. Continue across the river. Just upstream of the Atlanta Road bridge is where the water works intake is, and the small dam that makes the wave.

As of 2008, the parking area on Atlanta Road was taken out for bridge construction.

What most people did before the road widening is park on the large pull-out on the East or Fulton County side of the bridge where Atlanta Road crosses the river.
There is a Rails to Trails bike path that follows the river on the Fulton County side. Walk down the path beside the Atlanta Road Bridge to the paved bike path and carry your boat upstream. Try to ignore the big pipes under the path that say "Outflow".
Just past the Railroad Trestle the Bike path veers to the right. There will be a dirt fisherman trail that veers off to the left, going down to the 'beach' where Nancy Creek enters the Chattahoochee. From there its about a 100 foot flatwater paddle up to the playspot.

Warning 1: There have been many car break ins at the Atlanta Road parking area.
Warning 2: The water quality is off-the-scale polluted.

Another parking option is on Ridgewood Road near where it crosses Nancy Creek. From there paddle down Nancy Creek to the Hooch, and the Wave will be just upstream. Nancy Creek drains all of the nasty stuff in downtown Atlanta. The mud on the banks is deep, sticky, and unnaturally nasty.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-07-21 14:29:46


Rapid Descriptions

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