Rolling Thunder is a rafting and kayaking outfitter that operates in Georgia and North Carolina. The company is based in northern Georgia near the town of Blue Ridge. The area is home to numerous mountain rivers in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The area is also popular for camping, fishing, hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities.
Rolling Thunder operates on the Toccoa River in northern Georgia, the Ocoee River in Tennessee and the Nantahala River in North Carolina. The Toccoa is a slow-moving river that is ideal for beginning kayakers. The Nantahala River has more advanced rapids, but it also has long stretches of calm water. The river can be navigated by beginning and intermediate rafters. The Ocoee river has rapids ranging from class II to class IV that are not recommended for beginners. The Ocoee was used for the kayak competition in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Rolling Thunder leads trips down all three of the rivers, primarily in the summer months.
Rolling Thunder advises kayak and tube users to wear shoes and not flip-flops on the Toccoa River. The company also recommends sunglasses, sunscreen and use of their bathrooms before beginning the float. Tube floaters can attach a cooler to the watercraft, but kayaks are difficult to maneuver with a cooler attached. The company accommodates groups of floaters as long as a trip leader is designated. Guided tours are not available on the Toccoa River, but the take-out is marked, and Rolling Thunder provides the shuttle service.
Rolling Thunder operates in the spring, summer and fall. From April 3 to May 30, trips are only run on the weekends. From May 31 to September 6, trips are run every day, and from September 7 to 25, trips are only run on the weekends. The float is six miles long, and all kayak and canoe users must arrive before noon.
Rolling Thunder also recommends making reservations for kayaks because supply is limited. Tubers can arrive in the afternoon, and reservations are not necessary.
Article Written By Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.