Middle Oconee River

Jefferson, Georgia

Middle Oconee River

Middle Oconee River Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Middle Oconee flows across the broad pasturelands of Jackson County before entering Clarke County and flowing through southwest Athens. Below the city, it meets up with the North Oconee to form the main Oconee River. In the upper section, the river is small and has very little gradient. Nearing Athens, the surrounding farmland gives way to signs of suburban development.

The river adopts the typical Piedmont habit of long ?atwater stretches interrupted by an occasional mild shoal. One would expect the river to become increasingly exposed and beleaguered by urban development as it proceeds through the city. The Middle Oconee does not. Forests grow in density as the river proceeds toward its con?uence with the North Oconee River, thereafter forming the Oconee River. A water trail is under development for 39.5 miles of the Middle and the North Oconee Rivers through Athens–Clarke County."

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Middle Oconee River Trail Trip Reports

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Cleveland, TN
Trailblazer | 1576 pts
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Ben Burton Park in Athens is the ideal kayak or canoe put-in spot for the Middle Oconee River. The park added a kayak ramp in 2016. There is plenty of parking near the ramp, which is open every day during daylight hours (sun-up to sun-down). It’s fine to have your dog with you, as long as you use a leash. Note: This river is off-ramp to motorized vessels.
Athens, GA
Explorer | 41 pts
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Big Dogs on the River offers kayaking trips down a beautiful stretch of the Middle Oconee River. You can park at Big Dogs at 2525 Atlanta Highway in Athens. Sign a waiver to rent equipment, then jump on a 15-minute shuttle to launch in a sit-on-top kayak. It is a 3.5 mile trail, which takes a little over 2 hours when the water is around 2ft.. Most of the trail is a slow, peaceful float, however there is a couple of sets of class I-II shoals(depending on water level) just before you reach Ben Burton Park. Once you clear the shoals its pretty much smooth sailing for the 2nd half of the float back to Big Dogs, where there are picnic areas to rest at upon returning. Check out www.bigdogsontheriver.com or call 706.353.6002 for more information.

Trail Information

Nearby City
17.6-21.4 miles
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 days
Pendergrass, Winder North, Jefferson, Athens West, Barnett Shoals (USGS); Jackson, Barrow, Clarke, Oconee (County)
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