The first two weeks in April and the first two weeks in November, 500 – 700 cubic feet of water per second is released from the Tallulah Gorge Dam. This creates the perfect slate for kayakers from across the country to paddle the gorge and experience first hand this scenic and powerful Class V river reminiscent of how the Tallulah River was before being damned in 1912.
As a first time spectator, it was exciting to see this from the beginning. Saturday morning began around 8:00 am with a siren blast indicating the opening of the dam. The next 2 hours were spent watching and waiting as the gorge floor fills with water. My level of anticipation continued to grow waiting for the first glimpse of the colorful boaters to descend down the steps. Then one by one or sometimes two and three, the kayaks began their white water journey threw the gorge ending up in Tugalo Lake. From the North Rim lookout, the boaters were no bigger than a tiny speck and one could only imagine the exhilaration they must have felt as they approached the first of many Class V rapids. It is a fun and different way to spend a weekend morning. The last white water release for the spring is this weekend, April 13 & 14.
This is definitely an outing to add to your “bucket list” of things to do.