If you’re looking for family fun in the Marietta, Georgia, area, look no further than the local waterways. The rivers, creeks, and lakes in this area are prime destinations for water activities like boating, swimming, and fishing. Whether you’re looking to splash along the shoreline with toddlers or you’re after a tween-friendly fishing trip, these locations offer everything you could want. Check out these local waterways for your next afternoon or weekend of family fun.

Chattahoochee River 

Image via Flickr by JavaJoba Licensed CC BY 2.0

The Chattahoochee River is the most significant waterway near Marietta. This river offers an abundance of water activities, including fishing, tubing, canoeing, rafting, and kayaking. The Chattahoochee River National Water Trail spans 48 miles. You’ll find 17 convenient access points along the water trail, so you can hop on and off as needed to keep your adventure around the right length. The Chattahoochee River is chilly year-round, rarely topping 50 degrees, so you should plan appropriately for any activity on the water. 

Fishing is popular on the Chattahoochee River throughout the year. You must have a valid Georgia fishing license and a trout stamp for any angler age 16 or older. Live bait is prohibited throughout the park. You can fish from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after dark. The Chattahoochee River is popular for bass, catfish, and trout. From the Buford Dam to the mouth of Peachtree Creek, the river is a designated trout stream.

Yellow River

Passing through Gwinnett, Dekalb, Rockdale, and Newton counties, the Yellow River Water Trail offers 53 miles of waterway that’s ideal for canoeing or kayaking. The river features three established access points, though there are a total of 17 possible access points for more intrepid adventurers. The Yellow River Water Trail ranges from flat water to Class II, depending on the section of the river and the current water level. Fishing is popular in the Yellow River as well. Blue catfish, spotted bass, and largemouth bass are among the most popular catches here. 

Gainesville Upper Lanier Water Trail

An ideal water environment for beginning kayakers, the Gainesville Upper Lanier Water Trail spans 14 miles of Lake Lanier. This means you’ll enjoy calm, flat waters that provide a safe and serene experience for boaters of nearly any age or skill level. You can tackle this water trail on its own or paddle right onto it from the Upper Chattahoochee River Water Trail to extend your journey. 

You’ll find boat launches for Lake Lanier in the Linwood Nature Preserve, Clarks Bridge Park, Holly Park, Lanier Point Park, and Longwood Park. These access points offer several highlights of their own. Clarks Bridge Park features grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and fishing access. At Lanier Point Park, you’ll find multi-use trails and a full athletic complex for kids who play sports. Lanier Point Park also has an island with trails and a covered bridge to explore. You’ll find no shortage of ways to fill a family fun day.

Sope Creek

Sope Creek is an 11-mile tributary of the Chattahoochee River that passes through Sope Creek Park. The park is ideal for hiking, with fascinating sights. There are a total of 5.5 miles of hiking and biking trails in the area. The most popular is the mile-long paper mill trail, where you’ll find the ruins of a paper mill predating the Civil War. Though short, it’s important to note that this and other trails along Sope Creek can be steep, rocky, and potentially muddy.

Once you’ve hiked out to the creek, you can settle in for some peaceful fishing. The creek offers an abundance of bream, shoal bass, and sunfish. The Paper Mill Road bridge is one of the best spots for fishing along the creek. If you follow the creek down to its mouth where it meets the Chattahoochee River, you might even find some trout in Sope Creek. 

Lake Acworth

Lake Acworth spans 260 acres and offers plentiful fishing opportunities. Gas-powered motors are prohibited on the lake. Only battery-powered or electric trolling motors are allowed on the lake, making this a popular spot for more peaceful watercraft like paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. Shoreline fishing is accessible as well. 

Anglers enjoy plentiful catches here including bluegill, crappie, sunfish, common carp, channel catfish, flathead catfish, yellow perch, brown bullhead, spotted bass, and largemouth bass. Lake Acworth is divided from Lake Allatoona by a bridge where Highway 92 crosses the water. The spillway where water flows into Lake Allatoona is a prime spot for anyone seeking the top fishing spots.

Families looking for other activities to fill out their day will find plenty of options at Acworth Beach. You can sun or swim at the beach or explore other highlights like the boardwalk, playgrounds, lakeside gazebo, beach house, and open play area.

Lake Allatoona

Just across the spillway from Lake Acworth, Lake Allatoona offers additional opportunities for boating and fishing. Eight marinas surround the lake offering boat rentals, sales, and storage. The lake has crappies, white bass, spotted bass, stripers, and hybrids. Those in the know can find secluded coves and secret shoreline spots where the fish are abundant, but Lake Allatoona proves trickier for those without angling experience.

Red Mountain State Park maintains a beachfront along Lake Allatoona where you can swim during warm months. The park features over 12 miles of hiking trails, including a 3.9-mile shared-use hiking and mountain biking trail. You can also access several campgrounds around the lake. The range of activities makes this a prime destination for a family camping trip. 

Did we include your favorite waterway on our list? If we missed a great spot for fishing, boating, or other types of watery fun, contact our team at Crème de la Crème and let us know. We’re dedicated to helping your family find great ways to connect, explore, and enjoy everything that our local area has to offer. Your recommendations will help us keep our listings accurate so that we always have the best suggestions in the neighborhood for our families.