The Grand

The Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle

Last summer, we hosted the largest single day of whitewater paddling in Columbus, GA history at The Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle. In 2015 The Grand is back and better than ever.

On August 8, the Georgia Conservancy, Uptown Columbus, Whitewater Express and The SweetWater Brewing Company are hosting The Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle: Grand 2.0 - a full day of whitewater rafting, live music and SweetWater Beer on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Uptown Columbus.

“The Grand 2.0” features nine discounted hourly time slots, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and includes a full day of free live music in Woodruff Park. The After Paddle Party (APP), including live music, beer, vendors and food trucks open for business 12:00 p.m. and will continue throughout the day. The Grand 2.0 will wrap-up at dusk with a concert from the Georgia Conservancy’s “house band” Sailing to Denver.

The APP is free, open to the public and will be hosted in Woodruff Park, adjacent to the Whitewater Express Outpost. Outdoor restrooms, water stations and Grand 2.0 merchandise will be on sale.

After-paddle wristbands for SweetWater cost $8 and include a Grand 2.0 souvenir cup and a drink ticket (good for a soft drink or a SweetWater Beer - valid 21+ and up). Individual beer tickets cost $5 (you must have a wrist band to get a ticket).

Every Grand 2.0 paddler receives a complementary wristband, souvenir cup and drink ticket.

Rafting prices are $25 per person for rafting trips between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The “Challenge” run at 3 p.m. and 4p.m. is $45 per person.

Registration is available through Whitewater Express (you must select August 8th to purchase tickets to the Grand 2.0)


Dates: August 8 , 2015
*Some of our trips take place on a Friday, so please be aware that you may have to rearrange your work schedule if it begins earlier in the day.
Capacity: 2000!
Staff/Guides: Ben Fowler, Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Coordinator, and Bryan Schroeder, Georgia Conservancy Senior Director of Stewardship and Outreach, and Whitewater Express Guides
Hosts: TBA
Duration: 1 Day
Skills/Knowledge Takeaways: Beginner Rafting instructions and an awesome time!
Challenge level/difficulty/fitness required: This trip is open to novice paddlers and campers as well as families with children. Participants should be prepared for fair to moderate levels of physical activity involved in paddling and hiking.
Carpooling/Shuttle (option yes, no): NO, participants are responsible for their own transportation. The Georgia Conservancy does not provide a shuttle from Atlanta to Columbus. We are not responsible for organizing carpooling, but if enough participants express interest we will facilitate communication between parties. The reality is carpooling is just a better option because it saves money, promotes the human connection, and truly lessens the automotive impact on the environment.*please note that the Georgia Conservancy DOES provide shuttle services from Atlanta on a number of trips so make sure to always ask.
Reservation and Cancellation Policy: Within 30 days before the start of the trip, you can cancel your reservation for a refund minus a $10 processing fee. After 30 days, you can receive a refund minus a $10 transaction fee, only if we can find someone to take your place. 2 days before a trip we can no longer offer a refund for cancelations.
What to expect after you register for a trip: Upon completion of your registration you will receive a series of emails, including:
  • Confirmation of registration: this email is sent by our payment provider and serves as your payment receipt for the trip and lets you know you’re on the list! (please add to your safe list to avoid having this receipt end up in your junk folder)
  • Welcome to Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips: this email will be sent by Bryan Schroeder or Ben Fowler (The Stewardship Trips Team) welcoming you to the specific trip and we may ask you for a few details concerning yourself and your party if registering for multiple people (ex. names of individuals, rental gear needs, dietary restrictions, etc.)
  • 2 weeks away: A reminder to start getting excited for your upcoming adventure and will include any remaining details or specifics concerning the trip if not explained before (ex. waivers, medical forms, gear checklist, ferry schedule, service work choices, ect.)
  • 1 week away: We are all set and looking forward to seeing you! We may provide updates on any minor trip changes. If it is a service trip, for example, we will provide lists of elected service work or sleeping locations.
Click here to view photos from the 2014 Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle


Throughout our nearly 50-year history, we have relied on our members for support. It is thanks to this support that we have accomplished goals such as protecting Sweetwater Creek State Park, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Cumberland Island National Seashore, and thousands of acres of private forests, fields and wetlands, efforts that have helped shape Georgia as we know it. Become a member of the Georgia Conservancy today!

Contact Stewardship Coordinator, Ben Fowler, at or (404) 876-2900 ext. 111 anytime for questions or details concerning trips or planning your own adventures around Georgia.