Chattahoochee course named "Best Manmade Whitewater" by USA Toda - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Chattahoochee course named "Best Manmade Whitewater" by USA Today

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

In only three months since its opening, the Whitewater rafting course on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus has already seen more than 12,000 rafters.

Now, USA Today has named the new attraction "Best Manmade Whitewater" in an article called "Built to thrill: 12 crazy man-made adventures".

Forty years ago, the Chattahoochee River was being used to run Textile mills. Now, the mills have long been closed, and in their place, a two and a half mile course known as the world's longest urban Whitewater rafting adventure.

Peter Bowden from the Columbus Visitors Bureau explains how positive this transformation is for Columbus. "We have created a healthier river. We have created the longest urban whitewater course in the world. So, we have done a tremendous amount of heavy lifting--the community has--in order to create an experience for, not just Columbus, but now the world."

The summer months may be drawing to an end soon, but many people continue to show-up and experience the rapids for the first time.

"It's pretty close to Atlanta, nice and easy to get to, and the rapids come pretty quick. They were a lot bigger than I thought they were going be," said Rob Landman.

Ben Nielson, a Denver resident, has been on many Whitewater courses and helped design the Columbus Whitewater course. He recently paddled the full length of it for the first time, and said this course is by far the best.

"The thing about it is its challenging, but the consequences are less than smaller rivers where you might have larger rocks," Nielson explains.

Katie Bishop with Whitewater Express says they have exceeded their expectations for their premiere season. "We were hoping to reach 7,000 by the end of the summer, and we have already exceeded 12,000, which is absolutely amazing. And now that Labor Day weekend is here as well, we are pushing a lot of offers and we're expecting another big weekend as well."

Columbus' Whitewater rafting course is expected to stay open until the end of October, peaking at about 15,000 rafters by the end of the season.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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