Rafting in Georgia: Song of the Chattahoochee 

Lysianne PeacockChattooga River

Rafting in georgia on the Chattooga River

By K.M. Collins

Rafting in Georgia: Song of the Chattahoochee

At Wildwater, rafting in Georgia and beyond, we love celebrating everything river related. Wildwater’s whitewater roots sprung up in 1972 on the Chattooga River in North Georgia. Although it’s based on a river a little slower paced, and further south, the mood set by Sidney Lanier in The Song of the Chattahoochee echos the love Wildwater has for the rivers they operate. Sidney was a southern poet and a soldier. Often composing music and poems about the beauty of the natural world, his words in The Song of The Chattahoochee truly capture the harmonious and soothing spirit of one’s comfort, enjoyment and ease when in the midst of a river adventure. The same serenity and peace Wildwater hopes you walk away with after rafting in Georgia further north, on the Chattooga River. 

The Song Of The Chattahoochee

Sidney Lanier – 1842-1881


Out of the hills of Habersham,

Down the valleys of Hall,

I hurry amain to reach the plain,

Run the rapid and leap the fall,

Split at the rock and together again,

Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,

And flee from folly on every side

With a lover’s pain to attain the plain

Far from the hills of Habersham,

Far from the valleys of Hall.


All down the hills of Habersham,

All through the valleys of Hall,

The rushes cried ‘Abide, abide,’

The willful waterweeds held me thrall,

The laving laurel turned my tide,

The ferns and the fondling grass said ‘Stay,’

The dewberry dipped for to work delay,

And the little reeds sighed ‘Abide, abide,

Here in the hills of Habersham,

Here in the valleys of Hall.’


High o’er the hills of Habersham,

Veiling the valleys of Hall,

The hickory told me manifold

Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall

Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,

The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,

Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,

Said, ‘Pass not, so cold, these manifold

Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,

These glades in the valleys of Hall.’


And oft in the hills of Habersham,

And oft in the valleys of Hall,

The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone

Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,

And many a luminous jewel lone

— Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,

Ruby, garnet and amethyst —

Made lures with the lights of streaming stone

In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,

In the beds of the valleys of Hall.


But oh, not the hills of Habersham,

And oh, not the valleys of Hall

Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.

Downward the voices of Duty call —

Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,

The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,

And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,

And the lordly main from beyond the plain

Calls o’er the hills of Habersham,

Calls through the valleys of Hall.