The 1st Back to the Chattahoochee Race and Festival was held June 7, 2003. Over 125 boats were entered in the event which ran from Garrad's Landing at Holcomb Bridge to the new Riverside Park in Roswell, Ga. The kayakers/canoeists pro course was 10 miles in length while the novices paddled 8 miles.

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Rivers Alive and the City of Roswell presented the event.

Photos & website by Earl & Gail Cook

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The paddlers saw a misty river and raced in a slight drizzle on the Saturday morning.
Suddenly, the leader emerged from the mist paddling with very strong strokes.
With a shaft of sunlight piercing the mist, these two paddlers chased the leading kayak.
In this battle, the canoeist in the rear was drafting in the wake of the two canoeists in front who were attempting to shake him from their trail.
The takeout point was on a temporary dock located near the mouth of Vickery Creek beneath a flowering Mimosa tree. This was the site of an environmental victory. For years, sewage overflows would turn Vickery Creek and this spot into a smelly mess. Now, a relatively new sewage system prevents these overflows.
The crowd at the takeout point. There were paddlers of all ages entered into the event.
A pair of kayaks resting after the race.
The new Riverside Park was the site of the Environmental Festival. Many of the grassroots volunteer organizations as well as the National Park Service had exhibits. There were lots of hand outs and much information available on river preservation and environmental issues.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center had this beautiful Barred Owl at the festival. The Barred Owl likes woodlands, wooded river bottoms and wooded swamps for his habitat. While being held, this fellow continually wanted to face the river and the wetlands behind the park.