Wild times in Phenix City

Things have gotten wild in Phenix City, Alabama. In fact, you'll be lucky to survive a trip through the middle of town without getting a good soaking. It's almost impossible. But consider the situation: the Chattahoochee River between Phenix City, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia is now a series of roaring whitewater events with an outfitter to help you get wild safely.

The Chattahoochee Whitewater project was begun as an environmental restoration of the river to its natural state by removing the two dams that had impounded the river—preventing fish passage— since the times when water-powered cloth mills wove millions of miles of thread into the fabric of the local economy. The dam removals restored two miles of river habitat for listed endangered species, creating a fish passage for American shad, striped bass and herring. A bird habitat was also created, as was a habitat for humanus recreatus which seems to be flourishing in these waters.

To serve the latter, the renowned whitewater experts Mclaughlin Group (http://mclaughlinwhitewater.com/projects/chattahoochee-falls/ ) were brought in to design a world-class whitewater challenge. The resulting whitewater park, at two miles, is the longest urban whitewater facility in the world.

Since its opening May 25th, 2013, the outfitter Whitewater Express has sent down 10,000+ participants in the course's first season. A Columbus State University Economic Impact Study estimates 60,000 – 100,000 participants a year will enjoy the course which is expected to yield $4 - $7 million per year for the twin cities of Phenix City, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia.

The coming seasons are expected to see the addition of ziplines, ropes courses and climbing walls to the experience. The Phenix City side of the river is the site of the outfitter now serving the course, and the shade and easy egress into the river from that side makes Phenix City a desirable location for whitewater access.

Kelli Roberts
Phenix City, Alabama Convention and Visitors Bureau
(334) 298-3639

Peter Bowden
Columbus, Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau
(706) 322-1613

Whitewater Express Outfitters