Southeast Region

States: FL, GA, AL, MS, LA, AR, TN, KY, WV, VA, NC, SC

Countless famous rivers and runs across the Southeast offer an incredibly diverse set of packrafting opportunities in this region. APA Board Member and river guide Jack Martin leads APA’s regional efforts in the Southeast from his base in the urban packrafting mecca of Richmond, VA.

The Southeast has a long tradition of exploring new terrain by watercraft, which has been made
even more dynamic and exciting by the modern packraft.

For the whitewater enthusiast, the packraft opens up unlimited classic Southeastern runs to new and creative ways of exploring. The James, the New, the Nolichucky, the Gauley, all boast trail systems by the banks. Everybody has seen the roaring Chattooga, one of American’s first Wild and Scenic rivers, and the spot where Burt Reynolds broke his leg in “Deliverance;” packrafters know that the Chattooga River Trail provides unlimited foot access for the particularly adventurous.


Add in thousands of miles of flat water rivers, coastal barrier islands, and inland marshes and wetlands, from Georgia’s Okefenokee to Louisiana’s Atchafalaya and beyond, and the possibilities of the amphibious travel via packraft are unlimited.

Let us know what you’ve been doing!

Southeast Region Contact

Jack Martin


Jack works as a lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, a literal stone’s throw from the whitewater of the James River, where he uses packraft, mountain bike and running shoes to link together self-supported urban paddling adventures. He occasionally sleeps in a tent as well, with a particular fondness for the mountains of New England and the rivers of the Southeastern United States.

Southeast Packrafting Resources:

A network of local paddlers has collected information on other runs, which they are happy to
share with others.

  • In DC and greater Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah (Millville to Harpers Ferry), Potomac (Needles), Goose Creek, and Bull's Falls in Harper's Ferry are popular runs.
    Contact Steve Fry at
  • In Richmond, the James River boasts forested trails on both banks, surprisingly abundant wildlife and lots of opportunities for “urban adventure fitness.”
    Contact Jack Martin at
  • In Western North Carolina, Big Laurel is one of those gems where the packraft truly brings new opportunities. It is a classic run for creek boaters to cut their teeth on some challenging Class III and IV water. But its’s also a place where families follow a gentle riverside trail to picnic. So the packrafter can enjoy whatever combination of picnicking and river running suits his or her skills, with easy scouting of every rapid from the trail. Other runs include Upper Green, South Mills, Deep/Forney/Hazel/Noland, Horsepasture and Upper Tuck. 
    Contact Kevin Colburn at to find routes next to good rivers

For the Potomac:

For issues in Georgia: Georgia River Network at

An effort is underway to protect a section of the Nolichucky as Wild and Scenic. More
information here:

The James River Association has several efforts underway to protect the James River.

Friends of the Cheat works to protect the Cheat river watershed.

Kevin Colburn at American Whitewater is a great resource on access and conservation issues throughout the region. Contact him at

Have a comment? We want to hear from you about packrafting and river access and conservation issues in your area. Contact Jack Martin at