I think this is the "most boat for the least money" at $ 349.00. Sold at Academy Sports under their private label brand Magellan Outdoors, it's really a Perception boat with a roto-molded hull. It's the same hull and dimensions as my Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100, but without the fancy seat and adjustable footrests. (It has the seat pictured here, which is still better than most at this price point). Magellan Outdoors 10' kayak
The Magellan boat has two rod holders built in behind the seat, two dry storage access hatches, heavy duty carry handles, of course it's sit on top, and self bailing. These paddle great on flat water, and we take them on up to class III rapids fairly often. 52 lbs, decent weight, a world of difference in this and most boats you'll get at retail for the price. Don't sweat the Magellan label, this was a ~ $ 500+ boat when it was the Perception brand, and Perception has a new line out recently.
I love my NuCanoe Frontier 12, but it might be too big for small creeks, and very expensive. The 10' model might be OK. The biggest issue I've found on small rivers like the Etowah is the number of fallen trees blocking the waterway and making it tricky.