The Chatooga River – experience a wild Southeastern river
Whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River was pioneered by canoeing enthusiasts during the early 1970’s.
The 1972 film “Deliverance,” brought awareness, controversy, and interest to the fairly unknown stretch of river, which at the time was to be dammed, flooded and covered by a reservoir. In 1974, due in part to the movie and efforts of whitewater paddlers, the river was set aside for protection by President Richard Nixon under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.
Chattooga is a unique place with crystalline, blue green waters that flow through an untamed and remote gorge. Of the three river sections commercially run, Section 4 is the most challenging. Southeastern Expeditions was the first rafting company to operate trips on Section 4 downstream of Woodall Shoals. Renowned grade 4-5 rapids on this part of the river include – 7 Ft Falls, Raven’s Chute, Corkscrew, Jawbone, and Sock’Em Dog.
The Chattooga is not dam (hydroelectric) controlled. It’s one of the last wild, free flowing rivers in the Southeastern US, and is rain dependent with the high flows occurring from March through June. However, rafting trips are offered from March through the “secret season” in October.
To reduce impact on the river environment and enhance the wilderness experience, outfitters on the Chattooga are regulated by a limited number of trips and participants. Spaces fill up quickly, so book ahead.