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Chattooga River

Section 2: Class II

Section 3: Class II-III+(IV)

Section 4: Class II-IV+

The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River flows through a protected wilderness corridor for 59 miles along the Georgia/South Carolina border in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The river is legendary for its intense rapids and rugged scenery.

Bull Sluice Rapid – Photo: Stephen Ayres

Any paddling run on the Chattooga, no matter which section, should be approached with the utmost respect.  No matter where you are, you are in the wilderness. Cell phone service is nonexistent and help is generally a long hike away.

American Whitewater Chattooga River Pages

Chattooga Section 2 (7 miles)

Chattooga Section 3 (13 miles)

Chattooga Section 4 (8.1 miles)

Section 2

Most of this section is a scenic float trip, with one significant class II+ rapid: Big Shoals, which should be scouted before running. Though the river runs next to the road in this section, access to help or amenities is still very limited.

Big Shoals – Photo: American Whitewater

Section 3

This section contains mostly Class II-III rapids, generally spaced from a half mile to over a mile apart. The last rapid, Bull Sluice (Class IV+) can be avoided by taking out at the top.

The Narrows – Photo: American Whitewater

Section 4

The Chattooga’s infamous Five Falls (Entrance, Corkscrew, Crack in the Rock, Jawbone, Soc ’em Dog) finish off this fast and intense whitewater run, which is only for the most experienced paddlers.

Video: First Run of Five Falls by Clinton Begley

Related Activities

Class II-V whitewater rafting, flatwater paddling (Lake Tugaloo), fishing, camping, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking

Activity Type

Class II – IV+ whitewater paddling


Near Clayton, Georgia

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga

151 miles | 3 hours

GPS Coordinates

(Georgia | S.C. Border)
34.815169, -83.305197

Google Map


Sunrise to sunset


Yes. Forest Service pit toilets at launches.
No, along the river.

Overnight Camping


Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest

Contact Information

Sumter National Forest
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
112 Andrew Pickens Cir.
Mountain Rest, S.C. 29664
(864) 638-9568
Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. to 12 noon
and 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Chattooga Wild and Scenic River

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