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Chattooga River

 
Length: 57 miles (92 kilometers)

The Chattooga River is the main tributary of the Tugaloo River. Its headwaters are located southwest of Cashiers, North Carolina, and it stretches 57 miles to where it has its confluence with the Tallulah River within Lake Tugalo, held back by the Tugalo Dam. The Chattooga and the Tallulah combine to make the Tugaloo River starting at the outlet of Lake Tugalo. The Chattooga begins in southern Jackson County, North Carolina, then flows southwestward between northwestern Oconee County, South Carolina, and eastern Rabun County, Georgia. The "Chattooga" spelling was approved by the US Board on Geographic Names in 1897.

The Chattooga River flows into Tugalo Lake where it joins the Tallulah River. After flowing through Tugalo Dam the combined rivers become the Tugaloo River which, along with the Seneca River, becomes the Savannah River below Lake Hartwell. Downstream from that point, the water flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Savannah, Georgia.

Since May 10, 1974, the Chattooga River has been protected along a 15,432-acre corridor as a national Wild and Scenic River. 39.8 miles of the river have been designated ?wild?, about 2.5 miles ?scenic?, and 14.6 miles ?recreational? for a total of about 57 miles. On the commercially rafted sections (III and IV) there is a 1/4 mile protected corridor of National Forest on both sides of the river, allowing no roads to the river or development of any kind. There are a few areas on the river where access has been made more accessible on Section III, but much of Section IV is fairly remote. The Chattooga also bisects the Ellicott Rock Wilderness which straddles three states (Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina) BFGO512and three National Forests (the Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Sumter National Forests). Much of the Georgia portion of the river is within the Chattooga River Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Known as the "Crown Jewel" of the southeast, the Chattooga was the first river east of the Mississippi to be granted the Wild & Scenic designation, and is still the only one that is commercially rafted.

Outflows of the Chattooga River
Tugaloo River