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A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia
By Henry, Steve
Menasha Ridge Press Copyright © 2004 Henry, Steve
All right reserved.
The Chattooga River is now and will remain one of the nation's most popular rivers. It has something for everyone: from easy water suitable for beginners to raging Class V rapids for the whitewater crazier The scenery is nothing short of spectacular for almost the entire length of the river. Its excellence rivals any river in this country.
The river flows from North Carolina to form the border between South Carolina and Georgia for approximately forty miles until it flows into Tugaloo Lake. Fortunately, the Chattooga is protected under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is managed by the U. S. Forest Service, Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. The Forest Service divides the river into four sections according to the major access points. Section I is from Burrells Ford near the North Carolina border to the GA 28 bridge. The Forest Service regulations state that "All boating is prohibited above Highway 28," so we will not consider Section I in this book. It is open for hiking and fishing.
Section II of the Chattooga begins at the GA 28 bridge (there is easy access and parking on the Georgia side of the bridge) and continues down river to Earls Ford. This section is approximately seven miles long and is a good day trip for beginning boaters. Initially, the stream is shallow and rocky with only a slight gradient. Considerable volume is added when the West Fork of the Chattooga flows in from the right approximately 100 yards below the GA 28 bridge.
For these first few miles of Section II the Chattooga is a meandering, gentle valley stream. The valley through which it flows has a rich history. It was at one time the site of one of the largest Indian settlements in the Southeast. The settlement was called Chattooga Old Town. It became a major Indian trading center after white men came to the area. The valley was ideally suited for agriculture, and the land-lustful white men soon appropriated the valley as their own. It remained in agricultural use until recently. The Forest Service is allowing the land in its stewardship to return to a natural state. A large farm house owned by a Russell family is one of the few structures from the early agricultural period that is still standing. It lies just off the river on the South Carolina side
Excerpted from A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia by Henry, Steve Copyright © 2004 by Henry, Steve. Excerpted by permission.
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