Chattooga River Trail

Rabun County, Georgia 30647

Elevation Gain9,792ft
Trailhead Elevation1,546ft
Elevation Min/Max1187/1726ft
Elevation Start/End1546/1546ft

Chattooga River Trail

Chattooga River Trail is a hiking trail in Rabun County, Georgia. It is 9.7 miles long and begins at 1,546 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 20.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 9,792 feet. This trail connects with the following: Bartram/Chattooga Connector.

Chattooga River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Big, brawling trout water. Rising in Cashiers Lake in North Carolina, the stream gathers force from a score of tributaries before crossing the state line at Ellicott Rock. The rock was placed there in 1813 to mark the point where the boundaries of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia intersect. From the marker south, the Chattooga follows the line separating South Carolina and Georgia.

A license from either state can be used on this water, but if you turn to fish a tributary, you’ll need a ticket from that state. When anglers think of the Chattooga, they think of the mileage along the border. It’s as wild and woolly a trout fishery as any found in the eastern United States. Species: Rainbow, brown. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing."

"Designated by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River, the Chattooga River is known for its whitewater paddling, trout fishing, and primitive setting. From its headwaters in the North Carolina Appalachians, the Chattooga River travels a rugged 50-mile journey before ending in the still waters of Lake Tugalo. For much of its path, the Chattooga forms the state line between South Carolina and Georgia. On May 10, 1974, Congress designated the Chattooga as a National Wild and Scenic River because of its outstanding scenery and recreational, wildlife, geologic, and cultural values.

This section is the best trout water on the whole Chattooga. Downstream of GA 28, the river becomes marginal trout water and redeye bass are more common. No boating is allowed on this section, so it escapes the heavy activity of canoes, whitewater rafts, and kayaks of the lower sections. Key species: brown trout, rainbow trout, redeye bass."

"Tucked away between the quaint mountain towns of Highlands and Cashiers you’ll find the Chattooga River Trail. The trail follows the river for a quarter mile before leading you to an outstanding sandy beach on the river’s edge.

The water is calm enough to let the dogs swim, and the beach is big enough for them to run and play. Beyond the beach, the trail continues for another 2.75 miles, but follows the river from up above."

"The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River lives up to its name as a great rafting and kayaking stream, but there is so much more to enjoy in the river corridor, including good primitive campsites and excellent trout fishing. Originating in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest, the river flows through the Ellicott Wilderness Area and ends in Tugaloo Lake, 50 miles downstream and 2,000 feet lower in elevation.

The area supports excellent wildflower displays in spring and summer. Wildlife includes wild turkeys, deer, raccoons, squirrels, and other small mammals. A variety of forest types--from old forest habitat to second-growth hardwoods and evergreens--make this is a fine birding area."

Chattooga River Trail Reviews

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Trail leaves Scull Shoals area and follows bluff alongside Oconee River. Saw a few fishermen in boats along the way. Hiked the trail in July '06 during 90 degree summer heat and the trail was overgrown. There were clearings along the trail possibly due to archaeological finds in the area. About halfway down the trail between Scull Shoals and the Oconee Rec Area was a nest of yellow warblers.

Chattooga River Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Rabun County
Nearby City
(828) 524-6441; recarea/?recid=48716&actid=50
Local Contacts
DeLorme: North Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer, page 52, F2. National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #785 Nantahala & Cullasaja Gorges, C12, Trail #432.
Local Maps