“Wild and Scenic Chatooga River”
Town of Clayton GA
History of Clayton GA
The Chattooga River is the crown jewel of southern whitewater rivers and a symbol for wilderness river lovers throughout the United States and Canada. Its high rainfall, unusual geology (with many cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls), and steep gradient place it in the “world class” category of rivers. Most remaining rivers of the Chattooga’s quality are tucked away in western gorges or West Virginia mountains. The river is arguably the area’s prime single natural attraction, luring some 100,000 visitors a year for hiking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, fishing, swimming, or plain and simple river watching. Headwaters of the Chattooga are in the Nantahala National Forest and private lands in North Carolina. Flowing southward out of North Carolina, they form approximately 40 river miles of boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. The river drops from approximately 3,000 feet elevation at its headwaters to 950 feet at its termination into Lake Tugalo. It is under the control and protection of the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.