Things to do near Highland Lake — Chattooga River Rafting

Chattooga River is one of the many rivers that begin in the Appalachian Mountain range. This river flows through the Highland Lake area in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is one of the most popular rivers for white water rafting.

This free flowing, beautiful and wild river rushes down the mountain slopes bordered by the Sumter forest on one bank and the Chattahoochee National Forest on the other. The water level in this river varies with rainfall and is the highest in spring and summer. The Chattooga River is divided into three levels according to degree of difficulty in rafting.

1. Level II: This level takes you along a mild section of the river where it drops twelve feet every mile. The boats float along at a leisurely pace and you can enjoy the scenery as you experience the mild thrills. This level is for beginners and the faint hearted who want to experience river rafting but will not take risks. This section is seven miles long and you can even do a spot of fishing.

2. Level III: The going gets tougher in this section. This is the intermediate level where you come across more than a dozen rapids. This is the most popular level as it provides the real feeling of white water rafting but at the same time isn’t very difficult.

This level also allows you to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings that are filled with wild flowers in a splash of brilliant colors in the spring and in summer these blossoms nestled in the soothing green forests are a sight to behold. As you soak in this scene your excitement grows with the anticipation of the thrill of rushing down a rapid at any moment. The rates charged for this trip includes lunch.

3. Level IV: This is the section for the real adventurers. This level of the Chattooga River in the area is the most exhilarating. You will experience the maximum thrills here. This section begins at a point where you can take in the fantastic sight of the Stekoa and Long Creek Falls dropping into the river. As you proceed the canyon gets deeper and as you approach a sharp right turn, where the river suddenly seems to disappear.

The roar of the water will make your adrenaline flow as you become aware of the impending thrill of rushing down through rapids of gigantic proportions. Here the river falls more than seventy five feet through the five famous falls beginning with the Entrance. Then you fly through the Corkscrew and race down the narrow fall of Jawbone. Here the scary thrill increases as the banks seem to close in on you.

The fifth fall is the real McCoy. This is known as Soc-em-Dog and you will hurtle down a fall of over 100 feet for a distance of about 1/3 of a mile into the gorge as your heart races with the extreme excitement. This section takes about seven hours to complete. It includes lunch and as in the other sections the rates are higher on Saturdays and Sundays.

The rafting season in this area, NC is between March and October and it draws people from far and wide to enjoy the thrills of this high intensity adventure sport.