What to Expect on Your First Rafting Trip

White Water Rafting


Expect the unexpected!


Yes, river rafting is that thrill-seeking experience just like riding on the front seat of a roller coaster! Every turn is unexpected and every drop takes your breath away leaving you want more and more!




When you go rafting on the Chattooga River, you’ll be surprised at how much the river really has to offer for beginning thrill-seekers. From calm tubing to class IV rapids, it’s all encompassed in a 57-mile stretch from Cashiers, North Carolina to Tugaloo Lake in northern Georgia.

Rafting on the Chattooga River 

If you become anxious as your first rafting adventure quickly approaches, it’s normal! The thought of raging rapids tossing around an air-filled flotation device carrying half a dozen screaming rafters can send anyone running back to their car, but bear with us. Many first-time rafters expect what they’ve seen in movies or thrill-seeking videos but breathe easy because not every river is made just for experts. 


Beginners have their share of rafting rivers that promise a smooth entry into the world of white-water rafting.  Don’t worry, you’ll get wet and at the end of your rafting adventure, you’ll be begging for more!


What are you looking to experience? 


Tubing while soaking up the summer sun or adrenaline-pumping, river-drenching rafting? That’s the million-dollar question when it comes to planning your day on the Chattooga River! 


Section 1 (West Fork) – Ideal for tubing and class II float trips. Small waves, just enough to keep a steady pace on your tubing adventure. Stretches like these require little maneuvering so you can sit back and enjoy the beauty all around you! 


Section 2 (Starts at Highway 28) – This is a class II float with quicker waters allowing tubes, kayaks, and canoes to float at a steady pace down the Chattooga. There’s a little room for splashing waves, as you get further into the heart of the river! 


Section 3 – This section holds some of the Chattooga Rivers more novice rapids from Class II to Class IV rapids which rafters and kayakers frequent daily. If you’re riding on Class II rapids, you’ll experience waves up to three feet high.

As you work your way towards Class III, you’ll begin to navigate larger waves, small falls and even larger rocks. Waves can easily reach five or six feet as they crash against your raft. 

Class IV rapids are for the advanced riders who dare to go big! You’ll experience turbulent waves, a swift current and extremely large rocks protruding from the river water! Navigation is key when making your way down these rapids, so pay attention!


Section 4 – The final section proves the most intense rafting experience you’ll find in all of North Georgia! Rapids span from Class II all the way to Class V for those expert rafters who want to life to the extreme!


Five Falls, a nationally famous stretch of the Chattooga spans about a quarter of a mile but packs a punch! It contains five Class III through V rapids, which will send rafters into sharp turns with extremely fast currents. You’ll experience pummeling waves that easily reach seven feet in height! If you’re on this section of rapids, hold on for the right and scream as loud as you can because this is the real deal rafting experience!


What To Bring 

Depending on the class level of rapids that you’re going down, you’ll want to plan accordingly. Tubing will allow you to bring glasses, water bottles and even snacks as you float down the Chattooga River. If you’re heading down a more intense section of the river, leave the loose items behind.


What to bring if you’re tubing: 


  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks (granola bar, fruit)
  • Fanny Pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Cellphone (wrapped in zip-lock bag)
  • Waterproof Camera


What to bring if you’re rafting: 


  • Securable Hat
  • Securable Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Energy Bar


What To Leave Behind 

It’s a fact that rivers can be the Bermuda triangle of your valuable items! One mishap can send your cellphone, camera, mp3 player, or expensive sunglasses overboard and lost forever!


We recommend leaving those in your car or a secure locker to prevent the heartache of losing your items! The less you bring, the more time you’ll have to focus on the real reason why you’re there, to enjoy the river!


Savor the Memories 

The reason we take thrill-seeking adventures is to capture the feeling in the moment! Whether you’re on a Class V rapid or slowly tubing your way down the Chattooga with iced tea in hand, memories are what will bring you back every year to our river!