North East Georgia is much like Florida with rain events all summer. The reason you see the raft guides doing the rain dances is that the Chattooga is a free flow river. This means that there is no dams or diversions on the Chattooga. This Wild and Scenic River derives from some spring/aquifer water, but for the most part, it’s main source is the creeks and runoff from the watershed. The Chattooga River runs 60 miles with no impoundments. This takes a lot of water to keep it flowing.
So, we need the rain to fill the watershed to do the rafting thing! Most days the Chattooga is the perfect water level (.9 foot to 4 feet of water on the gauge.) Other days (rarely) we are over 4 feet or under .9 foot. So why do the rain dance? 1 because it’s fun and 2 because without a regular flow, the fish and rafters will not have a place to play!
Rain, rain, rain. “The weather man says it’s going to rain.” Here on the Chattooga River, we raft in rain, shine, and snow. Rarely do we do get caught in a lightning storm, but it’s really not a big deal. In the North Georgia mountains, the mountains are high enough and valleys low enough that a storm can get caught and travels straight up the range. All this being said, we are soaked form the rafting in the first place and usually we get a little better rapids on the river during the rain event. Rafting is a rainy day activity and won’t put a damper on your Chattooga River Whitewater Rafting experience!