A collection of rafts pull over to the shore, and guests and guides begin hiking up to Long Creek Falls, one of the many stops along their trip down Section IV of the Chattooga River. It’s a misty day with a monochrome sky. But a slight breeze cuts through the river corridor, showering everyone in a dazzling array of color. Leaves of yellow, orange, and red dance about then descend into the water.
Fall is a great time of year to visit the Chattooga Watershed. The temperatures are mild and the scenery is spectacular. Waterfalls are abundant in the area, with access trails ranging from the 1/4-mile stroll to all day adventures. If you prefer overlooks, take a moderate ramble around Whiteside Mountain, forming the headwaters of the Chattooga River, between Highlands and Cashiers, North Carolina. Or for the more ambitious hiker, walk the two-mile trail up to the lookout platform on Rabun Bald, the second highest peak in Georgia, for a 360-degree view of four states.
Fun Fall Activities In and Around the Chattooga River
During September and October, the mosquitoes subside and nights are cool enough to enjoy roasting marshmallows around a fire. This makes fall the best time of year for camping in the mountains. The surrounding National Forests have many designated camping spots. There are also three state parks in the area: Tallulah Falls State Park and Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia and Oconee State Park in South Carolina. And within a 10-minute drive of our outpost are two commercial campgrounds, Chattooga Sounds and Chattooga River Resort. Both facilities offer scenic and spacious campsites with full amenities.
Fall is also a popular season for festivals. Rabun County, Georgia celebrates the Foxfire Festival on October 3, and don’t forget Oktoberfest happening in Helen, Georgia mid September through the end of October.
But of course, one of the best ways to experience the magic of the mountains during peak leaf season is to paddle down the river. Southeastern Expeditions offer trips down both Section III and IV of the Chattooga through the end of October. Please check out our website for pricing and availability or call us 1-800-868-7238 to find out what trips and dates are most appropriate for your family or group. The nights are getting cooler and the days shorter. So start planning your fall adventure today!
Links for Planning Your Fall Adventure
Information about hiking trails, camping, and places to stay in Oconee County, South Carolina, can be found here.
Camping and Hiking Information for National Forests: