This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length 16 Miles
Flow Range 100 - 2500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 270 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/14/2005 11:26 am

River Description

The Whitewater Sourcebook, Richard Penny (Menasha Ridge Press; 1989).
North Georgia Canoeing (Menasha Ridge Press).
Appalachian Whitewater : The Southern States

This trip can be broken down into much shorter sections....or possibly done as an overnight trip. There is a popular tubing section thru downtown Helen. This section of the river is mostly flatwater.

Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
Russell Monroe
2 years ago

Rivers, streams, and creeks are public land up to the average high water mark. I just dont get some people.

default user thumbnail
Russell Bailey
13 years ago

Ran GA255 to GA115 on 6/13/06 - 70 cfs on this gauge, 300 cfs on Cornelia gauge. Solo canoes. Adequate water - only a few scrapes - could probably drop flow by another third and still get down it. Very nice stretch. Had Wildwood Outfitters shuttle us.

Gage Descriptions

At this point I'm using an educated guess on minimum and maximum flows from the information provided on the USGS gauge link.

A simpler version might be if you can float down without scraping then its high enough to run. If the river is in the trees then it might be too high.

The USGS gauge is located on the downstream side of the bridge on Georgia Highways 17 and 75 at Helen, and 1.1 mi downstream from Smith Creek.

Drainage area 44.70 square miles
Gage datum 1,404.04 feet above sea level.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, dies

Charlie Walbridge

Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190266 06/14/05 n/a n/a