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Welcome to the Tugaloo River Water Trail website! In May 2021, the Tugaloo River, located near the city of Toccoa in Stephens County, Georgia, became an official Water Trail! It covers roughly 10 miles of what is known as the Tugaloo River Corridor. The state of Georgia is located on one side of the river and the other side is South Carolina.
This river is extremely important as a water source, its historical significance, as well as its environmental habitat and the natural outdoor activity it provides.
In places, views from the Tugaloo River are expansive and always beautiful! The Cherokee named the Tugaloo River by calling it “a place at the forks of a stream or land between the waters.”
As you paddle this river, you will notice “land” or islands, in the upper portion of the river near the first launch at Panther Creek and the Yonah Dam Park. Thus, giving the Tugaloo River its name. Water for this river originates with the famous Chattooga River in Rabun County, Georgia.
Regardless of when you are on the Tugaloo River, you can count on this: You will have a great time! So, breathe deep and take in your pristine surroundings. You are paddling one of Georgia’s most beautiful rivers.
You are also paddling where native Americans once paddled; and where, today, paddlers of all experience levels can enjoy a great day on the river.
So, go ahead and run the Class 1 rapids as you leave our launch at Panther Creek, travel past ancient rock outcroppings near Scott Shoals and then take time to paddle to Longnose Falls (its a local secret) on the South Carolina side of the river before paddling out across the upper portion of Lake Hartwell. You will pass Indian Island—once an Indian burial mound. Today, it’s an Army Corps of Engineers protected area. Finally, paddle on to historical Broken Bridges, which is the last access point on the Tugaloo River Water Trail.
Thank you for visiting our website! An official Water Trail map is located on our Contact Us page. Click on the map and it will expand so you can print it. You also can leave us a comment or ask a question via our Contact page.
So, gather your gear and head to Stephens County, Georgia, and the Tugaloo River and get ready for “a good paddle!”