The Chattooga’s Woodall Shoals Offers More than Just a Menacing Rapid

By:Marie McAden


Hikers walking the quarter-mile trail to the Chattooga River’s Woodall Shoals will get a firsthand look at a menacing whitewater rapid.

Kayakers, canoers and rafters are cautioned to avoid Woodall Shoal’s deadly Class IV hole, but the rest of the rapid is a twisting, tumbling torrent of water savored by experienced paddlers.

From the riverbank, you can watch boaters plunge over the rapid’s ledges, whooping it up as they bump off of rocks on their paddle downriver. The carnage that results from the occasional overturned boat adds to the entertainment.

But there’s more to Woodall Shoals than a front-row seat to the fun. At the bottom of the rapid the river turns placid, creating a large pool where you can swim, soak or wade in the water.

On the huge granite ledge extending from the left bank above the rapid, visitors will find plenty of quiet spots to picnic, read a book, sunbathe or just sit and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Chattooga River and the Upstate’s tree-covered mountains that rise from its banks.

To get to Woodall Shoals Trail, go east 2.5 miles from the US 76 bridge to Orchard Road. Turn right and drive half a mile to the gravel Woodall Road on the right. The parking area is at the end of the road.

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The Chattooga is recognized as one of the Southeast's premier whitewater rivers and the most famous whitewater paddling spot in the state. Thundering waterfalls, dense fo ...

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