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

Marie McAden Marie McAden
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Hikers walking the quarter-mile trail to the Chattooga River's Woodall Shoalswill 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.

Marie McAden
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.