Welcome to the Chattooga Conservancy

Our mission is to protect, promote and restore the natural ecological integrity of the Chattooga River watershed ecosystems; to ensure the viability of native species in harmony with the need for a healthy human environment; and, to educate and empower communities to practice good stewardship on public and private lands.


Learn more about our current initiatives and find ways you can get involved.

Stay Wild

Our “Stay Wild” Celebration & Fundraiser was April 21st and a huge success. Stay tuned for an update on the event!


Help protect the Chattooga River watershed by becoming a member of the Chattooga Conservancy.


Find ways to enjoy the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River while minimizing your environmental impact.


Features articles on the watershed’s history, updates on initiatives, articles about conservation, & membership news.


The National Wild and Scenic River is a special designation for certain protected rivers in the United States. Known as the “Crown Jewel” of the southeast, the Chattooga was the first river east of the Mississippi to be granted the Wild & Scenic designation. Since 1974, the the Chattooga River has been protected along a 15,432-acre corridor as a national Wild and Scenic River. 39.8 miles of the river have been designated “wild”, about 2.5 miles “scenic”, and 14.6 miles “recreational” for a total of about 57 miles.

The Chattooga River originates in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina at the base of Whiteside Mountain, a massive 4800 foot granite monolith on the escarpment known to the Cherokee as the“Great Blue Wall.” It is one of seven rivers that flow from the Blue Ridge Escarpment, an area marked by high rainfall and unusual biological diversity. The terrain is abrupt and deeply dissected with many spectacular gorges.

From its source at the headwaters at an elevation of 3360 feet until it flows into Tugaloo Lake the Chattooga River descends 2469 feet in elevation, making it one of the best whitewater recreational rivers in the eastern United States. It was because of these and other unique values that the Chattooga River was chosen by Congress as one of the 27 rivers to be studied for possible inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

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If you want to stay in the loop on everything we have going on at the Chattooga Conservancy including being alerted when immediate action is needed, events in the Chattooga watershed, and volunteer opportunities for our various initiatives, then please subscribe to our email list and we’ll keep you up to date. And if you change your mind, you can always unsubscribe no questions asked.