45 Years Ago, Wildwater Opened on the Famous Chattooga River

Becky WiseChattooga River, White Water Rafting, Wildwater

In 1970, Jim and Jeanette Greiner traveled from Atlanta, GA to their home in Virginia.  Having recently read the book Deliverance, Jim was keen to explore local rivers.

Jim and Jeanette were avid rafters, having recently rafted on the New River in West Virginia and on the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania with an outfitting operation that had recently opened.  Whitewater rafting had been popular in the West since the late fifties and was just now growing in the east.  When Jim and Jeanette stopped at the Highway 76 Bridge over the Chattooga River on the Georgia / South Carolina border, they encountered a canoeing group from Clemson University.  After hearing stories of the river, Jim was intrigued even further.  Learning the Chattooga River was the main setting for the movie version of Deliverance, and that filming was underway, it was “now or never”!

Jim invited his new rafting friends from West Virginia (Jon Dragan, Wildwater Unlimited), Pennsylvania (Lance Martin, Wilderness Voyageurs) and his cousin Gamble Bowers (who later opened Transmontane Outfitters in West Virginia) to raft the Chattooga River with him.  After an exciting day on the river, Jim asked his friends what they thought of the Chattooga and his idea to open a rafting company; the answer was “If you do not do it, we will”.  So in 1971, Jim started Wildwater Ltd. Outdoor Adventures, and the rest is history!  Check out the photos of how things have changed over the years!  #wildwater45th


Raft 2014, #wildwater45th

Raft 2014

Wildwater Chattooga Bull Sluice Rapid, #wildwater45th

Raft 1990

Rafts 1971, #wildwater45th

Rafts 1971


Transport to River 2014, #wildwater45th

Transport to River 2014

Transport to River 1987, #wildwater45th

Transport to River 1987

History of Whitewater, #wildwater45th

Transport to River 1971


Raft Guide 2013, #wildwater45th

Raft Guide 2013

Wildwater Raft Guide 1980's, #wildwater45th

Raft Guide 1980’s