Here’s where we started last Saturday’s paddle—on the steps leading down into Lake Tugalo. Paddling these clear cold waters is an adventure. I’ve done it one other time and was pretty overwhelmed by the power of this lake. Pay no attention to the dog in this photo. He did not paddle with us. We were just tossing sticks out to him as we got started.
This lake causes me to have nightmares! I think about it before I reach the shoreline and its depth always comes to mind. I try not to think about how deep it is but “bingo” the fact is there. It’s close to 155 feet deep at the dam—something that is hard to dismiss as you paddle past it on the way to the tail end of Tallulah Gorge.
The dam is just downstream from where the Tallulah River flows into the lake.
This is the most scenic lake in Georgia and it is also one of the most remote.There’s practically no boat traffic on Lake Tugalo. In fact, we only saw two boats the entire time we were on the lake mainly because there’s a 20 HP limit and the access points are located at the end of a very steep gravel road. It’s scarrrrry getting there. I’m just glad to unload my boat and refuse to think about how my 4 wheel drive SUV will climb back out.
The incredible beauty of 1,000-foot walls rising straight up from the water’s edge and the possibility of truly trophy-sized large mouth bass make Lake Tugalo a fun destination.
It’s located near the Tallulah Falls gorge and has no development on it. Wild! Wild! The lake is owned and operated by the Georgia Power Company and is a pick up zone for kayakers and white water rafters coming off the Chattooga River. So you have the end of Tallulah Gorge on one end and the Chattooga River on the other! Wow! That’s pretty much a combination for amazing.
We were mere dots on the horizon on this lake. It’s at this points like this that we begin to wonder who we are that God would be mindful of us and even love us with an unconditional love. His landscape is so great. He is omniscient and yet He loves me still. Wow. “How great is my God!”
We paddled close to the shoreline to stay cooler and I began to notice clear pathways where animals had come down to the lake to drink water. No one lives or hikes on this lake. It is just too remote.
There are two boat ramps on the lake—one on the South Carolina side and one on the Georgia side. This is the boat ramp on the South Carolina side. I have never tried to get to the bottom of the Georgia ramp. From what I have read, it is even steeper and much more rough.