The Coosa River watershed is born in the northwestern corner of Georgia (and a small piece of Tennessee) as several vital tributaries, the Conasauga, Coosawattee, Oostanaula, and Etowah rivers. As these headwater mountain streams converge, the emerging Coosa flows southwest along the valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Cumberland Plateau into Alabama. The remaining 89% of the river mainstem (GA DNR) then flows 286 miles to north of Montgomery. There it joins the Tallapoosa to form the Alabama River.
The river falls approximately 420 feet in 267 miles, or 1.6 feet per mile. (Corps) The Coosa River channel varies from 300 to 500 feet wide, with banks 25 feet high along the flood plain.