Dawson Forest is an amazing section and typically easy part and most traveled of the Etowah River though I have not done it for several years. We will paddle 2.5-3 mph. This is not a casual float. We will take a break 1/2 way through.
We will meet at the PUT-IN at River Park and drive our cars to the TAKE OUT at Kelly Bridge where there is a privately owned boat ramp with a small fee. Stop to get an envelop on the way in and complete info and then on the way out drop the envelope back in the box. We will either uber/lyft back to our boats (most desirable) or self shuttle our own cars to get back to the put in. Bring at least $10 in small bills for the shuttle. Not sure how much it will be.
Length: 9 Miles (Ga. 9 to Kelly Bridge Road) Class: I Time: 4-7 hours
Minimum Level: This section of river can be run except in the most severe droughts. Levels of 60 cfs or greater at the Hwy. 9 gauge should provide sufficient flow. River Gauge: The nearest river gauge is located at Ga. 9: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv?site_no=02389150
Launch Site: This Dawson County facility includes a canoe/kayak launch, ample parking and a portable toilet. Other amenities include a covered pavilion, informational kiosk and benches and swings overlooking the river.
Directions: The launch is located on Ga. 9 south of Dawsonville. From the intersection of Ga. 400 and Ga. 369 north of Cumming, turn left on Ga. 369 (Browns Bridge Road) and proceed one mile to Ga. 9. Turn right and proceed 7.8 miles to the Etowah River. Launch area will be on your left after the bridge.
Take Out Site: The take out is located on river right just before reaching Kelly Bridge. A privately-owned boat ramp, there is a nominal fee for the privilege of using the site (paid on the honor system at a drop box located on the gate into the parking area). The site includes a paved boat ramp, ample parking and a portable toilet.
Directions: From the Hwy. 9 Launch Site, turn right on Ga. 9 and proceed 1.6 miles to A.T. Moore Road on the right. Turn right and proceed 0.7 mile where A.T. Moore merges with Govan Road to become Kelly Bridge Road. Proceed from here 5.5 miles to Etowah River. Launch area will be on your right after the bridge.
Descriptions: Perhaps the most frequently paddled section on the entire length of the river, this nine mile trip winds almost entirely within the beautiful 10,000-acre Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area. The river here is intimate and shaded with several shoals. Though a wilderness feel emanates from the river’s banks, the area was once teaming with people. From 1956 to 1971 government contractors worked on a top-secret project to build a nuclear-powered airplane. Today it is a haven for paddlers, hikers, bikers, hunters, anglers and horseback riders. The primary obstacles to navigation are cross river strainers that can occur frequently. All shoals are rated as Class I in difficulty.