Etowah River Paddle Trip to raise funds to build boating trail

On Sept. 17, dozens of paddlers from across North Georgia and beyond will launch on the Etowah River in Dawson County to celebrate the river and raise funds to create a 163-mile-long boating trail stretching from near Dahlonega to Rome.

The Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo, sponsored by Troncalli Subaru in Cumming, will feature a 7-mile paddle on the Etowah from the historic Kelly Bridge Road near Dawsonville to Forsyth County’s new Eagle’s Beak Park near Cumming. The paddle will be followed by a dinner provided by Dickey’s Barbecue, games, a historic program about the Eagle’s Beak area and a kayak giveaway from The Outside World.

Cost of the event is $75 per person (or $130 for two tickets) and includes complimentary canoe or kayak rentals courtesy of Appalachian Outfitters and Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI), dinner, shuttle service and a chance to win a new kayak. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to assist local communities in promoting and building the Etowah River Water Trail. The registration deadline is Sept. 14.

The event begins at 1 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. at Eagle’s Beak Park. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

“We’re very excited to make use of Forsyth County’s new Eagle’s Beak Park,” said Joe Cook of CRBI, a non-profit organization based in Rome that is leading a group of stakeholders in facilitating creation of the trail. “It’s a great facility and is a critical link in the development of the Etowah River Water Trail in Dawson, Forsyth and Cherokee counties.”

The stakeholders group, consisting of representatives from local governments, convention and visitors bureaus, private businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals has worked for the past six years to create the water trail.

Since 2010, ten new public access points have been added along the river making it easier for local residents and visitors to get out on and enjoy the Etowah River. In addition to the Eagle’s Beak Park site, during the last year, a new boat launch has also been added at Hardin Bridge in Bartow County and information kiosks with maps and river information have been installed at launch sites at Ga. 9, Kelly Bridge Road and Eagle’s Beak Park.

Sponsors of the Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo include Troncalli Subaru, The Outside World, Appalachian Outfitters and CRBI.  

CRBI is a 501c3 non profit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.