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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Kayak the Upper Etowah ** Changed to the Dawson Forest Section of the Etowah**

The Basics:
Event Type:Whitewater
Event Location: Dahlonega, GA   Whitewater: Kayak the Upper Etowah ** Changed to the Dawson Forest Section of the Etowah**  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Aug 25 2018  11:30 am >> Sat, Aug 25 2018 5:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 10:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Aug 13 2018 7:15 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Aug 24 2018 9:00 pm
Event Duration:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$40.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:20
Minimum Group Size:10
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Please read the information below carefully, particularly about the payment requirements!

Please note: we will be checking on the water level Thursday, August 23rd and if we don't think it will be high enough we will paddle the Dawson Forest section of the Etowah instead and add a few people from the Wait List. UPDATE: we confirmed that we will need to switch due to water levels. We have updated the information below accordingly and emailed all participants. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

We've done this trip before and it is an absolutely gorgeous stretch of river. The trip is about 9 miles long and is calm with only a few small class one rapids.

Please be comfortable enough around moving/swift water to take care of yourself and possibly swim. If you fall out of your boat you need to be able to take care of yourself while waiting on assistance from someone else to retrieve your boat and/or paddle and/or help you back in your kayak. Take this from your Trip Leader, who had to swim downstream one year after her own kayak at one point!  It was still such a fun and beautiful trip, though, that I came back for more.

We'll kayak through the 10,000 acre Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area. The trip is rated for beginners and averages 3-4 hours and it is 9 miles long. We will be using 15 of their sit on top kayaks and three of their sit-in kayaks (see below if you want to bring your own kayak). The Outfitter will provide shuttle, kayak, PFD (personal flotation device) and paddles.

This is a really pretty stretch of river that travels through an interesting part of GA's history when it "became home to the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory ( GNAL ) from the 1950′s until 1971.

The initial intent of the facility was to research and develop a nuclear powered aircraft.  Remember, this was during the ” Cold War” when some in government believed we needed an aircraft that could remain in the air for weeks without having to land to refuel.  This was a top-priority project for the US. military, as they were confident that the Soviet Union had made significant advances in this area.

The 10,000 plus acre site had three main areas spread across several miles on the property.  The facilities were all connected with an internal “narrow-gauge” railway system.  The separate sites included a nuclear reactor, a cooling site and a hot-cell building.  There was also an underground “shielded site”, where employees waited when the reactor was operational.  Other buildings included an underground parking facility, miscellaneous storage / warehouse buildings, and research laboratories." For more info on this fascinating bit of our history, see: forest-wildlife-management-area/

Fortunately for us, this area is perfectly safe to visit now, with the added bonus that we will see some of the remnants from that period: partial bridges, abuttments and rail lines used by the base. Along with the beautiful scenery, this makes for a very interesting paddling trip!

The Outfitter will pick us up from the parking location noted below and drive us to the put in spot. From there we will float/drift/paddle back to the original location where we left our cars. There are changing areas at the original location and a porta potty.

After we complete our trip, we may also decide to grab an early dinner on the way home, either in nearby Dahlonega or at Big D's BBQ on the way back. We'll take a vote that day to decide. Please make sure you work this out with the carpool driver before leaving the carpool location.

Bring your own kayak - we will allow up to three personal kayaks for a fee of $16 (to cover your shuttle cost). If you plan to bring your own kayak, the first people who sign up and send an email to Allston indicating they will BYOK will be able to bring their own kayak. If you do bring your own kayak, and intend to meet at the carpool, please plan on being one of the drivers since you'll be taking your vehicle and boat anyway. Inflatable kayaks are not recommended for this trip.

Payment is due within 48 hours of your signing up. If you don't pay within 48 hours of signing up, you will be automatically moved to the waiting list regardless of what your Paypal banner says. Don't expect a reminder email about payment being due. See Cancellation Policy below for more details. If you are paying using a method other than PayPal, email your Trip Leaders as soon as you sign up.

No partial payment for partial attendance.

The dudes that run this place are great. They work hard schlepping these kayaks around and work mostly for tips. Please bring a few bucks to tip them. I'm happy to collect tips and give them to the guys at the end. These guys are my favorite Outfitter because they do everything for you - they don't ask you to carry your kayak. 

Please print, complete and sign the waiver and bring it to the event:

http://www.canoegeorgia.c om/waiver.pdf


Required Items to Bring:

See below for recommended items. Technically, nothing is required.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • On the river wear clothing you don't mind getting wet or dirty. Bring a change of clothes for after your trip.
  • Wear something on your feet for protection - old running shoes, sandals or river shoes - NOT Flip-Flops!
  • Food or snacks in unbreakable containers. Bring plenty to drink on hot days.
  • Dress according to the weather. Shorts, bathing suit and t-shirts are great for hot days and wind breakers, wool or nylon shirts for cool days.
  • Sun protection, sunblock, hat and sunglasses.
  • Waterproof watch.
  • Leave all unneeded items like wallets, keys, pagers, etc. behind. We have a safe place to leave car keys at the outpost while you're on the river.



  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Large coolers, styrofoam coolers, glass bottles.
  • Radios, non-waterproof cameras.


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

We are meeting at the take-out location. Please follow the directions below.

Hwy. 400 north to Dawson Forest Road (approx. 30 min.)

Turn left on to Dawson Forest Road - Arbys will be on your right and the Outlet Mall on your left. Go through roundabout and stay on Dawson Forest Rd for about 3.8 miles. 

Turn left on to Hwy 9 (a.k.a. Dahlonega Hwy) stay on Hwy 9 for about a mile

Turn right on to A.T. Moore Road. This will turn in to Kelly Bridge Rd. Go 6.3 miles to Kelly Bridge Parking lot on your right just past the bridge.

Do not pay the $3 fee at the gate when you enter the parking lot. The Outfitter will take care of that for us.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):82Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 10:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $32.80 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$40.00/Person
Cost Includes:

Kayak rental, paddle, PFD and shuttle. Does NOT include tips!

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Fri, Aug 24 2018.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

Payment is due within 48 hours of your signing up. If you don't pay within 48 hours of signing up, you will be automatically moved to the waiting list. Don't expect a reminder email about payment being due. See Cancellation Policy below for more details. If you cancel on or before August 20th, full payment is refundable less a $5 administrative fee. No refund beginning August 21st. PayPal is the only accepted method of payment.

This event is rain or shine unless extreme weather is forecast.

No partial payment for partial attendance.