Paddled the Dawson Forest section with a group on 06/11/06 to cut deadfall for Paddle Georgia. A few low-water spots and slower current than usual, but still very runnable despite very low water level (4.05 feet, 102 cfs). Biggest "danger" from two bank to bank logs and a couple of areas where shallow river middle requires paddlers to deal with the hanging branches along one bank or the other.
Paddle Georgia 2006, June 24-30, will begin at Highway 9 in the middle of this reach. The 120 mile paddle will continue to Rome, where the Etowah and the Oostanaula converge to form the Coosa. On Saturday, June 24, the portion of the river from Highway 9 to Kelly Bridge Road will be filled with some 300 paddlers, many with minimal experience. They will put in at Highway 9 and take out at Highway 372 (Ball Ground Road), 6.9 miles downstream of Kelly Bridge Road.
To accomodate Paddle Georgia 2006 on 06/24/06, branches of river-side trees and deadfalls were trimmed back. For at least a while, that will make the branches less of an issue than usual.
The Etowah Scenic River Committee is working to have 6.8 miles of the Etowah River and 14.4 miles of Amicalola Creek, mostly within the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, included under Georgia
Streamkeeper: Rick Bellows, email@example.com.
On 03 April 2011, we paddled the 11 mile section from Hugh Stowers Rd to Kelly Bridge Rd. We were impressed that a flatwater creek moved at a nice clip (cfs was ~320).
There were 2 riverwide strainers in that first 2 mile section between Hugh Stowers & Hway 9; the first was less than a half mile from the put in. We removed SOME of it, opening up a decent gap (though still requiring a "duck under") on river-left immediately along the bank that will be safe ducking under at lower water levels (say, <400). However, at higher water levels that "duck under" on the left will be dangerous, but the center might become open allowing a scoot-over.
The second strainer is about 1/4 mile before (upstream of) the Highway 9 bridge & ramp. This huge mess is a fresh fall, and in addition to several trees, was also a thick jungle of thorny vines. We managed to clear enough of it on river-right next to the bank to scoot over & through. At low currents (below <400), it should be slow enough to ease through the narrow opening we cut right next to the right bank. (Portaging didn't seem judicious; both banks were high & very steep for a ways downstream, and the thorn vines looked just as bad or worse on top as down on the river.) I'll post photos later.
Rest of the trip from Hway 9 to Kelly Bridge was fantastic (and no riverwide strainers); we averaged 3.5mph with very little paddling. We loved the gorgeous 80ft cascading falls up the Barefoot Creek tributary, about 1.5 - 2 miles before the takeout.
The water Sunday was great on this not so popular for WW. The work Jamie Higgins and his group did to remove some of the recent downed strainers made it very enjoyable and kept the pace going nicely. Water was a lot faster than normal and water level was above normal as well die to the rain we received prior. Had a blast just wished the river stayed this way :D BTW It would be great if as mentioned by the below poster if the Description could be updated to let everyone know there's a new put in at the bridge with parking and bathrooms. They've also provided a swing and picnic tables for observers to watch yakers putting in and witnessing the occasional rookie roll.
so what is the right way to clear a tree?
I did a video of folks from the GCA paddling the Etowah River - Dawson Forest Section. FYI. The strainer has since been removed.
Ran Hwy 136 to Hwy 9 (River Park) with the kids in my We-no-nah Prospector 15.5'. Water level was around 120 cfs. Took 3 hrs at a leisurely pace. Several downed trees to deal with. One that we pulled the canoe over with the two 3 yr olds still in the boat (probably 8" of log above water). One spot with 2 logs about 3 ft apart 10" above the water that required a boat exit of all members (the kids seemed to like that). Later, we got to see 3 cows in the river with lots more on river right. I reminded the kids why you don't want to drink the water... ;) All in all, a good trip, but would be nice if someone could clear those trees. We saw GK carved into a downed tree that had been cleared (Georgia Kayaker). I remember seeing Richard clearing trees last fall in this section. Time for another clearing trip! ;)
Austin Jowers: Are there any primative camping spots along this section of river?
The Hwy 9 put-in/takeout is really nice now (or for a while now).. Can you update the detail on the "rapids" page? It has a full parking lot, pavilion, and steps down to the river.
Kelly Bridge Takeout is now $3/person. Open dawn to dusk.
Saw Richard Grove (www.georgiakayaker.com) and some of his friends out in early Sept, after the big storm in late August, clearing deadfall. He said they cleared from 53 (I think) all the way to Kelly Bridge.
are they any good rapids on this section?
(Hugh Stowers to Kelly Bridge)
Recreational kayaks. Navigable deadfall that could be problematic with higher water levels. River thin but runable.
Distance - 11.56 miles
Avg Speed; 3.5 mph
Max Speed; 7.4 mph
Water Level; 3.7
Obviously with the water level so low we had to work for our speed.
The online gauge is at the middle of the reach, at the Highway 9 bridge.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Two Rocks (aka Boulder Squeeze)
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!