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On Sept. 21, dozens of paddlers from acr

September 10, 2014

On Sept. 21, 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 will feature a 9-mile paddle on the Etowah through the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area followed by a dinner provided by Big D’s Barbecue in Dawsonville and Pepsi, with live music from Little Mountain Folk and a kayak giveaway from The Outside World.

Cost of the event is $50 per person (or $90 per couple) 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 event begins at 1 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. at Dawson County’s Rock Creek Park. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

“Our vision is to have river access points along the entire length of the river so it’s easy for a local family or visitors to take a trip down the Etowah,” 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. “The Etowah is home to the best family paddling in North Georgia, and we want to make it more accessible.”

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 two years to create the water trail.

In the past year, two new public boat launches have been installed on the river in Cherokee and Bartow counties, and within the year, additional launches will be in place in Forsyth and Bartow counties.

Sponsors of the Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo include Appalachian Outfitters, The Outside World, Big D’s Barbecue, Pepsi 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.


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