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“Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo” next weekend
Etowah Water Trail Rodeo
Paddlers drift down the Etowah River near Eagle's Beak Park in Forsyth County. The new Forsyth County Park will be the site of this year's Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Later this month, 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 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 on Sept. 17.

The paddle will be followed by a dinner, games, a historic program about the Eagle’s Beak area and a kayak giveaway.

The cost of the event is $75 per person, or $130 for two tickets, and includes complimentary canoe or kayak rentals, 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, 10 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 Hwy. 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.

For more information contact Joe Cook at (706)409-0128 or email