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Nothing like this
Local swimming holes offer summer fun
3 Swimming Holes pic1
Kolton Brown, 11, slides down a rock at Edge of the World rapids. Locals and visitors like to cool off in swimming holes around Dawson County. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Daryl Rosenbaum has traveled to some of the most desired vacation spots in the world, but none compare to one of Dawson County's most precious gems.

"There is nothing like this anywhere," said the Maryland man as he soaked his feet in a cascade of rapids at the Edge of the World, a popular swimming hole in western Dawson County.

"I've been to Costa Rica, I've been to a lot of different places. I've never been to anything like this."

Nestled along a riverbed trail that is wheelchair accessible for most of the way, Edge of the World features breathtaking waterfalls, flowing pools and what is often described as some of the most challenging rapids on the Amicalola River.

Rosenbaum brought his kids to experience the "natural water park."

The rapids not only attract people from far and wide, but nearby as well.

Shannon Stancil of Ball Ground said he enjoys "feeling the air off of the rapids."

"It's different than being at the lake or the ocean, and it's beautiful. It's so pretty," Stancil said. "You don't see places like this just everywhere."

A week earlier, Stancil had floated to the rapids from another popular swimming hole known as Devil's Elbow, a few miles east off Sweetwater Juno Road.

Melinda Sullens likes bringing her family to Devil's Elbow, because "the water is cleaner, it's a good place for the kids to swim and friendlier than other places," she said.

The kids also approve.

"It's fun here," said 13-year-old Elizabeth Morris. "There are more things to do - jump, dive and go down the currents."

The main attraction at Devils Elbow usually involves the jumps and rope swings.

Austin Jones, 14, said he likes it better than most places. Here he gets to "swim and jump off of stuff."

A 35-feet tall cliff known by locals as "The Elbow" is one of the area's most daring dives.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Christopher Nastari.

During his first visit to Devil's Elbow, Nastari took the steep plunge and offered his advice on jumping from the cliff, "Put one foot in front of the other."