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Dawson Living: Dive into an adventure this summer
If looking for adventure, look no further than the rope swings at Devil’s Elbow in Amicalola Creek. Be careful for a strong undercurrent. - photo by Ben Hendren

There are only a handful of things that scream ‘Summer Time’ better than getting friends and family together and getting in the water. 

Whether you’re going to a body of water or just shooting water guns in the front yard, there is something about it that no good summer is complete without. 

After an exceptionally tough year, take time to unwind this summer and enjoy all the fun watery adventures that Dawson County has to offer. 

The Etowah River water trail is a drop off for canoes and kayaks along the side of Dawson Forest. - photo by Ben Hendren
Dawson Forest Canoe & Kayaking Take Out

5693 Kelly Bridge Road, Dawsonville

Located right off the Etowah River, kayakers or canoers drop off at this nine-mile stretch of river to enjoy beautiful spots all along the way. 

Within the borders of the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, this frequently paddled portion of the Etowah is covered in shady spots with several shoals to explore, all rated Class 1. 

If kayaking is not your thing, there is a covered pavilion and several swings facing the river to watch others and hear the rush of the water against the rocky banks. 

Splash Pad at Rock Creek Park 

445 Martin Road, Dawsonville

The Rotary Island Splash Pad located inside Rock Creek Park is a great public place for families to come and play in the water with their little ones. The Splash Pad is an interactive water park with five separate above ground features and six sprinklers. 

“It’s nice having somewhere close by to come and bring out kids to play and have a fun day,” Brad Miller of Cumming said. “If the plan is to stay the whole day and we’ve left something at home, it’s not too far to go back and grab it.” 

Drop your stuff under the covered pavilion and enjoy a sunny day in the water at Rock Creek Park. 

Thompson Creek Park 

570 Thompson Creek Park, Dawsonville

Catch a glimpse of the sun shining off beautiful Lake Lanier at Thompson Creek Park. 

People from all over come to Thompson Creek Park in Dawson County to launch their boats and enjoy a day on the lake, but the park has shaded areas for families to hold barbecues or picnics under. 

Patrons of Thompson Creek Park also bring their fishing gear early in the morning to stay and fish the day away. 

The park is also at the start of the Laurel Creek Hiking Trail, a 3.5-mile loop known for stunning views of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.

Campgrounds are available all around the lake for those wanting to spend multiple days.

Devil’s Elbow 

Local patrons at the Devil’s Elbow jump located at Amicalola Creek. - photo by Ben Hendren

Off Steele Bridge Rd in Amicalola Creek 

Given the name Devil’s Elbow, this spot isn’t for the faint of heart. Named for the intense undertow at the water’s bend, Devil’s Elbow can be very dangerous and should be treated with caution. 

But when visited responsibly, this swimming hole can be one of Dawson County’s most beautiful hidden gems. 

Visitors can splash around in the shallow end and enjoy a day in the wilderness. Makeshift ropes and ladders have been put up around to jump into the deeper parts of the water. 

“As long as everybody’s smart about it and a good swimmer, there’s no reason not to visit,” Robert Bloome said while visiting the swimming hole. “It’s a fun time to pile into the truck and come hang around.” 

Veteran’s Memorial Park Pool 

186 Recreation Rd, Dawsonville 

Opening on the Saturday before Memorial Day every year, Veterans Memorial Park Pool is public for anyone to spend a day by the water. 

Surrounded by playgrounds, Veterans Memorial has lifeguards keeping everyone safe while swimming. The pool is open Mon-Sat from 12 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. 

Daily admission is $3 and season passes can be purchased at Rock Creek or online.