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Paddle Upper Etowah River: McGraw Ford Section

Note: I am not opening registration for this event until Monday, October 7, 2013 to avoid people rushing to sign up and then cancelling at the last minute. Please make sure you answer the questions that are posted so that I can organize the shuttle in advance. Both the put in and take out are underdeveloped. This is posted on both SOA and AAP.  There will be a $5 shuttle fee paid when we first meet.  Please bring exact change.

This paddle is 16 miles long and is recommended for intermediate paddlers only.  This is exploratory as I have only paddled the first 5 miles of this section.

This section is highlighted by the beautiful shoals in the McGraw Ford Wildlife Management Area that harbor much of the Etowah's fish diversity. Along the way it flows over fish weirs, past significant Native American and gold mining sites, and even lends its waters to N. Georgia's chicken industry at the chicken rendering plant.

We will meet exactly at 9:30am with boats out and ready to start the shuttle at 9:45am. Bring lunch and water. My cell is[masked] if you are late/lost. I am not sure about cell service at either the put in or take out. Allow enough time for getting lost. It is about a one hour drive.

The put is located at the Old Federal Road Bridge. It is very steep and will require ropes to get us and our boats down to water level. It can be very muddy requiring 4WD or SUV or truck.

Driving to Old Federal Road from Atlanta....GA 400 N and make left on 369 (Brown's Bridge Road). Travel 8.5 miles and turn right onto Old Federal Road. Proceed 0.3 miles. Turn right onto Nicholson Road. (Hightower, GA???) Launch area is on the left.
Take out is on river right opposite the chicken rendering plant, within sight of the East Cherokee Road Bridge which is painted green on its lower portion. A sandbar provides for an easy take out. There is no developed launch or parking area.

Directions from Old Federal to E. Cherokee take out (shuttle): From the intersection of Old Federal Road and GA 369 turn right (west) onto GA 369 and proceed 7.5 miles to GA 20. Turn right onto GA 20 and proceed 2 miles to East Cherokee Drive. Turn right onto E. Cherokee Drive and proceed 6.4 miles to Etowah River. Cross the bridge and make a sharp right. You can use the cross streets E. Cherokee Road and Ball Green Highway, Canton GA for GPS but you are turning 8/10 or 9/10 mile before this intersection. Go to the left on the dirt road.

Return home: We are closer to I-575 than 400 so you may want to check directions in advance if you do not have a GPS.

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  • Allen

    Beautiful day on a beautiful section of the Etowah! I really enjoyed the day, the company and meeting a few new folks.

    October 14, 2013

  • Martin

    It was a pleasure to paddle with y'all.

    October 13, 2013

  • Bert L.

    No this is not the Kelley Bridge site, this is the next launch down at Old Federal Road.

    October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is the launch site the Kelly Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch??

    October 11, 2013

  • Eulouise W.

    The cross streets listed above as being closest to the take out location should read East Cherokee and Ball Ground Highway, not Ball Green Highway.

    October 7, 2013

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