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Paddle Upper Etowah River: Canton section from E. Cherokee to Boling Park

Though it passes through the heart of one of the country's fastest growing counties, the Etowah in Cherokee County remains surprisingly wild as it winds snakelike from East Cherokee Drive to Canton.  Featuring six Native American fish weirs, this section of river, while a window to the past, runs headlong into 21st century demands, including landfills, water supply reservoirs, and wastewater treatment plants.  Thought mostly flat water, the river periodically quickens its pace over small shoals and fish weirs.  This section is suitable for paddlers of any ability but due to its length of 16 miles...strong arms are needed.  This is an exploratory paddle as I have never paddled this section of the Etowah.

We will meet at 9:30am at the Put-In.  Access to the river is on the north side of the river opposite the chicken rendering plant at a location known locally as Gober Beach.  There is no developed launch or parking area, but a gentle slope to the river and a wide sandbar makes for a suitable launch.

Directions to the Put-In:  The launch is located off GA-5 near Ball Ground.  From Exit 24 on I-575 north of Canton, travel south on Airport Road for 0.5 miles.  Turn left onto GA-5 and proceed 1 mile.  Turn right onto East Cherokee Drive and proceed 0.8 miles to the river and the launch area on the left before you cross the river.  For a GPS if you put in cross streets of E. Cherokee Drive and River Mill Drive, Ball Ground, GA that will take you to .3 miles short of the river. 

We will shuttle to the take out and return with as few vehicles as needed.  The take out is located in the city of Canton's Boling Park on river right.  There is not a developed boat launch at this location, but it is possible to take out from the river's steep bank adjacent to the picnic area located between the soccer fields and the tennis courts.  I'll have a sturdy rope to assist in this. Note there appears to be two sets of tennis courts...we want the ones closer to the river.

Directions to the take out from the put in:  Return to GA-5 by making a right out of E. Cherokee Drive.  Turn left and proceed 1 mile.  Turn right onto Airport Road and proceed 0.5 miles to I-575.  Take I-575 south to Canton and proceed 7.2 miles to Exit 16 (GA 20 West).  Take GA 20 West for 0.6 miles to the traffic light at GA 140/GA 20.  Turn right and proceed 0.4 miles.  Turn left into Boling Park and proceed 0.4 miles to the picnic area on the left.  Note: I was able to put Canton GA into my GPS and then search point of interest...Boling Park and it came up.   We'll take a look at the take out to get our bearing straight so we won't miss it as we paddle down the river as we will not see any identifying bridge as we usually do....though it won't be too far past the Hwy 5 overpass.

There will be a $5 shuttle fee to be collected and paid to the shuttle drivers.

Dinner after at Williamson Brothers BBQ, 1600 Marietta Hwy Canton, GA 30114.  It is just up the street from Boling Park, same side of the road, just south of the bridge on the right.

For more information contact Barbara [masked] or[masked]-3803.  If late/lost day of hike call[masked]

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  • katy

    Great trip! The weather was very nice and it was nice to meet new folks. Pretty stretch of river and great barbecue, too! Putting up the kayak for the winter- looking forward to getting back out in the Spring. Thanks Dr. Barbara for organizing!

    November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oops, this sounds great but have to be somewhere by 6pm.

    November 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to come and have a friend who may be interested. She would be new to paddling...is it suitable for a beginner?

    October 22, 2013

    • Bobby M.

      Yes a beginner but with strong arms. 16 miles is a good long paddle, but you must be able to paddle...... Eat snacks and hydrate and she'll be fine. AND have fun.

      October 22, 2013

    • Richard G.

      That's a long trip for a beginner who may need some instruction.

      1 · October 23, 2013

  • Bobby M.

    I'll be with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper on a 2 day cleanup on the Hooch. Have fun!

    October 22, 2013

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