After days of being cooped up inside due to rain and hurricane winds, Forsyth County residents can celebrate the beginning of fall by spending their weekend at an event on the Etowah River.
This Saturday marks the beginning of the “Weekend for the Etowah,” a celebration of the 163-mile river that runs through north Georgia and includes events in northwest Georgia, Forsyth and Dawson counties.
If you go
What: Seven-mile Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo paddle
Where: Begins at Eagle’s Beak Park, finishes in Dawson County
When: Sunday, Sept. 17, 1-8 p.m.
Cost: $75 per person or $130 per couple. Includes boat rentals, shuttle service, barbecue dinner, a raffle ticket to win a new kayak and a copy of the Etowah River User’s Guide
“What we’re trying to do is bring attention to the Etowah and the Etowah River Trail,” said Joe Cook, advocacy and communication director for the Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI). “For years, there was no easy way to access the river and explore it. About 10 years ago, there were only three public access points on the 163-mile stretch of river.
“Over the past 10 years, through the work of local governments and the Etowah stakeholders group, we’ve been able to get 10 new public access points; we now have 13. The idea is that it’s an amenity for people in Forsyth County, and [this weekend] is about that.”
Weekend events include a river cleanup sweep sponsored by CRBI, which will target the river between the Allatoona Dam and Rome on Saturday morning.
Following the cleanup, CRBI will hold a drawing to win a SweetWater Brewing Co. kayak, cooler and corn hole set as part of SweetWater’s “Save Our Water” event at the River Dog Outpost.
On Sunday, the Etowah River Water Trail Rodeo will begin at Eagle’s Beak Park in north Forsyth and continue to Dawson County, a seven-mile river paddle that will culminate with a barbeque dinner.
Cook said the Forsyth event is aimed at highlighting Eagle’s Beak Park, the county’s most recently opened park, which features a canoe and kayak launch into the Etowah.
“We have a fundraiser each year at a different locale along the river to promote and build the Etowah River water trail,” he said. “[Sunday’s] is to celebrate Eagle’s Beak Park and its boat ramp and give people an opportunity who may not know how exactly to get on the river to [do so].
“[Forsyth] residents now have a nice six- to seven-mile paddle from the Kelly Bridge [access point] to Eagle’s Beak or from Eagle’s Beak to Cherokee County, and it’s an economic development and tourism tool as much as it is improving quality of life for people in Forsyth County.”
Tickets for the event are $75 per person or $130 per couple and include boat rentals, shuttle service, a barbecue dinner, a raffle ticket to win a new kayak from The Outside World and a copy of the Etowah River User’s Guide, a comprehensive guide to the entire river, Cook said.
The event begins at 1 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.
“This is a good opportunity for people to get on the river,” Cook said. “Plus, it’s a beautiful stretch of river and always a fun time.”
Registration will run through Friday afternoon and tickets can be purchased at coosa.org/events/etowah-river-water-trail-rodeo.
For more information, Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.