Experience The Etowah River–North Georgia’s Best Family Paddling! 

Cutting a unique path across North Georgia, the 163-mile long Etowah River Water Trail provides a path through one of the state’s most historically significant and one of the nation’s most biologically diverse rivers.

This website contains an interactive map of the entire trail as well as printable maps and guides that you can take on the river. Use these resources and other information on this website to explore the Etowah.

What’s Happening On the Etowah River Water Trail? 

In 2014, three new boat launches are expected to open–in Canton, Cartersville and Kingston–providing developed public access to more of the trail.

Currently, seven developed public boat landings, numerous undeveloped public access points and several boat ramps on Lake Allatoona (the river’s only impoundment) provide journeys of varying lengths.

What Can I See on the Etowah River Water Trail?  

This website provides an online gateway to adventures on the Etowah. With the exception of the upper reaches of the river (Hightower and Etowah Falls sections), the river is rated as a Class I river with faltwater interupted occasionally by small shoals and rapids and is suitable for novice paddlers.

Scenery along the river ranges from wild (Headwaters, Dawson Forest and other sections) as it winds through national forests and state wildlife management areas to rural (Big Savannah, Reynolds Bend and other sections) and even urban (Rome).

The river is home to more Native American fish weirs than are found on all other Georgia rivers combined and historic sites, including the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, dot its banks from Dawsonville to Rome. The river is also considered one of the most biologically diverse rivers of its size in the country, harboring 76 native fish species.

The river passes through three state wildlife management areas (Dawson Forest, McGraw Ford and Allatoona), the Chattahoochee National Forest and numerous local parks.

Who is Building the Etowah River Water Trail?

A coalition of non-profit organizations, private landowners, businesses and local governments are working to establish this public water trail.

These stakeholders include the Coosa River Basin Initiative, Georgia River Network, Mountain Stewards, Upper Etowah River Alliance, Bartow County, Cherokee County, Dawson County, Forsyth County, City of Cartersville, Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, National Parks Service, Georgia Department of Economic Development, The Outside World and Appalachian Outfitters.


Buy the Guide! We've got you covered.

This 163-page comprehensive guide to the entire length of the Etowah River features 159 color photos, 17 color maps of the river with detailed information about river access points, cultural and natural history, river obstacles and more...all printed on waterproof paper making it a true on-river guide. Copies signed by the author may be purchased here.

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Support the Etowah River Water Trail. Join Today

A project of the Coosa River Basin Initiative, in cooperation with other non-profit organizations, private landowners and local governments, the Etowah River Water Trail promotes stewardship and recreational use of the 163-mile long Etowah River.


Where to Start? Right Here.

This website provides an interactive map of the entire Etowah River, and in addition contains guides with printable maps of sixteen river sections and accompanying descriptions for each.

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