Attention all thrill-seekers - why wait until Halloween to take a spooky adventure, when you can do it this summer? Thrills and chills are fun all year round, so take a day trip to one of Georgia's creepiest, top-secret hidden spots at this nuclear testing site. This massive area of land throughout Dawson Forest takes up nearly 10,000 acres. The remains of the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory, once named Air Force Plant #67, are still standing and they will give you the heebie jeebies.
The lab, owned by Lockheed, was opened in the 1950s to check if the nuclear aircraft actually did its job. The testing site was used to irradiate military equipment and to determine nuclear effects on the forest and wildlife. There are rumors that Dawsonville locals in the 60s reported seeing mutated wildlife in the area, such as a 3-eyed deer. *shivers*
The radiation also caused the forest trees to lose their leaves. Most of what happened at the site remains top-secret, which makes it even more exciting to visit. Speaking of strange and exciting, the Atlanta adventures don't end at the nuclear testing site. You can also visit all the set locations from this season of Stranger Things if you're really ready to give yourself a thrill.
Some of the remnants include a reactor, trainhouse, railroad, seepage pit, radiation effects laboratory, hot cell building and nuclear support laboratory. There have also been underground bunkers spotted, where workers would hide to protect themselves when the nuclear testing occured. However, it is extremely important to stay out of these bunkers, as the radioactive chemicals in them are dangerous.
The lab was shut down in 1971 and acquired by the Ciy of Atlanta to build an airport, but the area was not suitable for it (most likely because of high radiation levels). The radiation levels in the area are still being monitored today, almost 50 years later. Some of the buildings have been seen with theiropenings covered with bolted iron plates to keep the radiation from seeping out.
Many people do not realize that just by visiting the forest, they are on the grounds of an abandoned nuclear lab. Lots of curious explorers have visited abandoned remnants of the site, and you can too. Please note that there are certain parts of the site that are EXTREMELY dangerous to enter, so please do your research and explore at your own risk. It is highly advised to stay out of the tunnels and bunkers, as there is raditation trapped in these areas.
Because Dawson Forest is so big, it's difficult to find these remnants on your own, so it's helpful to have the coordinates. Here are the exact locations for some of these spooky remains:
Blockhouse 34.351169, -84.144011 (directly next to Dawsonville Forest and horse parking)
Pumphouse 34.355899,-84.140347 (almost the exact midpoint between Etowah River and Big Savannah)
Rebar hole 34.366323, -84.167891 (right where Clark Road hits the Blue Trail)
Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory
Location: Dawson Forest, Dawsonville, GA 30534
Why you should go: To have some spooky summer fun (at your own risk) and explore the remnants of creepy top-secret Georgia history.