There might be some creepy crawlies here and there, but other than that, river days are the best days in Georgia. What some might not know about the Etowah River is that there is an eerie surprise if you kayak. You will just have to go out and see it for yourself.
Part of the Etowah River is located in Dawsonville and it is highly trafficked on hot days during the summer. There are many access points down the river, so you can decide how long you want your trip to last.
If you enter your kayak at Castleberry Bridge, you will be on your way to the coolest part of this entire river. You will soon be met with an abandoned mine tunnel that you will have to kayak through to complete your journey.
The tunnel is about 3.5 miles from this access point, which is not very far when you are on a kayak. This mine tunnel has been here since the early 1800s. Gold miners wanted to mine for gold on the bottom of this river, and that area is still carved out to this day.
From the entrance to the exit, the tunnel is only a quarter of a mile. You will notice the stream start to pick up in pace and more rapids forming. They are still Class I & II rapids, which are considered moderate which means you should get ready for a wild ride.
Disclaimer: it is said that you need to get out of your kayak as you get closer to the tunnel to make sure you can see a tiny speck of light at the end. At times, there has been debris that covers the exit and you do not want to get all the way to the end just to have to move debris out of the way.
If you see the light (LOL) you are clear for takeoff. Sit back and enjoy the ride and keep all limbs inside of your boat, seriously. It can be scary for first-timers because all you see is darkness and all you hear is the sound of rapids. Make sure you are with an experienced kayaker or someone who has gone through before.
Keep some distance between you and the kayak in front of you so you do not bump into each other. Once you reach the end of the tunnel, there is a pool of water that you can relax in and get out of your kayak and swim.
If you are a thrill seeker and this sounds like your cup of tea, you need to adventure to Rock City at Lookout Mountain right up the road. Here you will have to climb and crawl through tight rock crevasses throughout your journey.
Etowah River Mine Tunnel
Address: 89 Nature Trail Rd., Dawsonville, GA 30534
Why you should go: This is a perfect adventure for thrill-seekers. You will go through a dark tunnel that is a quarter of a mile long with rapids that will pull you through it.