Head back in time on this favorite paddle route through the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area. Back in time because you’ll travel a route through wild, undisturbed forest that, strangely enough, once was home to the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory–a Cold War-era facility that performed numerous experiments on the effects of radiation as workers there also attempted to build a nuclear-powered airplane. Needless to say, the effort was a bust, but remnants of the old facility remain hidden in the forest and are visible at abandoned railroad bridges over the river that once serviced the lab. The 9-mile route features intimate paddling down a shaded path. Flatwater paddling is interrupted on occasion by small shoals, including the the double ledge fun at Radioactive Rapid. Mid-trip, you can stop for lunch at a picturesque “Barefoot Falls,” a tumbling waterfall on a small, unnamed tributary of the river. Registration fees range from $35-$75 and include guide services, shuttles services, river maps, educational programs and lots of good times. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for additional fees.
Check out the paddle route below!