The Coosa River Basin Initiative Sunday, Oct. 20, will give local residents a chance to discover more than 1,000 years of human history in the Etowah River Valley at its “Paddling Through History” event at Valley View Farm and the Etowah River.
The event is a fundraiser to generate support for the Etowah Water Trail project—an effort to create a 160-mile long canoe and kayak trail from Dawsonville to Rome.
Paddling Through History begins with a tour of the historic Valley View Farm, a circa 1848 plantation home that was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. After the tour, patrons will stroll to the river for a six-mile paddle trip from the farm to Euharlee. Along the way, they’ll paddle over 1,000-year-old rock dams built by the area’s original inhabitants. Native Americans used these rock weirs to capture fish, and dozens of them cross the Etowah between Cartersville and Rome.
A catered dinner by Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse will be served in the courtyard of the historic Valley View home following the paddle. The after-dinner program will include a kayak raffle courtesy of Cedar Creek Park and a live auction.
“The Etowah holds the best family paddling in north Georgia,” Joe Cook, CRBI Executive Director and Riverkeeper, said in a release. “The historic resources in the river itself and through the river corridor are, perhaps, unsurpassed in the state. We need to develop and promote these rich cultural and recreational resources as amenities for local residents and visitors to the area.”
CRBI is currently working with Bartow County on the construction of a new boat ramp on the Etowah at US 411 in Kingston. The organization has secured more than $20,000 in grants to build the public access point, but additional funds are needed to complete the parking area and ramp.
The city of Cartersville is also expected to begin construction soon on a new public river access point near Highway 113. These additional river access points will provide residents and visitors with multiple opportunities for 2-to-10-mile paddle trips on the river in Bartow County.
Supporters of the event include Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Barefoot Wine, Cedar Creek Park, Euharlee Creek Outfitters, Cohutta Fishing Co. and Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse.
Hosts for the event include Bob and Mary Norton, Becky Champion, Jim Lanier, Richard Bailey, Randy and Shelley Elkins, Joe and Leanne Cook, Ron Thomas and Joanne Smith.
CRBI is a nonprofit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.
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