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If there is one place where Mother Nature is alive and kicking, it is Dawsonville-Dawson County. Perched at the trailhead of the Appalachian Trail, surrounded by mountain high country and encompassing rivers and forests, backcountry trails and cascading waterfalls—not to mention a portion of the 39,000-acre Lake Lanier, Dawsonville-Dawson County offers recreation and adventure opportunities from hiking, biking, golfing and horseback riding to fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting. Here is home to the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi at Amicalola Falls, the sprawling Dawson Forest and the very “Edge of the World” at Amicalola River—the Class IV whitewater rapids on the Amicalola River Trail and a fine place to pack a picnic lunch to share atop the rocks on the shoals.
 
Backcountry Trails
With the eight mile approach trail to Springer Mountain (the trailhead of the Appalachian Trail) located in Dawson County and Amicalola State Park, and miles of other trails in virtually every part of the county, getting out and enjoying nature is just as easy as putting on your boots or hiking shoes and stepping out the door. > more
Trails:
> Dawson County Hiking Trails
> Amicalola State Park
> Amicalola Hiking
> Dawson Forest Wildlife Management
> Eastern Wildcat Tract Trails
> Western Wildcat Tract Trails
> Dawson Forest-Atlanta Tract
> Amicalola Riverside Nature Trail
Birdwatching
Dawson County's diverse topography and change in elevation from river lowlands to mountain highlands creates a rich ecosystem including many diverse bird species. Birding has become a popular pastime for many visitors and locals alike. > more
See a Variety of Birds:
• Geese - Canadadian, Grey, & more
• Ducks - Mallard, Wood, & more
• Warblers, Tanagers, & Orioles
• Sparrows, Wrens, & Meadowlarks
• Blackbirds, Cowbirds, & Grackles
• Turkey, Bobwhite Quail, & Dove
• Cranes, Herons, Kites, & Gulls
• Raptors - Eagles, & Hawk
Camping
Camping spots in the county run the gamut from well-appointed to rustic. Private campgrounds, state park, and Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds are equipped with power outlets, water supply and other modern conveniences. More intrepid visitors may prefer the primitive sites with only the bare necessities, like fire rings and picnic tables. > more
Choose a Campsite:
Dawson Forest (Primitive)
• Chattahoochee National Forest (Primitive)
Amicalola State Park‚Äč
• Under the Hemlock
• Toto Creek (Primitive)
• War Hill Park 
Canoeing & Rafting
River recreation comes in many forms. Take a a jaunt along a wilderness stream, go fishing or enjoy a wilderness hike. Others want a lazy day on slow water, or the excitement of whitewater rapids. From easy Class I to challenging Class IV, Dawson County has a float trip route for every river runner. > more
Choose a Water Course:
> Etowah River
> Upper Etowah
> Etowah Hwy.9 to Hwy 136
> Lower Etowah
> Etowah Hwy. 136 to Kelly Bridge
> Amicalola River
> Lower Amicalola
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