Dawson County Outdoor Recreation

Golf Courses

Chestatee Golf Club

Chestatee Golf Club’s location on the shores of Lake Lanier give the course the feel of a year-round resort. With narrower fairways than Gold Creek and surprisingly steep terrain, Chestatee’s design uses natural features and elevation as both challenge and opportunity. Every hole has more than one approach, and multiple tee sets give every level of player a challenge. The 6,877 yard layout features Bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens and is open for public play. (semi-private)

Website: Chestatee Golf Club

Crystal Falls Golf Club

Each hole on the par 72, 7006 yard Crystal Falls course is distinctly different with a mountain feeling, yet playable and forgiving. Generous 419 Bermuda fairways are matched with subtlely contoured dominant bentgrass greens.

Website: Crystal Falls Golf Club

Lakes & Rivers

Lake Lanier

At 39,000 acres, Lake Lanier is the largest lake in Georgia and offers exciting outdoor activities including camping, fishing, boating, swimming, and other water sports.

Website: Welcome to Lake Lanier
See also: Lake Lanier

Amicalola River

The Amicalola is Dawson County’s premier whitewater stream, and rates as one of the top whitewater rivers in the southeast. The upper section is nearly 10 miles of continuous fast water, punctuated by small, manageable class II up to class IV rapids. The Lower Amicalola is a serious whitewater stream, with class II-IV+ rapids and enough volume to challenge the most experienced whitewater enthusiast, including the famouse "Edge of the World" rapid.

Website: Amicalola River Trail

Etowah River

In its upper reaches, the Etowah River is a foothills and mountain stream, with small, class I and II rapids and secluded, pastoral surroundings comprised of farms, fields and low ridges. The lower Etowah runs through the sprawling Dawson Forest Wildlife Management area, offering a more remote experience for boaters.

Website: Etowah River Water Trail

Hiking & Camping

Amicalola Falls State Park

Amicalola Falls State Park offers a variety of trails to visitors, including a less challenging trail designed for disabled visitors that makes the Falls Trail accessible to almost everyone. The approach trail to the start of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain begins near the Amicalola Falls Lodge.

Website: Amicalola Falls State Park

Amicalola Riverside Nature Trail - ADA Compliant

In Dawson County, the great outdoors is accessible to everyone, even those with physical disabilities. The Amicalola Riverside Nature Trail is ADA compliant and provides access to viewing, fishing and canoe launch areas, as well as a river’s edge trail.

Website: Amicalola Riverside Nature Trail

Dawson Forest

Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (Dawson Forest WMA) is comprised of more than 25,000 acres of diverse terrain, ranging from foothills and mountain valleys to high country ridges and river gorges. Two rivers and several major streams meander through the WMA, adding another scenic element to a trail system rich with flora, fauna and unique topography. Three major sections of the WMA (Eastern Wildcat Tract, Western Wildcat Tract and the Dawson Forest City of Atlanta Tract) have miles of marked improved trails, unnamed backcountry trails and old single-track roadbeds available for public use. Hikers, bikers and equestrian visitors use the system along with hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts without conflict. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources regulates trail use and access through specific policies allowing for restricted horse or mountain bike travel during hunting season to insure public safety.

Website: Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area
See also: Mountain Stewards

Under the Hemlock Campground

Under the Hemlock Campground in Dawsonville offers tent and RV sites and cabins. RV and tent sites include full hookups (20- 30- and -50 amp electric service). Other features include easy access to the Appalachian Trail and Chattahoochee National Forest, perfect for hiking and biking.

Website: Under the Hemlock Campground

War Hill Park

War Hill Park is a large park and campground on the north end of Lake Lanier.  The park is located on War Hill Park Road, off of Hwy 53 East and consists of 14 primitive campsites, day-use areas, bath house (restrooms and showers), and 4 boat ramps.

Website: War Hill Park


For more information about these and other outdoor opportunities in Dawson County, please visit the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.