Copyright: (c) Lumpkin Coalition 2012
Design and Maintenance:
       Beth Sanders
River Cleanup 2018

Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the State including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Rivers Alive is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division's Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Program and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Keep Georgia Beautiful Program.

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Lumpkin Coalition will sponsor cleanup of publicly accessible areas of the Chestatee and Etowah Rivers in Lumpkin County (and possibly Yahoola Creek, Zwerner Reservoir, and Etowah River through Dawson Forest). Cleanup will include paddling teams on-river and land-based teams for sites at public access points. Participants will determine which teams they wish to join. Interested individuals; paddling, environmental, and special-interest outdoor groups; students and youth groups; civic organizations; and church groups are invited to participate. All ages will be welcomed. All receive a Rivers Alive t-shirt to the extent they last. The following land sites and river sections will be targeted by need and by number and interests of persons participating.

LAND TEAMS Persons will be needed to comprise teams for the following sites:

    • Coppermine Road bridge area and around Coppermine Rapid
    • Highway 52 bridge area
    • Highway 60 bridge area
    • Highway 60 takeout area
    • Highway 400 bridge area
    • Lumpkin County Recreation Park

    • Hightower Church Road bridge area
    • Jay Bridge Road bridge area
    • Highway 52 bridge area
    • Highway 9 bridge area
    • Castleberry Road bridge area
    • Highway 136 bridge area

PADDLING TEAMS Persons will be needed to comprise paddling teams (at least 2 boats per team, preferably more) for the following river sections (times are for normal paddling only; total time will be longer due to shuttle and cleanup):

    • Coppermine Rapid to Highway 52 takes about 2.5 hours. Experienced paddlers.
    • Highway 52 to Appalachian Outfitters takes about 2 hours. Easy paddle. No experience required.
    • Appalachian Outfitters to Highway 60 Launch takes about 2 hours. No experience required.
    • Highway 60 Launch to Lumpkin County Recreation Park takes about 3 hours. No experience required.

    • Hightower Bridge to Jay Bridge takes about 5 hours. Experienced paddlers.
    • Jay Bridge to Chuck Shoals takes about 2 hours. No experience required.
    • Chuck Shoals to Castleberry Bridge takes about 3 hours (with mandatory portage at Etowah Falls). Some experience required.
    • Castleberry Bridge to Highway 136 takes about 6 hours (water level will determine). There is a tunnel section with some experience required.
    • May add Dawson Forest section in Dawson County, about 3 hours plus shuttle with no experience required.

    • May add these, depending on number of participants.
Let Your Voice Be Heard

To stay informed about environmental legislation and receive alerts,
join the Georgia Environmental Action Network (GEAN) by visiting

Identify your legislators here:
Contact your legislators.

Ready To Volunteer?

Meet at 9:00 AM at Hilyer residence.
Enjoy coffee, juice, and bagels.
Organize into land and river teams.
Obtain Rivers Alive t-shirt. (to the extent they last)
Sign liability release and disperse to various areas.
Return for burgers/dogs and beverage.
Submit report on trash-collected.
Elvin or Nancy Hilyer, Coordinators
Elvin cell: 706 429 6011 or
Nancy cell: 706 429 7079

Would be helpful, but not essential, to know if you are coming. Notify Elvin at email address or telephone number above and let him know your preference to be on a land team or an on-river team (and type boat you will be paddling if on-river).
Let him know also (1) if you have a tandem boat and have a vacant seat for a paddler without a boat; (2) if you wish to paddle and need such a vacant seat we will match to extent possible.

PARK AT PINE VALLEY RECREATION AREA and walk a short trail to gathering place at Hilyer home. For previous participants, this is new. Instead of parking along Hwy. 9 at Hilyer home, park next door in the main lot of Pine Valley Recreation Area. Allow about 10 minutes to walk downstream to gathering point at home overlooking Chuck Shoals. Pine Valley is the only driveway between the home and the Etowah River bridge. This is convenient and safe parking. The walk will be well marked from the lot through the open area toward and through the woods.

  • From Dahlonega - Go about 6 miles on Hwy. 9 toward Dawsonville, cross the Etowah River bridge; almost immediately take the first driveway (3757) on left.
  • From Dawsonville area - Continue toward Dahlonega on Hwy. 9 about 7 miles from stop sign at Hwy. 136, pass the usual stopping place, and immediately take the next driveway on the right into Pine Valley. If you cross the bridge, turn around and take first driveway on left after re-crossing the bridge.
  • From Atlanta: Drive north on Hwy. 400 about 42 miles above 285 to 4th red light (now 2 lights at 53) beyond North Georgia Premium Outlets. Take left on Hwy. 136 (well-marked with big signs). In 6 miles take right at 4-way stop on Hwy. 9. Go about 7 miles to 3757 Dawsonville Hwy. and take right into Pine Valley. If cross Etowah River, turn around and take first left after re-crossing.

  • rivercleanup