Kayak through an abandoned mine tunnel via the Etowah River

Underground river is about a quarter of a mile long near the Castelberry Bridge

You can’t dig for gold in this abandoned mine tunnel, but you can shoot the rapids.

Along the Etowah River, the water runs underground and through the mine.

The Etowah River Water Trail is 163 miles long from Lumpkin County to Floyd County. About four miles from the Castleberry Bridge, however, the water runs through a mine tunnel that dates back to the 1800s.

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The underground river is about a quarter of a mile long. It’s a smooth entry, but the rapids pick up along the way and propel you out the other side.

Two important things to remember: In addition to a life jacket and helmet, you’ll want to wear a headlamp because it gets pitch black in the tunnel. All you’ll hear is the sound of the water. Also, there is a pinhole of light at the exit — make sure you can see this before entering the tunnel. If you can’t, it means something is blocking the exit and you might need to clear it.

The Etowah River has Class IV rapids, meaning they are long, difficult rapids with narrow passages and turbulent water that require precise maneuvering. These rapids "send hearts racing," according to westernriver.com.

Etowahwatertrail.org has an interactive map to help you plan your trip along the river.

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