Etowah River at the top of Allatoona Lake
I regularly paddle alone, so this area of the Etowah river is nice as there is virtually no current, good parking and little activity. From Knox Bridge boat ramp, paddle North(to the left) and go under the bridge. There is a large section of the lake to cross before you hit the actual river, but it is calm and fairly secluded with very little boat traffic. I paddle here about 2-3 times a week, just for excercise and seclusion. It takes me about 45 minutes to clear the lake and head up river proper, but from there you can continue up the Etowah for about 12 miles before you hit any serious upstream current. There is a smaller tributary on the left about an hour paddle from the boat ramp that heads upstream into a WMA. This is Shoals Creek and there is an old civil war bullet foundary about 2 miles upstream if you know where to look. I have seen otters, beavers, deer, turtles and many Great Blue Herons on my many trips. It helps if the water level is high as Shoals Creek can be more of a shovel than a paddle in low water. There is also a very decent outfitter, "Gently Down the Stream" East of the boat ramp on Hwy 20 at Fields Landing Park.
Parking and a restroom (yuck). There is a small dock as well. No camping.
$3 for a day parking pass and $25 for a season pass which is good for any Corps boat ramp in Georgia. I recommend the season pass, because if you park without paying, the ticket is $50.
From Atlanta take Hwy 75 North to hwy 575 to Georgia Hwy 20 West. Knox Bridge boat ramp is on the left about 6 miles West of Canton. Fields landing Park is about 1 mile before the boat ramp.
Knox Bridge Boat Ramp is a Corps of Engineers managed ramp. It costs $3 to park there and use the facility.