Dawson Forest WMA

The Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area is located in Dawson County. This 25,500-acre property offers hunting for deer, bear, turkey, small game, dove, and waterfowl. There are five sections (tracts) of the WMA, including Wildcat Creek, Goethe, Burnt Mountain, Amicalola, and City of Atlanta. The DNR Wildlife Resources Division owns 15,000 acres of the forest, with the City of Atlanta owning the lower 10,000 acres.

Access includes several miles of improved road, marked improved trails, unnamed backcountry trails and old single-track roadbeds available for public use. The forest also offers hunting, fishing and trail access opportunities for handicap users of the property year-round.

All trails are closed during firearms deer hunt except for use by hunters. During archery deer season and turkey firearms seasons trails are closed before 10:00. Trail permits are required for horse and bicycle use. Trail permits are required on City of Atlanta tract. Permits must be completed in person to be valid.

Accommodations & Facilities

  • Trails
  • Lake
  • Picnic Sites
  • Primitive Campsites


  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed during managed hunts or before 10 a.m. during turkey season
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
    • Youth Hunts
    • Any Person, age 16 and older, entering this WMA must have a valid GA license that allows hunting or fishing or a Lands Pass.
  • Primitive Camping
  • Wildlife Viewing

Nearby Properties


Nearby Accommodations


Camping and Bicycling Information

  • Campers are required to camp in designated camping locations only. The entire horse camp parking will no longer be an approved designated camping area.  Camping within this area will be restricted to groups issued a valid “Use Agreement” during scheduled events and those participating in the Annual Fall Big Game Hunts occurring on specific dates during October through December. All designated camping locations are shown on a posted map on the information board. These locations will be highlighted with white-painted trees and a 12”x12” brown and white sign showing a tent symbol.
  • The camping fee will not be required the day prior to and during the check-in big game hunt dates occurring October–December. See the Hunting Regulations for dates.
  • Only at the City of Atlanta Tract: Visitors utilizing recreational vehicles, travel trailers, tents, hammocks and passenger vehicles and staying overnight are considered camping and are required to pay the $7 daily fee. Bicycles may be used on designated Horse Trails only.