Does Cherry Creek come from Grand Bay? This question came up about Valdosta’s Cherry Creek Lift Station Spill. No, but you weren’t alone if you didn’t know that.
Cherry Creek runs into the Withlacoochee River, and comes from very near Grand Bay, but not actually from it. Grand Bay Creek drains Grand Bay and Banks Lake, in the Alapaha River Basin, on the opposite side of the divide from the Withlacoochee River Basin.
As recently as 1846, maps of the area were very confused. I live only a few miles from Cherry Creek, and I always have to look up just where it runs.
If you’re not familiar with Lowndes County, Georgia, you’re probably wondering what this is about. Both these creeks are (almost) entirely in Lowndes County, with an excursion into Lanier County for Grand Bay Creek. Cherry Creek is largely in Valdosta, but none of Grand Bay Creek is in any city or town.
Bemiss Road is near the divide, but it runs straight, while the divide is nowhere near straight, with almost half the length of Cherry Creek east of Bemiss Road.
Grand Bay Creek runs south until it joins Mud Swamp Creek out of Valdosta, and forms the Alapahoochee River, which runs into Florida and then into the Alapaha River, which, like the Withlacoochee River, runs into the Suwannee River.
These maps are screenshots from EPA MyWaters Mapper. To show these map layers, pull down Other EPA Water Data and select:
- Rivers & Streams (NHD)
- Watershed Boundaries (WBD)
For lots more maps, see the Maps menu item on WWALS.net.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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