Tag Archives: Berrien County

Canoeing the Alapaha, April 2018

Received April 21, 2018. I’ve added some links. -jsq

Seven of us drove down from north Georgia to the Alapaha for a long weekend paddling trip starting April 12. I had long thought of making this trip, especially because the Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Georgia rated it as one of the state’s most scenic rivers, “A+.”

We chose the upper stretches, between Willacoochee and Lakeland. One of our group arranged, through extended family, to “camp” the night before putting in, at a house in Lax, just a few miles from the GA-135 bridge where we we started out the next day.

We launched with four boats, three canoes and a kayak, and found the river every bit as scenic as the guide described. We enjoyed the forests of cypress, tupelo, pine, oaks, maples, birch and willow. And the wildlife was equally magnificent: ibis, geese, egrets, herons, buzzards, woodpeckers, beavers (evident through their marks on the trees), and deer and raccoon tracks on the beaches.

First Camp: a beach on a point, Pictures
First Camp: a beach on a point

The paddling was nice and easy, making about 3 mph without breaking a sweat. We had a few tight spots, including Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

Here are Gretchen Quarterman and Dave Hetzel at Heather Brasell’s annual A Day in the Woods at the Gaskins Forest Education Center near Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

Gretchen Quarterman, Volunteers

Continue reading

Deadfall, Alapaha River, between Berrien Beach and Lakeland 2018-04-15

Update 2018-04-24: deadfall pinpointed, with latlong and map, and see trip report.

Sometimes it takes paddlers from Atlanta to alert us to a river obstruction, in this case Robert Marshall about the Alapaha River:

A group of seven of us mostly from Atlanta paddled from GA-135 south of Willacoochee, to US-129 east of Lakeland, this last weekend. Loved the river, and appreciate all your organization does to promote its preservation.

Deadfall, Picture

You probably already know this, but there is a huge tree totally blocking the river, about halfway between the GA-168 bridge and the US-129 bridge. Water level at Statenville was about 3.5 during our trip. The tree’s top surface was probably a foot and a half above water level, and it spanned from bank to bank. We portaged on the right side.

That’s between Continue reading

WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

At Heather Brasell’s annual outdoor event at the Gaskins Forest Education Center, WWALS will have a table as usual, thanks to WWALS Ambassador Dave Hetzel.

When: 1PM-5PM Saturday, April 21, 2018

Where: Gaskins Forest Education Center
3359 Moore Sawmill Rd., Alapaha

What: A Day in the Woods:
FREE Community Event Activities for all the family

Event: facebook, meetup


Photo: WG Bailey of Dave Hetzel at WWALS table, 2015-04-18.

The GFEC backs up to several miles of the Alapaha River on the Alapaha River Water Trail, and is itself an excellent example of native longleaf and riparian forest.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Fundraising for Water Trail signs

Update 2018-03-15: People want to know how much the signs cost:

  • $150 one road sign
  • $300 pair of road signs for a landing or boat ramp
  • $600 one kiosk at the water

Any amount of donation helps put up the road signs that let people know the Alapaha River Water Trail exists and directs them to the landings, as well as the kiosks that inform people about what to expect nearby, so we get more people paddling the Alapaha River who will take care of the river.

The Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) is a reality. We are ordering the road signs from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and need to pay for them. We have a small amount of money from one donor but need to raise nearly $3,000 for the remaining road signs. You can help!

Statenville Boat Ramp, Echols County, Left, Posts

We can’t put your name on a road sign, but if you donate, your name or your organization’s name and logo can go on a kiosk near the water and in the paper brochures and the online ARWT web pages.

We’re raising another $5,000 for those kiosks.

Thanks to the Atkinson County Commission for Continue reading

Sheboggy to Rowetown Church Cemetery, Alapaha Quest 2018-03-04

An expert paddle to start the Alapaha Quest, down the wild and exotic Alapaha River in the balmy south Georgia winter. This trip is not recommended for beginners

When: 9:30 AM Sunday, March 4, 2018

Put In: Sheboggy Landing at US 82, 11004 US Highway 82, Alapaha, GA 31622, east of the town of Alapaha in Berrien County.

GPS: 31.386278, -83.191611

Take Out: Rowetown Church Cemetery, 1291 Rowetown Church Road, Alapaha, GA 31622, in Berrien County. Yes, we called ahead and got permission.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. It will still be hunting season, so also wear hunting orange if you’ve got it.

Price: This outing is free to WWALS members. It costs $10.00 to nonmembers. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook meetup

18.26 miles or 10 hours paddling, ARWT

Continue reading

Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha Quest 2017-01-27

Rescheduled due to low water, this time moved and mutated into a hike to the Dead River Sink, starting in the middle of the Alapaha Quest.

Practicing Geologist and WWALS member Dennis James Price will once again lead us through this impressive geological phenomenon. It is an eye opener that will perfectly illustrate the karst topography that is typical for quite a bit of the area where many of our rivers flow. When you see the exposed limestone along the river banks you see the porous rock. However when you see a hole that is capable of swallowing the entire Alapaha for most of the year…. it’s impressive.

When: High noon, Saturday, January 27, 2018

Put In: Meet at Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567172, -83.039189 (for the entrance to Jennings Bluff Tract)

Take Out: Same.

Bring: Cold weather gear, hiking shoes, and clothes resistant to thorny bushes. No boat needed. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Join: This outing is Free to WWALS members. Non-members: $10/person. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook meetup


      Into the Dead River Sink
Picture by John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Into the Dead River Sink, June 14, 2015.

Shuttle: None.

Once you get to Suwannee River Water management District (SRWMD)’s Jennings Bluff Tract, Continue reading

Sheboggy to GA 135, Alapaha Quest 2018-01-27

Update 2018-01-19: Rescheduled again, due to low water, to become a hike to the Dead River Sink, still on January 27, 2018.

Rescheduled to late January due to cold weather and low water: a long expert paddle to start the Alapaha Quest! Along the way we will pass Rowetown Church and the Willacoochee River Confluence as we paddle down the wild and exotic Alapaha River in the south Georgia winter. There will probably be many deadfalls, and unless the water is quite high, we probably will have to drag over or around them, so bring a rope for your boat.

When: 9AM Saturday, January 27, 2018

Put In: Sheboggy Landing at US 82, east of Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.386278, -83.191611

Take Out: GA 135 Atkinson near Willacoochee, GA in Atkinson County.

Price: This outing is free to all WWALS members, and $10 per vessel for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook meetup

Approaching the ramp
Photo by Bret Wagenhorst 2017-06-03, of improved Sheboggy Landing. Thanks to Berrien County Commission for funding the new concrete and road smoothing, and thanks to Ben Warren, Berrien County Roads Superintendent, for doing the work.

Bring: a rope for dragging your boat over deadfalls, cold weather gear, including clothes that will stay warm if wet, and a change of dry clothes in a waterproof container. That’s in addition to the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. The new outing date is after deer hunting season, so that’s a relief. Hunting will still be on for small game. That’s much less of a worry, but it wouldn’t hurt to wear hunting orange if you’ve got it.

Shuttle Distance: Continue reading

PR: Florida man wins Suwannee Riverkeeper kayak raffle drawing at Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, December 13, 2017 — People got kayak raffle tickets for three months at festivals from Alapaha, Georgia to Live Oak, Florida, and online, until the drawing at a Suwannee Riverkeeper outing Sunday at the top of the Suwannee River in the Okefenokee Swamp. The lucky winner of a kayak donated by Malibu Kayaks is Chris Newton from the Atlantic coast of Florida. “No way!” he said.

At Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, Georgia, Gretchen Quarterman, Acting Executive Director for WWALS Watershed Coalition, said:

“These are all the tickets that we sold. And these are the ones that Shirley [Kokidko, WWALS board member] sold. These are the ones that came from Phil [Hubbard, WWALS board member of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia]. These are the ones that came from Hulaween [Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida]. These are the ones that came from Skillet Fest [Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia, suggested by WWALS member John Horton of Quitman and Suwannee, Dixie County, Florida] ….”

Gretchen Quarterman assembles the tickets at WWALS kayak raffle drawing 2017-12-10

WWALS board member Shirley Kokidko of Pearson, Atkinson County, Georgia, had the video camera at Continue reading