1970s Canoe Trail FAQ

The rivers may be the same, but technology and the cast of characters have changed, as indicated by this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list from the 1970s. The acronym FAQ hadn’t been invented yet, for that matter.

This Canoe Trail FAQ is courtesy of John Leonard, Executive Director of the Southe Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). I’ve added some links and clarifications.


  1. 300x388 One typewritten page, in 1970s Canoe Trail FAQ, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 0  1979 Days to float entire trail (Alapaha) 4 days-normal water; (Withlacoochee) 3 days-normal water.

    That’s for the 83 miles of the 1970s Alapaha Canoe Trail brochures, and the 65 miles of the 1970s Canoe Guide to the Withlacoochee River Trail brochures. Those distances are shorter than the current 125 miles on the Alapaha River Water Trail or the 93 miles boatable on the Withlacoochee River Water Trail.

  2. Shuttle service—(Alapaha only)—Contact C. G. Rentz, Route 1, Lake Park, Ga. 31636 (912) 244-1997.

    It’s very unlikely that shuttle service is still in operation.

  3. Fishing license: Non-resident, 5 day —$3.25. Hunting not permitted on canoe trails.

    More like $45.00 now for a non-resident fishing license. See current Georgia DNR license fees.

  4. Highway bridges provide excellent entrance and exit points; banks are steep and sandy. There are no boat ramps.

    There are boat ramps and canoe launches now on the Alapaha River and on the Withlacoochee River.

  5. Campsites are primitive, providing a high, dry camp; There is no drinking water.

    There are currently no designated campsites in Georgia, but the Suwannee River Water Management District provides camping with a free permit in Florida.

  6. Carry your own water for drinking and cooking. Plastic jugs covered with styrofoam are ideal as they float when full.

    Back when styrofoam was new and trendy….

  7. Tarpaulins, canopies, canvas tents or tube tents are best for camping in this low, humid elevation. Nylon tents are lighter but condensation occurs regularly.

  8. Sneakers are ideal for canoeing, but boots are recommended for walking sandbars and for camp chores.

  9. Insects present problems in low or heavily wooded areas. A good repellent is recommended.

  10. Food stuffs should be protected in waterproof containers for protection against rain and animals.

  11. Camera should be protected by a waterproof container. U. S. Army .50 caliber ammo cans are excellent for packing film and protecting cameras.

    Digital cameras really only caught on about a decade ago, but film seems like something from the dim distant past.

  12. Rods and reels should break down into sections for packing. Spinning and casting outfits fair[sic] better as thick overhead vegetation makes fly rod fishing difficult.

  13. While canoeing the Alapaha River, telephones, equipment, food and water are available Lakeland (1 mile), Stockton (1 mile), Mayday (3 miles), and Statenville (300 yards and end of trail). Use brochure as a guide.

    Many people carry their phones with them these days. Also we have modern kayaks now in addition to canoes.

  14. Valdosta, Lakeland, and Nashville have sporting stores for extra needed equipment. Bait and tackle shops are also located in these cities.

    See also Outfitters.

  15. Contact Mayor O. R. Roberts, (912) 534-5334, Willacoochee, Ga. to reserve free parking for cars while canoeing the Alapaha trail.

    45 years later, he may not be still with us.

  16. Canoe rentals available at Stephenson Marine, Valdosta, (912) 244-6500.

    That business has changed hands at least twice and burned to the ground at least once, according to Longtime boat business changes hands by Kay Harris, Valdosta Daily Times, 5 December 2005. I don’t know whether it presently rents canoes, but it’s currently called Diamond Eagle Marine, 2330 Old Us Highway 41, Valdosta, GA 31601, (229) 244-6500. See also Outfitters.

  17. Water level on both canoe trails fluctuate on a daily basis. Canoe with care.

    That hasn’t changed, but more information is available now, some of it live daily, for the Alapaha River and the Withlacoochee River.

The Coastal Plain Area Tourism Council wishes you an exciting and adventurous trip — as we know it will be.

For additional information write:
Coastal Plain Area Tourism Council, P.O. Box 1223, Valdosta

Please contact WWALS instead.