We made it the 1.24 miles upstream from Naylor Boat Ramp to Hotchkiss Road Landing on the Alapaha River Water Trail in the Naylor Boat Ramp Out and Back paddle outing. Very nice weather, cool and overcast, and just enough water in the river.
Photo: Shirley Kokidko for WWALS, Banners at Hotchkiss Road Landing, Alapaha River, 2020-06-13.
First WWALS Trails Committee Chair Dan Phillips planted the new Naylor Boat Ramp ARWT signs.
Then we headed upstream. This may be a first: every paddler was already a WWALS member.
Thanks to Tasha Ekman LaFace for testing the Alapaha River water beforehand and finding it good to go.
A couple of paddlers were doubtful, but yes, they did it!
There was a particularly difficult fast current at one spot.
Bobby McKenzie left a shirt marking one mile upstream, which was our nominal goal.
But everybody actually paddled the extra quarter mile up to Hotchkiss Road Landing. That’s in Lanier County, on the left bank (east side) of the river, at the end of Hotchkiss Road.
I was surprised not to find Saturday partiers there, but Shirley Kokidko said the road was washed out.
Photo: Shirley Kokidko for WWALS, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman landing at Hotchkiss Road Landing, Alapaha River, 2020-06-13
Don’t get out on the right bank (west side) of the river. That’s private land. Old State Road in Lowndes County is closed to the river, and there is no public takeout there.
That’s a long story, starting with the Lowndes County Commission in February 2013 voting to close that road for one non-resident landowner, despite a petition with hundreds of signatures and a packed meeting room. WWALS asked for an Alapaha River Park, and that’s one reason Naylor Boat Ramp and its park were eventually established, using funds from the Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) approved by the voters of Lowndes County.
Eventually we started back downstream.
Back at Naylor Boat Ramp.
There are more pictures on facebook, by
And no doubt many others.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!