Thanks to Courtney Gallagher of Earthviews.com and WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie, you can navigate down the Withlacoochee River from the comfort of your laptop or mobile phone.
To find this trip, go to https://www.earthviews.com/.
Then click on Atlas in the top menu, to get to https://arcgis.earthviews.com/home.html
In the map that appears, pan to south Georgia, and click on the blue dots on the Withlacoochee River that cross the state line.
That gets you to this first picture: https://arcgis.earthviews.com/public/withlacoochee-nankin-0821#6
But on Earthviews, you can pan 360 degrees around. And you can click on the forward or back arrows to move along. Or you can click on a location on the little map on the right to go there.
There’s even a play button down in the bottom left that animates the trip. You can press pause at any time and pan around.
Here’s a famous landmark in the middle of this trip, the abandoned Valdosta Railway Trestle. This still is panned around backwards, so you see Bobby McKenzie paddling the camera boat, with the trestle behind him. On his left is Georgia. On his right is Florida. The river bends right here, so we went back into Florida the second time.
If you click on the WWALS logo at the top left, that takes you to https://wwals.net/.
If you click on the logo next to it, for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, that takes you to its web page.
At more normal water levels, State Line Shoals would have been interesting soon after. But the river was at 98.5′ NAVD88 (14.5′) on the Quitman (US 84) gauge and 61′ (14.5′) on the Pinetta Gauge, which is quite high. We raised our maximum recommended water levels for paddling this stretch to half a foot higher than that after this paddle.
Here is the end of this trip, at Sullivan Launch at CR 150 (Belleville Road).
That’s WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. in the kayak, and WWALS Science Committee Chair Dr. Tom Potter on the shore.
Here’s another trip Bobby and one other did just to take these pictures. That was Friday, August 6, 2021. The trip was roughly 7 miles. The US 41 Withlacoochee USGS Gauge read 124.94 feet NAVD88 (14.7′), That’s actually in Action stage, which starts at 123.0′, and just below Minor Flood at 125.0′.
Which explains why they had to start well back up the access road, and the WWALS signs at Langdale Park Boat Ramp for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail were barely out of the water.
The (in)famous Sugar Creek was hard to spot, the water was so high. But just after it is the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge.
Many people have driven over this I-75 bridge, but few have seen it from the Withlacoochee River.
The Withlacoochee River was high enough that they went through the Troupville Cutoff instead of following every meander of the river.
Turn right at the Little River Confluence to go up the Little River a couple thousand feet to the takeout.
Just before the Little River Confluence on the Withlacoochee River is the future site of Troupville River Camp.
And they took out at Troupville Boat Ramp off of GA 133.
There is already another WWALS transit of another river on Earthviews. Can you spot it? More about that one in a later blog post.
If you want to help, we accept contributions to the WWALS General Fund. These cameras cost $500 apiece, plus related addons.
Or you can share this post on social media.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!