Thanks to all our sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, this Saturday, October 23, 2021, down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back.
Thank you Adel Outfitters, Azalea City Music Academy, Banks Lake Outdoors, B’s Backporch BBQ, Dry Pocket Apparel, Madison Outpost Adventures, Okra Paradise Farms, Olympia Shooting Range Paintball, Sunbelt Running CLub, and Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA),
$30 online or at the event.
You could be the winner of the $100 First Prize, or win in one of the many categories.
Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.
You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provided by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, “Water levels were steadily dropping and now they are rising slightly.” We have a plan if the Withlacoochee River is running too fast to paddle up; we’ll just straighten out the course to go to Sullivan Landing.
“This is a great way to bring the outdoors community together and showcase the recreational opportunities we have to offer locally,” Bobby McKenzie added. “This event caters to all ages and skill levels, you can either blaze ahead and take first place overall, or push yourself for a personal achievement on the main course or one of the modified routes. You can even just come do a leisurely paddle with like minded outdoor enthusiasts. Just remember to make your way back before the time expires, at most will be 2.5 hours.”
State Line Boat Ramp is at 6461 Madison Highway, Valdosta, GA 31601. Heading south down I-75, take Exit 11, turn west, and keep going until you see the boat ramp sign, then turn right. From Madison, Florida, head up CR 150 until you cross the river, make a U-turn, and head down to the ramp.
Or use this GPS: 30.637844, -83.311149
From either direction, you’ll see a WWALS road sign for State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. And down by the boat ramp we have two informational signs: what to see downstream and up, safety, etiquette, etc.
“Elected officials from Florida or Georgia are invited to come say a few words,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. The course starts in Lowndes County, Georgia, and goes through Brooks County, GA, and Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida.
“We will also have food available for purchase from B’s Backporch BBQ in Clyattville. Special thanks to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA), whose park this is,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “We always welcome additional sponsors!”
Bobby McKenzie said, “Also thanks to Olympia Bend Plantation for supporting us again this year. That shooting range neighbors the Boomerang course at the State Line Boat Ramp and now also offers Paint Ball.”
Nonprofit outfitters and vendors get in free; the for-profit vendor fee is $20.
“We test water quality at State Line Boat Ramp frequently, and Nankin and Knights Ferry and other places upstream, and on Okapilco Creek in Brooks County,” said WWALS Testing Chair Suzy Hall. “Our testers generally sample Thursday to have results Friday before the weekend, and of course the Friday before the Boomerang.”
Shorter courses are available at 2 or 1 miles downstream, so that’s 6, 4, or 2 miles roundtrip. “You don’t even have to race; you can just paddle; just let us know in advance so we’re not waiting for you to cross the Finish line,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.
About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. Since December 2016, John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!