The Third Edition of Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia. is finally out, after perhaps-perfectionist Suzanne Welander worked on it seemingly forever, and it is worth the wait.
It is even more thorough than previous editions, with some new put-ins added (even Banks Lake!), and others no longer accessible deleted. Working with Suzanne on the WWALS rivers was a pleasure, and the WWALS water trail maps and other materials also improved because of it, adding some new-to-us landings and improving descriptions. The book contains pithy yet informative narrative and very usable summary maps, plus admirable recommendations of each river.
In addition to the usual WWALS rivers (Suwannee, Alapaha, Withlacoochee and Little), this edition has the Alapahoochee River.
Here she is doing research on the Alapahoochee River last year:
WWALS is doing that Alapahoochee paddle again, July 9, 2022, at probably even lower water. Experienced paddlers who don’t mind dragging over trees and shoals multiple times are invited.
The book still contains many of our favorite quotes.
The Suwannee is nevertheless a living legend in the most literal sense, and therefore something special.
This bit is new:
The WWALS Watershed Coalition’s Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail map includes all of the Georgia and Florida launch sites on the river upstream to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; see wwals.net/srwt. The trail continues to the Gulf of Mexico.
Juntlelike in its remoteness and luxurious with exotic vegetation, the dark reddish-brown waters of the Alapaha wind through a swampy wonderland teeming with wlidlife.
Intimate, shaded in its northern reaches, mysterious in its beauty—the Withlacoochee is one of the Coastal Plain streams in which limestone ledges form small shoals that approach Class II difficulty. A second distinctive feature of the river is the occasional white sandbar on the insides of bends, which are perfect for swimmming or camping in the river’s upper reaches. Perhaps most scenic of all are the river’s blue-hole springs.
This edition describes McIntyre Spring and Arnold Springs in Georgia, and of course Madison BLue Spring in Florida.
FYI, Melvin Shoals is in Florida, but I think anyone who has been through it at certain water levels would agree it forms Class II rapids.
Remote and enticing, the Little is canopied with Ogeechee lime, water elm, and scattered cypress.
Suzanne outdid herself on the Okefenokee Swamp:
The Okefenokee is particularly special. It is unique: a self-comtained microcosm of ongoing evolution, an incredible miniature ecosystem in which the drama of the survival of the fittest is performed countless times each day. But more than an ordeal in survival, the Okefenokee is a joyous celebration of everything right and beautiful in nature and a living testimony to the ability of the citizenry to perserve rather than destroy nature when stirred out of their complacency.
Naturally, I found four or five typos, which I am sending the author. It’s my observation, having published eight books myself, that no matter how many co-authors, editors, and copy-editors check a book before publication, as soon as it is printed obvious typos are visible.
For content, well done again, Suzanne Welander!
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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