Dock work at Gibson Park Ramp 2023-05-25

Gibson Park Ramp will not be closed for upcoming work, except possibly briefly.

Inquiring minds wanted to know, so I called Chuck Burnett, Director, Hamilton County Parks & Recreation.

[Square Gibson Park Ramp 2022-02-05]
Gibson Park Ramp 2022-02-05

The work is actually about the dock, not the ramp. The dock cable system currently requires manually raising and lowering it with river levels. The work is to add extra sections to make it a free-floating dock, so it will rise and fall with the river.

Exactly when this work will be done this summer depends on river levels.

Also, behind the kiosk there is a pretty big erosion area, which will get fixed as well.

Most likely the ramp will be open the entire time. Except there may be a brief closing when they put pylons in for the dock.

All of the above is with assistance of a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Meanwhile, they just put in a playground behind the bathroom, with assistance from Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP), which is a program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). So if you are camping with children, there’s a playground to entertain them.

Gibson Park Ramp is the last stop on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT). For example, we ended up there on February 5, 2022.

Gibson Park Ramp is also a popular stop on the Suwannee River Water Trail (SRWT). We started there August 13, 2022, first going upstream to the Alapaha River Rise.

[Alapaha River Rise, 14:19:24, 30.4388490, -83.0895792]
Alapaha River Rise, 14:19:24, 30.4388490, -83.0895792

The water that comes up in the Alapaha River Rise after travelling 19 miles underground from the Dead River Sink at the end of the Dead River, a distributary of the Alapaha River.

[Dead River Sink with trash --GQ]
Dead River Sink with trash. Photo: Gretchen Quiarterman 2016-11-06

That Sink is now part of the Jennings Bluff Florida State Geological Site, which was declared March 17, 2023.

[State Geologist Harley Means and SRWMD E.D. Hugh Thomas with certificate]
State Geologist Harley Means and SRWMD E.D. Hugh Thomas with certificate

We know water travels underground that way because of the 2016 Alapaha Swallets Dye Trace Project.

[Before and After]
Before and After

Hamilton County is building a Jennings Bluff River Camp on land it owns next to the entrance to Jennings Bluff Tract. More on that when it is nearer to completion.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!