Category Archives: Blueway

Pictures: Many deadfalls, shark teeth, and rapids: Alapachoochee Adventure 2022-07-09

So many deadfalls, seeps, and things in the Alapahoochee Adventure 2022-07-09 that I’m posting pictures in several parts.

First, here is from GA 135 across the GA-FL line to Beaty Bridge. And it turns out we’ve been spelling it wrong for years: it’s Beaty Bridge with one letter t.

Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for organizing this outing, and for the small but intrepid crew who drove as much as two and a half hours to get there.

[Collage, Alapahoochee Adventures 2022-07-09]
Collage, Alapahoochee Adventures 2022-07-09

Next: Devil Shoal and Turket Falls. Continue reading

Schedule for 2023 Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) grant applications 2023-01-11

I’ve heard differing opinions about various deadlines for submitting a grant proposal this year to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP), such as for Troupville Nature Park and River Camp at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, just west of Valdosta, Georgia.

[GOSP, Helen Tapp, Land Between the Rivers]
GOSP, Helen Tapp, Land Between the Rivers

So I asked GA-DNR, who replied that grant pre-applications will open this fall, and will be announced this spring. The earliest anything might need to be done with GA-DNR about GOSP is informational webinars, which may be scheduled for May or June.

I’m sticking to my opinion that there’s no point proceeding with a grant application until ongoing park maintenance is lined up. It’s my understanding that Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson and One Valdosta-Lowndes have the token to find that maintenance money as well as the rest of the required cash match.

Lowndes County already made a huge step forward by buying Helen Tapp’s Land Between the Rivers for eventual addition to the land already owned by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreational Authority (VLPRA) to form the park. I don’t know of anything else pressing the county needs to do at the moment.

Here is this morning’s response from GA-DNR: Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon paddle 2023-01-06

A small but hardy group of paddlers enjoyed the Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon.

Thanks to Kimberly Tanner for leading this expedition.

[Banners, paddlers, sunset, moonrise, Banks Lake, 2023-01-06]
Banners, paddlers, sunset, moonrise, Banks Lake, 2023-01-06

Most of these pictures are by WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. Continue reading

Budget and Bats: Suwannee River Visitor Center

Regarding when and why the Suwannee River Visitor Center closed, I went to an authoritative source, Bryan Gray, Manager, Stephen Foster State Park (SFSP).

[Ramp (south) end, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:25:45, 30.6823112, -82.5600485]
Ramp (south) end, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:25:45, https://www.google.com/maps/@30.6823112,-82.5600485,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

He says it started with budgeting after the recession. Georgia State Parks had to operate more like businesses.

He started at SFSP in 2011, and the Visitor Center closed not long after that.

They tried to operate it in different capacities, such as Continue reading

Two new VLPRA trash cans for Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River 2022-12-29

Kimberly Tanner wrote three days ago, “Looks like there are two new cans; one close to parking and one on the beach. Great news!”

[Trash cans at entrance to and on Naylor Beach --Kimberly Tanner 2022-12-29]
Trash cans at entrance to and on Naylor Beach –Kimberly Tanner 2022-12-29

This is speedy action by Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA). And of course these two new cans at Naylor Beach are in addition to the one at the nearby Naylor Boat Ramp. Continue reading

Suwannee River Visitor Center 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-02: Budget and Bats: Suwannee River Visitor Center.

Somebody asked, what is that big building next to the Suwannee River at Fargo, and why is it closed?

[Front, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:22:40, 30.6822910, -82.5606494]
Front, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:22:40, 30.6822910,-82.5606494

The Suwannee River Visitor Center opened in 2004, before the nearby Eco-Lodge. Both are part of Stephen C. Foster State Park.

It was a showcase for the wildlife, composition, and history of the Suwannee River, as well as an example green building. But it has been closed since at February 2015 or earlier. Here is what I could find about it.

Ashley Harper, WALB TV, June 15, 2004, Tourist attraction brings life to Fargo, Continue reading

Trash can missing at Naylor Beach, Alapaha River 2022-12-24

Update 2023-01-01 Two new VLPRA trash cans for Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River 2022-12-29.

Suzy Hall checked on the trash can at Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River at US 84 yesterday. It’s not there.

[2018, 2020, and 2022: Naylor Beach]
2018, 2020, and 2022: Naylor Beach

It was put there by Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) in 2018, after WWALS asked for it.

The last record we have of that Naylor Beach trash can was in January 2020.

We’re asking VLPRA again: could we have a trash can at Naylor Beach? Continue reading

Pictures: Another Knights Ferry to Nankin Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-17

Eight WWALS volunteers braved a cold winter’s day on another WWALS Withlacoochee River Cleanup from Knights Ferry to Nankin Boat Ramps, because we couldn’t get it all two weeks before.

After a big on-land cleanup and a floating trash jam, we also saw the wood piers of old Knights Ferry Bridge, Floating Marsh Pennywort, invasive Flowering Cleome houtteana, many private landings, Redland Creek, many rocks, many interesting trees, and Nankin Shoals.

Thanks to Russell Allen McBride for organizing, and volunteers Suzy Hall, Will Hart, Amy Myers, Gretchen Quarterman Scott, and Calvin.

[Composite, Another KF to Nankin Cleanup, 2022-12-17]
Composite, Another KF to Nankin Cleanup, 2022-12-17

Where did this styrofoam, plastic bottles, and cans come from? Almost certainly the City of Valdosta. See Valdosta Mayor Scott James on trash at Hightower Creek 2022-12-15.

There’s at least that much more trash on the river that we’ll have to come back to get. At least Valdosta has started to stop trash from getting into the river. They have much more to do:
https://wwals.net/issues/trash

Here’s a summary in a WWALS video playlist by Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman:

Continue reading

Dark Branch and Three Mile Branch with trails in Langdale Park by Phillip Williams 2022-12-12

Phillip Williams has found and marked more trails and waterways in his continued exploration of Langdale Park on the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County just west of Valdosta, Georgia. As you can see, the trails are much more usable since Parks and Rec. has been cleaning them up lately. Yay, George Page, Jessica Catlett, and Jeff!

[Dark Branch, trashjam, canebreak, island, log bridge, waterfall]
Dark Branch, trashjam, canebreak, island, log bridge, waterfall

I’ve updated his material in the WWALS WLRWT map, so you can pan, zoom, and click.

He’s been communicating with the park owner, Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA). He’s updated many of the trail names. For example, the trail south from Langdale Park Boat Ramp by the Withlacoochee River is Trail B. Trail A runs all the way from the Pavillion just south of Hyta Mederer Drive down to Three Mile Branch. Supposedly it then turns right and goes west to the river, but apparently VLPRA hasn’t finished cleaning up that stretch. Continue reading

Another Cleanup Knights Ferry to Nankin, Withlacoochee River, 2022-12-17

Update 2022-12-21: Pictures: Another Knights Ferry to Nankin Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-17.

Come help clean up more trash jams we found last time. It’s going to be cold, so dress warmly in layers and bring a change in a dry bag.

We found a new creek that we’re calling River Bend Plantation Creek because that’s the property it mostly runs through.

Speaking of which, the main big new trash pile is on the edge of River Bend Plantation. Could someone who knows them please ask them to contact WWALS about land access or closer river access?

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 3 PM, Saturday, December 17, 2022

Put In: Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, 6499 Knights Ferry Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601.

GPS: 30.71205, -83.45554

[Trash on land and river]
Trash on land and river 2022-12-03; Photos: John S. Quarterman

Continue reading