Category Archives: Outing

BIG Little River Paddle Tour, Red Roberts Landing, 2024-04-27

WWALS charter board member Bret Wagenhorst will guide a tour of the Little River from Red Roberts Landing to Reed Bingham State Park Lake. All reservations online in advance, limited to 20 paddlers.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 9 AM, end 12 PM, Saturday, April 27, 2024

Put In: Red Roberts Landing, 4727 Rountree Bridge Rd., Adel, GA 31620. River left at Rountree Bridge south of Rountree Bridge Road (CR 251) west of Adel; exit 41 off I-75.

GPS: 31.192222, -83.520333

[BIG Little River Paddle Event, Red Roberts Landing, 2024-04-27, led by Dr. Bret Wagenhorst to Reed Bingham State Park]
BIG Little River Paddle Event, Red Roberts Landing, 2024-04-27, led by Dr. Bret Wagenhorst to Reed Bingham State Park

Last year we saw bald cypress, pond cypress, pines, willow, tupelow, river birch, water oak, primrose, fetterbush, sparkleberry, holly, titi, wild grapevines, native wisteria, lichen, resurrection fern, goldenclub, mistletoe, and blooming Spanish moss. We also saw many turtles, some alligators, and a great blue heron. Continue reading

Boat Motor Tryouts, Troupville Boat Ramp, Little River 2024-02-18

Update 2024-02-26: Pictures: Chainsaw cleanup from Troupville up to Sugar Creek and back 2024-02-25.

Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!

Five of us went down to Troupville Boat Ramp, just west of Valdosta, Georgia, to test out some new boat motors.

[9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)]
9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKwQ5xfKf-QznYIX_GRvlK7Rc4P_Ms5DG&si=ll_y4evyoJbmxSgu


Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!
Videos by John S. Quarterman and Russell Allen McBride for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS).

Thanks to Laura D’Alisera for transfering the new WWALS 9.9hp Mercury fourstroke 20-inch shaft electric start outboard motor ten miles from West Marine in Jacksonville Beach to a shipping location, where Phil Hubbard received it Saturday. Thanks to Wild Green Future (WGF) for the generous grant that bought it.

Sunday evening, Russell Allen McBride, Shawn O’Connor, Bobby McKenzie, and I unboxed it, connected it to its fuel supply, and tried it out. Thanks to Flint Riverkeeper for the jon boat.

With that outboard, the jon boat will indeed go upriver easily under these conditions. It took only ten minutes to haul Russell in his kayak up the third of a mile from the Little River Confluence to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Also due to WGF, we received an 85lb-thrust Goplus 8 Speed, 36 inch shaft, trolling motor, two Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, and a Power Queen 14.6V 10A LiFePO4 Battery Charger. Those we put on the WWALS bass fisher chainsawing boat, plus the old WWALS 40lb-thrust mounted on the front. Shawn and I demonstrated that the new motor alone will push that boat upstream in these conditions, and both motors will troll it upstream at a walking pace. Which is all we need to get back to the ramp from the Confluence during chainsaw cleanups.

You’ve already seen the chainsaw WGF paid for from a week ago, Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11.

We are awaiting a couple more items via the WGF grant. Stay tuned.

This is more preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park. One hopes that the water level will be well below Sunday’s 148′ NAVD 1988 level, or we may have to reschedule for later.

And also preparation for more chainsaw cleanups on other stretches of this and other rivers.

Next: 9AM Sunday, February 25, 2024, we will take the jon boat from Troupville Boat Ramp down around the Confluence and up the Withlacoochee River to Langdale Park, chainsawing any remaining paddle obstacles along the way. That one will be a bit hard to participate in by paddling.

The day before that, Saturday, February 24, please join us for in the morning for Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River and in the evening for Banks Lake Full Snow Moon Paddle.

There are more pictures below. Continue reading

Pictures: Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11

Three of us cleared boating passage between the Sugar Creek WaterGoat on the Withlacoochee River behind the Valdosta YMCA and Wood Valley, around the future Troupville Nature Park and River Camp, past the Little River Confluence, then upstream on the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for leading, and his Stihl chainsaw and electric chainsaw, to Shawn O’Connor for using his polesaw.

[Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11]
Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11

I brought the new Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw, paid for through a generous grant by Wild Green Future.

That grant also paid for some other things you will see in the near future. Today at Troupville Boat Ramp, at 4:30 PM, we will be trying out some of those things.

The big deadfall between GA 133 and I-75 was underwater, but there were plenty more to work on.

This is all in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park.

There are more pictures below.

 -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!
https://wwals.net/donations

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Banks Lake Full Snow Moon Paddle, 2024-02-24

Join us for a leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle on our watery living room, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

When: Gather 5:30 PM, launch 6 PM, moonrise 6:45 PM, sunset 6:27 PM, end 7:40 PM, Saturday, February 24, 2024

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

[FB: Banks Lake and painting --Julie Bowland, February 5, 2023]
FB: Banks Lake and painting –Julie Bowland, February 5, 2023

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Sponsored: Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Georgia Power has pledged a substantial grant for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River, Saturday, March 2, 2024.

“Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power, WWALS will not require any payment to paddle,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Just use the eventbrite free ticket to reserve a spot so we’ll have an idea of how many are coming.”
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mayor-and-chairmans-paddle-langdale-park-to-troupville-2024-tickets-799890352577

[Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04]
Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04

“However, if you want to support the advocacy and activities of WWALS, there is also a paid ticket through eventbrite. Or become a member or sponsor. Anyway, come down and paddle, see the sights, and have fun!”

For further information about the paddle, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=64027

 -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!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-11

Come help clean up the Withlacoochee River behind the Valdosta YMCA and onwards to the Little River Confluence, then upstream on the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it, but you do not have to saw to join us.

You can help by taking pictures, moving sawed branches out of the way, or collecting trash.

We’ve already done this stretch more than once, but we know there’s at least one big deadfall between GA 133 and I-75, and we do not know what Hurricane Idalia added. Bring a rope on each end of your boat in case of portages.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 4 PM, Sunday, February 11, 2024

Put In: Meet at the back of the Berta’s Pizza Kitchen parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602 and we’ll go to the put-in from there.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[Crowe Deadfall 2022-07-30; Riverhill Drive Deadfall 2022-10-16; Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11]
Crowe Deadfall 2022-07-30; Riverhill Drive Deadfall 2022-10-16; Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11

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Paddles, Chainsaws, and Okefenokee Swamp on The Spotlight Show, Talk92.1 FM 2024-02-01

Join us on The Spotlight Show on talk921.com at 6 PM, Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman and “Diamond” Jim Halter will talk about chainsaw cleanups, the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, the Okefenokee Swamp, the Ichetucknee Springs and River, and the 2024 WWALS River Revue coming up this September.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper on The Spotlight Show, 6-7 PM, Thursday, February 1, 2024]
Suwannee Riverkeeper on The Spotlight Show, 6-7 PM, Thursday, February 1, 2024

https://www.facebook.com/events/792834679536648/

 -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!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Update 2024-02-02: Now no fee required, thanks to a pledge from Georgia Power.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River

Valdosta, Georgia, January 29, 2024 — Join us on March 2nd for a leisurely paddle with the Mayor of Valdosta and the Chairman of Lowndes County on the Withlacoochee River, along the west side of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin, and along the site of future Troupville River Camp and Nature Park.

“The annual paddle event provides a unique opportunity for residents to come together and explore the natural beauties of Lowndes County, immersing themselves in the serenity of our waterways,” said Bill Slaughter, Chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners. “We encourage residents of all ages to come out and join us for a fun morning.”

“Together, we will showcase the natural beauty of our blackwater rivers and continue to work towards finding the most cost-effective solutions to educate our citizens and eliminate the trash that is littering our creeks and rivers,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. “With this event, we aim to empower our community and inspire everyone to take action towards protecting our precious waterways. It will take all of us working together to make a difference, and we are excited to lead the way towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.”

“Welcome to this one of our many paddles. All elected officials present, from both Florida and Georgia, get in free, and will have three minutes each to speak at the put-in. You can paddle up to them and ask questions,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “We have at least one daytime river paddle a month, in Florida or Georgia, plus an evening Full Moon paddle at Banks Lake, near Lakeland, GA.”

[FB: Paddlers 2023-03-04]
Paddlers 2023-03-04; Photo: John S. Quarterman

On a new route this year, we’ll go seven miles in four hours, with an early takeout.

Come as early as 8 AM, Saturday, March 2, 2024 to Langdale Park, drop off your boats, and drive to Troupville Boat Ramp. Shuttle from there back to Langdale Park.

One 15-seat van provided by the Boys & Girls Club will shuttle you back to Troupville. “We love supporting this event and giving back to our community! This is just another event that shows how good the Mayor and the Commission Chairman are always working together to help this community,” said Bill Holt, VP of Operations, Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta. This will be an outside event, but we will recommend those riders taking advantage of the shuttle service to please wear a mask.

We’ll paddle three miles from Langdale Park Boat Ramp through past Three Mile Branch to Sugar Creek with early takeout. On this all-wooded route it is hard to believe you are next to the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin. There are no houses, but you may see creeks, oaks, cypresses, pines, fish, birds, and turtles. Valdosta is getting much better at keeping sewage out of the creeks and rivers.

“I’m happy to lead this paddle again,” said Phil Hubbard.

Stop at Sugar Creek to see the WaterGoat trash trap purchased by the City of Valdosta and cleaned out by volunteer Russell Allen McBride and family. That floating chain and net keeps much trash out of the river. There is more for the City of Valdosta to do about trash, but that WaterGoat was the start of current progress on that problem. If you want to stop there, you can take out below Berta’s Pizza Kitchen on Gornto Road.

“The South Georgia Film Festival is proud to support this year’s Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle,” said Jason Brown. South Georgia Film Festival Director. “As many of the available kayakers will be in attendance both at the paddle and that evening for the film screening on the campus of Valdosta State University.”

Then we’ll paddle another four miles under the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, past Wood Valley Subdivision and Sheri Run, and the I-75 and GA 133 highway bridges.

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Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10

Swim in the itch head spring. Then join us for a leisurely paddle 4 miles downstream in crystal clear waters with the possibility of seeing manatee, several types of gar, and bird species. The launching spot has been recently upgraded to accommodate new ADA standards.

There is a possibility of a further paddle down to the Ichetucknee Confluence.

When: Gather 9:00AM (swim), launch 11 AM, end 2 PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024

Put In: Ichetucknee Headspring and Ichetucknee North Launch, Ichetucknee S.P. North Entrance, 8294 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038, Columbia County.

GPS: 29.98292, -82.76053

[Swimmers 2020-01-04 and WWALS Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10]
Swimmers 2020-01-04 and WWALS Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10

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Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle, 2024-01-25

Join us for a leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle on Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

When: Gather 5 PM, launch 5:30 PM, moonrise 6:02 PM, sunset 6:02 PM, end 7:15 PM, Thursday, January 25, 2024

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

[Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon 2021 for 2024-01-25]
Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon 2021 for 2024-01-25

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