Category Archives: Shoals

Nankin to State Line, Withlacoochee River, 2021-08-07

Join us on a leisurely Paddle down the Withlacoochee River southwest of Valdosta and Clyattville, dipping into Florida twice. We will visit two second-magnitude springs, of only six in Georgia. We will see the ruins of an old railroad trestle just before State Line Shoals.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 3 PM, Saturday, August 7, 2021

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

Take Out: State Line Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net//donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Nankin Boat Ramp, River Bend Shoals, McIntyre Spring, Valdosta Railway Trestle]
Nankin Boat Ramp, River Bend Shoals, McIntyre Spring, Valdosta Railway Trestle

Continue reading

Big Shoals Scouting, Suwannee River 2021-05-14

Bring boat wheels and be ready for a half-mile portage around Big Shoals in the WWALS outing tomorrow.

[Portage Now, Big Shoals, Beach eddy, Banner at beach below shoals]
Portage Now, Big Shoals, Beach eddy, Banner at beach below shoals

That’s the conclusion from the Friday scouting organized by Park Manager Manny Perez and Randy Madison of Florida Trails, in conjunction with WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. Park Ranger Peter Shanks led Randy, Bobby, and me to three possible put-ins below BIG Shoals. The third one is best, with a nice slope to a beach.

We are all for reasonable accommodation per our WWALS nondiscrimination policy, which in this case means you’ll need to be able to climb up at the take-out before the shoals, pull your boat for a half mile, including dragging it over a couple of rough spots, and slide it back into the water at the beach put-in. We can help, but you’ll need to do most of the work, because we’ll be pulling our own boats.

Click on any of the small pictures below to see a bigger one. There’s also a google map of the locations of these pictures. Continue reading

Big Shoals, Suwannee River, Florida, 2021-05-19

Update 2021-05-18: It’s a half mile portage, so bring boat wheels and be prepared to haul over some rough spots down to the beach of the two gators.

Paddle to and portage past the biggest rapids in Florida: Big Shoals and Little Shoals on the Suwannee River, on this short weekday trip.

[Big Shoals, 20 and 21 Feb 2021, Map]
Big Shoals, 20 and 21 Feb 2021, Map

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 2 PM, Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Put In: Big Shoals Tract Launch.
From White Springs, travel north on CR 135 to SE 94 Street (Godwin Bridge Road); turn right and follow road to Big Shoals, in Hamilton County.

GPS: 30.353167, -82.687333

Portage: The portage is 400 feet long.
Participants must be able to carry everything they bring from the beginning of the portage to the re-launch. Also must have fairly good physical conditioning and balance to climb up and down banks to re-launch.

Shirley Kokidko, experienced with this section of the Suwannee, says, “I’m 65 and I can do it, but it’s not easy, and takes a good bit of teamwork to get everybody re-launched. No children. Let’s keep this group to a safe number. On a weekday that probably won’t be a problem.”

Everyone must have a bowline, rope of any sort, very much needed to help lower boats back into the water after the portage. Continue reading

Sulak’s Defeat at Jennings Defeat 2020-08-26

Explorer Dr. Ken Sulak has solved an Alapaha River rapids naming mystery. He recounts:


So in 1797, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a poem inspired by a dream.

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Insert three ‘A” and the dreamscape river becomes the Alapaha, and appropriately so. Yesterday, I embarked on the foolish idea of a solo kayak journey up 3 miles of the Alapaha from Sasser Landing (just below the confluence of the Alapaha and the Alapahoochee rivers) to the site of the 1800s Roebucks Ferry and later Roebucks Bridge.

[Jennings Defeat Rapids, Ogeechee Gum, GS&F RR trestle below CR 150]
Jennings Defeat Rapids, Ogeechee Gum, GS&F RR trestle below CR 150

That crossing brought settlers and other travelers from Jacksonville and Fernandina along the GA/FL border across the Alapaha to Miccotown, the old Seminole Indian town in the triangle of land protected by the two flanking rivers. The road/trail (gone now on both sides) continued west across the Alapahoochee at the site of the early 1900s Beatty Bridge (undoubtedly preceded in the mid-1800s by an undocumented ferry), and on to Hickstown in Madison County and westward. Miccotown became the first county seat of Hamilton County as the settlers suppressed the Seminoles and the old Indian town faded into obscurity in 1839. Continue reading

Pictures: Nankin to Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River cleanup and paddle 2019-11-16

A gate, a tire, and bags of trash cleaned up at Nankin Boat Ramp, on the Withlacoochee River, and at Four Freedoms Trail, on our November 16, 2019 Withlacoochee River cleanup and paddle. Plus plenty of shoals, a sunken boat, a creek, McIntyre Spring, cypress knees, and skinned shins, all ending up at the old railroad trestle.

[Three in a row]
Three in a row

Our destination was the old railroad trestle, just past which is the takeout onto the Four Freedoms Trail in Madison County, Florida.

[We made it]
We made it

Parallel trash retrieval missions for a gate and for a tire at Nankin Boat Ramp, under the bridge for Clyattville-Nankin Road. Continue reading

Nankin to Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River, Cleanup and Paddle 2019-11-16

Update 2019-11-22: Some pictures.

Join us to clean up trash at Nankin Boat Ramp in Lowndes County, Georgia. Bring a boat and join us paddling down the Withlacoochee River, continuing cleanuing up. We will stop at second-magnitude McIntyre Spring in Brooks County, Georgia, which should be flowing fine about now. Thanks to special permission from Madison County, Florida, we will take a few vehicles down to the river at the end of the Four Freedoms Trail to collect an abandoned canoe and other items, and we will take out there.

When: Gather 9:00 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, November 16, 2019

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

Take Out: Four Freedoms Trail, NE Peppermint Trail, Pinetta, FL, Madison County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup, especially this one.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Upstream, 2019:10:17 15:59:44, 30.6294432, -83.3186451]
Photo: John S Quarterman, Upstream under the abandoned railroad trestle, at the end of Four Freedoms Trail, 2019:10:17 15:59:44, 30.6294432, -83.3186451

Continue reading

Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, Florida 2019-10-17

Here’s the Withlacoochee River from the only public access near State Line Shoals: the Madison County, Florida, Four Freedoms Trail. It’s on the former right of way of the Valdosta Railway, formerly Valdosta Southern Railway (VSO), formerly Georgia and Florida Railroad, built in the late 19th century as Florida Midland and Georgia Railroad. The same Valdosta Railway is still in use from Valdosta to Clyattville, Lowndes County, Georgia.

[RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451]
RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451

You can paddle down the river to the Four Freedoms Trail from Nankin Boat Ramp, about six miles, past McIntyre Spring.

Or upstream about four miles from State Line Ramp, although that could be challenging right now with the Withlacoochee River this low.

All these points are on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Continue reading

Waterfalls, rapids, and a lawn chair: Statenville to Sasser Landing 2019-07-06

Nineteen paddlers in fifteen boats braved the early morning deluge, which quit just in time to start paddling the Alapaha River from Statenville Boat Ramp to Sasser Landing, past many waterfalls, quite a few shoals, one real rapid, and an incoming river too fast to paddle up. Even a couple of unexpected boat ramps, one of them concrete.

[Ronnie, Shirley, Fountain, 13:50:02, 30.6253002, -83.0480667]
Ronnie, Shirley, Fountain, 13:50:02, 30.6253002, -83.0480667

Around every corner, a waterfall. Continue reading

Troupville, Little River Confluence, shoals, creeks, and Spook Bridge 2019-06-15

Update 2019-07-05:: Some WWALS videos on YouTube.

The first day of #PaddleGA2019 was a fun day, with a confluence, greetings by VIPs, creeks, small rapids, a limpkin, Valdosta’s notorious Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall, one bad water quality reading (not there), swimming, an even more notorious fracked methane pipeline, and Spook Bridge, with a pet deer across the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for that takeout and the Port-A-Potty location, and thanks to the Battery Source for the loan of the golf cart to WWALS.

Here’s Gwyneth Moody, Georgia River Network Water Trail coordinator, getting her orange kayak in the water.

[Load 'em up, 07:51:54, 30.8515032, -83.3476099]
Load ’em up, 07:51:54, 30.8515032, -83.3476099

Somebody was flying a drone. Continue reading

Shoals and Springs, Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2019-06-01

This Saturday, four shoals (Battery, Wipe-Out, Deer, and Melvin) and four springs (Powerline, Fairy, Corbett, and second-magnitude Suwannacoochee), all on the Withlacoochee River, from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park.

[Shoals and springs]
Shoals and springs

Location of shoals from Chris Mericle, Blackwater River Guide. River mile calculations for them by Shirley Kokidko, both in the interactive map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

For outing details, see: Continue reading