Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

Trail Description: Table of Contents

Alapaha River Water Trail, Sheboggy Landing, Berrien County The Alapaha River Water Trail connects about 128 miles of the 202-mile Alapaha River from Sheboggy Boat Ramp (US 82) in Berrien County, Georgia to the Suwannee River in Hamilton County, Florida. Plus 11 of the 14 miles of the Alapahoochee River, which flows from near Statenville, Georgia to join the Alapaha in Hamilton County.

See interactive Map and access points.
Suggest additions or corrections.
Help fund ARWT signs and brochures and water quality testing.

The Alapaha and Alapahoochee’s tea-colored tannin waters class them as blackwater rivers, flowing below bald cypress, longleaf, slash, and loblolly pines, and majestic oaks, with great blue herons, snapping turtles, alligators, and fish.

You can paddle with us on our many outings, including the entire ARWT on the 2018 Alapaha Quest!

[First place Maya Turner] Please become a WWALS member to support our water trails and our advocacy. You may also want to join the WWALS Water Trails Committee.

Mostly flat, the Alapaha River also contains rapids, many springs, and the Alapaha Sink. Its distributary the one-mile Dead River ends in the Dead River Sink, where it goes underground much of the year, until the water comes back up 19 miles and three days later in the Alapaha River Rise on the Suwannee River. Covering its entire flood plain in the rainy season, and less than a foot deep in spots during dry spells, the Alapaha River is a treasure and a challenge. The Alapaha River Water Trail also includes the Alapahoochee River, as well as many lakes, ponds, and swamps that are boatable year round.

Table of Contents:
Trail Description,
   Wild and Scenic,
   Many Years of Harmony,
   Lakes, Ponds, and Swamps,
River Basin,
Access Points,
Classification of Trail,
   Water Levels,
   Float Plan,
Overnight Trip Option,
Map and Spreadsheet,
Sponsors and Partners,
Contact Information,
Nearest Population Center,
GRN grant documents,

Wild and Scenic

The Alapaha River was described as “unspoiled, wild, and scenic” in the 1979 Soil Survey of Lowndes County. It is described as “Jungle-like in its remoteness and luxurious with exotic vegetation, the dark reddish-brown waters of the Alapaha wind through a swampy wonderland teeming with wildlife” by Brown’s Guide to Georgia, and rates an “A+” for scenery by Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia.

Many Years of Harmony
The Alapaha River has been used for years by canoeists and boaters in harmony with local landowners. In Brown’s Guide Suzanne Welander refers to the Alapaha Canoe Trail, as she did in A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Georgia, by Suzanne Welander, Bob Sehlinger and Don Otey, 2004 (see also her more recent Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia), and as mentioned in Southern Georgia Canoeing by Bob Sehlinger and Don Otey, 1980. The Alapaha River may still be, as described in 1970s brochures, “Georgia’s Cleanest River”. This time, WWALS is acknowledging more long-used access points upstream and downstream into Florida, where the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has long included the Alapaha River in Florida as part of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

And of course we promote Water Trail safety and etiquette.

Lakes, Ponds, and Swamps
Plus the Alapaha River Watershed contains lakes, ponds, and swamps such as Banks Lake in Lanier County, Grand Bay in Lowndes County, and the Carolina Bays in Atkinson County, renowned for their fishing, alligators, turtles, birds, cypresses, and pines, and streams including the Alapahoochee River. Existing hiking and biking trails can be linked to the Water Trail to encourage more multi-purpose participation.

The Alapaha River is not readily boatable upstream in Tift, Turner, Crisp, and Dooly Counties, nor on the Willacoochee River in Irwin, Ben Hill, and Wilcox Counties.

River Basin

Suwannee River Basin
9,950 square miles, 5,720 in Georgia and 4,230 in Florida.


Alapaha River watershed
1,840 square miles, 1,726 in Georgia and 114 in Florida.


202 miles: Alapaha River from its source in Dooly County, Georgia, to its confluence with the Suwannee River in Hamilton County, Florida.

129 miles: Alapaha River Water Trail from US 82 to the Suwannee River, plus many lakes, ponds, and swamps to the side.

[ARWT in Alapaha River watershed]

300x670 Alapaha River, Lakeland, Lanier County, GA, Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, in Streamer, by John S. Quarterman, for, 4 July 2014

Access Points

A dozen public access points, and another boat ramp being built. See the ARWT Access web page.

Classification of Trail

Class 1 Rapids with mostly flatwater, on an undammed blackwater river with no industrial development and no large point sources of pollution.

Water Levels

300x129 Record year 2009, in Alapaha River gauge heights over time, by John S. Quarterman, for, 1 December 2014 Alapaha River water levels fluctuate, and the river may be canoeable or floatable only a few weeks or months per year. All the record high levels have been in January through April, but the Alapaha River can be high in almost any other month. Paddle times may vary widely depending on ability of the paddler and the level of the water; going may be especially slow at low water levels, due to deadfalls in the river.

300x214 Statenville, GA 02317500, in Alapaha River gauge heights over time, by John S. Quarterman, for, 1 December 2014 For example in the middle parts of the river, when the Statenville gauge shows more than 6 feet, it is too high to paddle; less than 2 feet is too low.

WWALS includes high and low water indicators in the printed materials for different sections of the river, and online along with the current water levels online, using the gauges at Jennings, FL, at Statenville, GA, at US 82 near Alapaha, and at GA 125/32 near Irwinville.

Meanwhile, there are deep areas (lakes) on the river that are boatable most of the year, and lakes in the Alapaha River watershed that are boatable year-round.

Float Plan

WWALS provides a float plan form for boaters to fill out and file, so friends and, if unfortunately necessary, emergency responders can find them.


Many outfitters: see separate web page.

Overnight Trip Option

Yes. No reservation, permit or fee required in Georgia for rough camping on islands.

Camping on SRWMD lands in Florida is free with a permit, obtainable by calling SRWMD at 386.362.1001.

QR Code, by John S. Quarterman, for, 12 March 2015 Website

Map and Spreadsheet

Follow this link for an interactive ARWT map, along with indexes by access points, categories, and all points, plus a link to the spreadsheet from which all these are made.

Printed and going to outfitters, motels, businesses, Chambers, near you: Map, Brochure, and Card all in one. Two editions of 10,000 copies each are all gone. Using a generous grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, we have printed a third edition of these brochures.

[Alapaha River Water Trail]
Alapaha River Water Trail

[ARWT Where to put in]
ARWT Where to put in

Sponsoring Organizations and Partners:

WWALS Watershed Coalition through a $500 grant from Georgia River Network, requesting sponsorship from Tift, Atkinson, Berrien, Lanier, Lowndes, and Echols Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton County, Florida, cities near the river, businesses, and other organizations.

Contact Information

John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, WWALS Watershed Coalition,

Nearest Population Center

Valdosta 55,000 population and Lake Park 734 (Lowndes County 113,000), Tifton 16,000 (Tift County 40,000), Alapaha 658 and Nashville 4,903 (Berrien County 19,000), Willacoochee 1,391 (Atkinson County 8,290), Lakeland 3,398 (Lanier County 10,408), Statenville (Echols County 4,000), and Jennings 833 and Jasper 4,221 (Hamilton County, Florida 14,000).

See also WWALS Cities and Counties.


[The winners: Honorable Mention Codi Sadler, Second Place Taarna Jones, First Place Maya Turner. Third Place Glenda Velasquez not pictured, plus ARWT Chair Chris Graham and logo contest coordinator Deanna Mericle]
The winners: Honorable Mention Codi Sadler, Second Place Taarna Jones, First Place Maya Turner. Third Place Glenda Velasquez not pictured, plus ARWT Chair Chris Graham and logo contest coordinator Deanna Mericle

See also News.


GRN grant documents:


84 thoughts on “Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

  1. Pingback: Alapaha River @ US 84: endpoint of Sunday's WWALS Outing 24 August 2014 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  2. Pingback: Counties and Cities in WWALS Watersheds - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  3. Pingback: Alapaha River Cleanup at US 82, 27 September 2014 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  4. Pingback: Okefenokee Outing @ Fargo, GA 2014-11-22 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  5. Pingback: Video: The Alapaha River Water Trail -Dave Hetzel - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  6. Pingback: Video: The Alapaha River Water Trail –Dave Hetzel - Our Santa Fe River, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Florida Corporation

  7. Pingback: Alapaha River water levels - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  8. Pingback: Alapaha River Water Levels - Our Santa Fe River, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Florida Corporation

  9. Pingback: WWALS at Alapaha Celebration Days - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  10. Pingback: Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Alapaha River Water Trail -Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  11. Pingback: Canoeing Guide to the Alapaha River c. 1979 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  12. Pingback: Cleanup on Alapaha River near Jasper, FL: WWALS Outing 2014-12-20 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

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  14. Pingback: 1970s Canoe Trail FAQ - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  15. Pingback: WWALS Board meeting 2015-01-14 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  16. Pingback: WWALS logo contest for Alapaha River Water Trail - WWALS Watershed Coalition

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  19. Pingback: Videos: VLDA appointment, jail, taxes, water @ LCC 2015-01-12 | On the LAKE front

  20. Pingback: Videos: Packets, paving, safety, trash, education, appointment, jail, taxes, water @ LCC 2015-01-13 | On the LAKE front

  21. Pingback: Statenville to Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River, WWALS Outing, 2015-02-15 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

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  24. Pingback: Easy Outing on the Alapaha River at GA 135, 2015-03-14 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  25. Pingback: Prizes to high school logo contest winners Saturday at Alapaha River Water Trail Conference - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  26. Pingback: South Georgia talent won the Alapaha River Water Trail Logo Contest - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  27. Pingback: Green corridors are good for people, business, plants, and animals | On the LAKE front

  28. Pingback: Rowetown Church to GA 135: WWALS April outing 2015-04-18 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  29. Pingback: WWALS Board Agenda 2015-04-08 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  30. Pingback: Update on Rowetown Church to GA 135: WWALS outing 2015-04-18 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  31. Pingback: Sasser landing to Jennings Bluff, WWALS Outing 2015-06-14 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  32. Pingback: Pictures: Rowetown Church to GA 135 -Bret Wagenhorst - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  33. Pingback: Alapaha River Rise, Suwannee River, and Sabal Trail Pipeline, WWALS Outing 2015-08-15 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  34. Pingback: WWALS at Earth Day by S.A.V.E. at Drexel Park near VSU today - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  35. Pingback: WWALS on environmental issues panel in Valdosta at LCDP 2015-06-01 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  36. Pingback: Boating with Gwyneth on Lake Lewis and the Alapaha River 2015-05-25 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  37. Pingback: Brochures for Alapaha River Water Trail - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  38. Pingback: This sister earth now cries out to us -Pope Francis - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  39. Pingback: Burnt Church in Lakeland to Hotchkiss in Stockton -Chris Graham 2015-06-21 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  40. Pingback: Mayday to Statenville paddle trip on the Alapaha river. - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  41. Pingback: Lanier Park to CSX RR track Hotchkiss Road, WWALS outing 2015-07-11 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  42. Pingback: Florida lists WWALS for Alapaha River Water Trail - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  43. Pingback: WWALS Water Trails at Southern Georgia Regional Commission Council 2015-07-23 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  44. Pingback: Update: Sabal Trail Pipeline, Alapaha, Suwannee, and Withlacoochee Rivers, WWALS Outing 2015-08-15 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  45. Pingback: Banks Lake Full Moon Paddle: bring bon-bons! 2015-08-29 - WWALS Watershed Coalition

  46. Pingback: Pictures: Lakeland to Hotchkiss Road, WWALS Outing –Gretchen Quarterman 2015-07-11 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  47. Pingback: WWALS @ Alapaha Station Celebration today 2015-11-14 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  48. Pingback: Grand Bay Hike: WWALS Outing 2015-12-12 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  49. Pingback: Alapaha River Boat Ramp land purchase approved by Lowndes County Commission 2015-12-08 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  50. Pingback: WWALS at Grand Bay –Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman 2015-12-12 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  51. Pingback: End of the Year Membership Donations to WWALS | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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  53. Pingback: WWALS outings on Chris Beckham drive-time radio WVGA 105.9 FM 7:30 AM 2016-01-15 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  54. Pingback: Stranded campers rescued from Alapaha River above GA 135 2016-01-16 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  55. Pingback: WWALS Outings and Events late 2015 – early 2016 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  56. Pingback: Hotchkiss Road to Mayday, Alapaha River 2016-04-23 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  57. Pingback: WWALS at Rhythm & Ribs, Tifton, GA 2016-03-05 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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  59. Pingback: WWALS Outings, Rivers, and Pipeline on Chris Beckham drive-time radio WVGA 105.9 FM 8:00 7:30 AM 2016-09-02 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  60. Pingback: Hike to Dead River Sink from Alapaha River 2016-11-06 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  61. Pingback: WWALS Adopt-A-Stream Cleanup at Berrien Beach Landing (GA 168) –Gretchen Quarterman 2016-09-10 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  62. Pingback: Naylor Boat Ramp bid twice; probably instead in-house by Lowndes County | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  63. Pingback: WWALS at Alapaha Station Celebration 2016-11-12 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  64. Pingback: Aerials: Dry Alapaha River and the Alapaha Rise 2016-11-23 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

  65. Pingback: GA 168 (Berrien Beach) to GA 122 (Lakeland) Alapaha River Outing 2017-02-11 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER)

  66. Pingback: WWALS receives grant for water conservation outreach to farmers and community | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  67. Pingback: GA HR 281 Water Trails resolution | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  68. Pingback: Improved Sheboggy Ramp, Alapaha River @ US 82 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  69. Pingback: Banks Lake Full Moon Paddle 2017-07-08 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  70. Pingback: WMA signs in Lanier County, Alapaha River | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  71. Pingback: Alapaha River, Hotchkiss Road to US 84 2017-04-02 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  72. Pingback: Banks Lake Full Strawberry Moon Paddle, 2021-06-24 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  73. Pingback: Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park, Little River, Reed Bingham State Park East Boat Ramp, 2021-06-19 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  74. Pingback: Cleanup Paffords Landing, Alapaha River 2021-07-24 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  75. Pingback: Clean Rivers Again 2021-06-10 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®)

  76. Pingback: Upgrade Suwannee River Basin rivers to Recreational –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-06-30 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  77. Pingback: WWALS Watershed Coalition thanks Atkinson Commission for support –WFXL TV 2021-07-09 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  78. Pingback: If We Cared About The Environment Like We Care About Sports –Buzzfeed - Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR)

  79. Pingback: WWALS calls in the Marines to clean up Pafford’s Landing 2021-07-24 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  80. Pingback: Not-so-dry Alapaha River to Suwannee River –Bobby McKenzie 2021-05-07 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  81. Pingback: Last stretch of Alapaha River, US 41 to Gibson Park 2022-02-05 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  82. Pingback: Pictures: Banks Lake Full Cold Moon paddle 2021-12-18 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  83. Pingback: Pictures: Alapahoochee River, GA 135 to Sullivan Launch 2021-06-05 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

  84. Pingback: Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River 2022-01-05 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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