Tag Archives: Banks Lake Outdoors

Obituary: Pope Howell of Banks Lake Outdoors 2023-02-17

WWALS will miss Pope Howell.

Bobby McKenzie remarks, “Pope was the one always setting WWALS up for the Full Moon paddles. Jerome (camp host) was a big help too but Pope was usually the main guy especially when starting out the free rentals. Pope really enjoyed talking about the full moon paddle crowds.”

[Pope Howell, Banks Lake Sunset]
Pope Howell, Banks Lake Sunset

Banks Lake Outdoors 2023-02-19

We regret to inform you that longtime employee, Pope Howell, passed away at the end of the week. We hope you will keep his family and friends in your prayers in the coming days. He very much enjoyed talking with the wide variety of people who visit Banks Lake.

[Pope Howell. Photo: Banks Lake Outdoors]
Pope Howell. Photo: Banks Lake Outdoors

Obituary for George “Pope” Howell Jr.

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Pictures: Banks Lake Full Cold Moon paddle 2022-12-07

Quite a few happy boaters, on a balmy weekday at an early start time, saw the sun set and the moon already rising, on the Banks Lake Full Cold Moon Paddle.

Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for leading it.

[Banners, Kayak Raffle Winner, Sunset, Moonrise, Banks Lake 2022-12-07]
Banners, Kayak Raffle Winner, Sunset, Moonrise, Banks Lake 2022-12-07

The next one is Friday, January 6, 2023.

Please make your boat reservations in advance. If we know more boats are wanted than the limited number at Banks Lake Outdoors, we can bring more, but not if we don’t know.

And please get there before the safety lecture. If you show up after that, we don’t like to, but we will turn you away. Gather time and paddle time are posted for each paddle outing. The safety lecture is before we paddle. Continue reading

Video: Kayak raffle winner @ Banks Lake Full Cold Moon paddle 2022-12-07

This only ever happened once before: the WWALS kayak raffle winner was standing there at the drawing.

[Kayak Raffle Drawing]
Kayak Raffle Drawing

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman had already transcribed the online tickets onto paper tickets like all the others. Continue reading

Sponsors: WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

Thanks to all our sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, this Saturday, October 23, 2021, down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back.

Thank you Adel Outfitters, Azalea City Music Academy, Banks Lake Outdoors, B’s Backporch BBQ, Dry Pocket Apparel, Madison Outpost Adventures, Okra Paradise Farms, Olympia Shooting Range Paintball, Sunbelt Running CLub, and Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA),

[Sponsor Banner]
Sponsor Banner

Tickets are $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

You could be the winner of the $100 First Prize, or win in one of the many categories.

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.

You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provided by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, Continue reading

This Saturday, with more sponsors and higher water: WWALS Boomerang paddle race into Florida and back to Georgia 2020-10-24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, September 4, 2020 — The water’s up, and we’ve added sponsors at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River 9 AM this Saturday, October 24, 2020. For the WWALS Boomerang paddle race you can choose 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream into Florida, and then back up. There will be food, drink, prizes, and an online silent auction.

[WWALS Boomerang 2020]
WWALS Boomerang 2020
PDF

Tickets are on sale now, $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, “There is plenty of room for distancing at the boat ramp, and even more room on the water. We will have someone at the one big shoals to direct you.”

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman said, “Thanks to Bobby for getting Olympia Bend Shooting Range as a sponsor! There’s no need to be shooting up our water trail signs. And let’s not forget Life Outdoors, who are supplying two archery packages in the online auction, along SBMS Crossfit, NWXpeditions, and others.”
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsboomerang2020

Bobby McKenzie added, “With Madison Outpost Adventures we now have four outfitter sponsors, adding to VSU CORE, NWXpeditions, and Banks Lake Outdoors. Thanks to Carter & Sons for cooking barbecue that WWALS will serve for purchase. Drinks will be available from Kona Ice, and we will have water dispensers. In addition to the $100 First Prize, each of the many winners will get a Boomerang tumbler!”

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM.

Come early if you want to help clean up at the boat ramp. We’ll give you a spiffy Georgia Rivers Alive bandana facemask.

[Open containers of alcohol prohibited]
Open containers of alcohol prohibited

State Line Boat Ramp is at 6461 Madison Highway, Valdosta, GA 31601. If online maps misdirect you, try 6600 Madison Highway. You may also know it as Mozell Spells, or Madison Highway Boat Ramp; it’s at Horn Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, just north of the GA-FL line on Madison Highway, also known as GA 31 and Madison County CR 150.

Heading south down I-75, take Exit 11, turn west, and keep going until you see the boat ramp sign, then turn right. From Madison, Florida, head up CR 150 until you cross the river, make a U-turn, and head down to the ramp.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2020 is here:
wwals.net/pictures/2020-10-24–boomerang Continue reading

One month to WWALS Boomerang paddle race into Florida and back to Georgia 2020-10-24

It was a lot of fun for all ages last year, and you can paddle this year! The WWALS Boomerang is coming up Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream into Florida, and then back up.

[Pictures Banner]
Pictures Banner

There is plenty of room for distancing at the boat ramp, and even more room on the water.

Each of the winners in many categories gets one of those WWALS Boomerang tumblers, and there’s a $100 First Prize!

Tickets are on sale now, $20 online until October 15, then $30 at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM.

It was a fast start last year: Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang 2020-10-24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, September 4, 2020 — For the third year, people will paddle down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back upstream, in the WWALS Boomerang! Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink. “There will be plenty of water, no deadfalls, and probably some shoals to make it more interesting,” said Boomerang mastermind and WWALS Outings Chair Bobby McKenzie.

[WWALS Boomerang 2020]
WWALS Boomerang 2020
PDF

Tickets are on sale now, $20 online until October 15, then $30 at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

State Line Boat Ramp is at 6461 Madison Highway, Valdosta, GA 31601. Heading south down I-75, take Exit 11, turn west, and keep going until you see the boat ramp sign, then turn right. From Madison, Florida, head up CR 150 until you cross the river, make a U-turn, and head down to the ramp. “That’s the WWALS road sign for State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail,” said WWALS Trails Committee Chair Dan Phillips. “And down by the boat ramp we have two informational signs: what to see downstream and up, safety, etiquette, etc.”

The course starts in Lowndes County, Georgia, and goes through Brooks County, GA, and Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida.

“Thanks to the many sponsors Bobby has rustled up: Continue reading

Walkers Crossing closed, Full Corn Moon Paddle, Banks Lake 2020-09-02

You may want to allow more time if you’re driving to Banks Lake this evening from Hahira (I-75 exit 29) or Valdosta for the Full Corn Moon Paddle, since Walker’s Crossing is closed, and that’s on the usual route. Walker’s Crossing is where east-west GA 122 meets north-south GA 125 (Bemiss Road).

[Walkers Crossing, GA 122 @ GA 125 (Bemiss Road) w. of Banks Lake]
Walkers Crossing, GA 122 @ GA 125 (Bemiss Road) w. of Banks Lake
In the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Remember, try to be at Banks Lake by 7:15 PM to have time to sign in and get ready to launch. Follow the link for more outing details:
https://wwals.net/?p=53303.

It looks like you can go around from Barretts on New Bethel Road. Or just follow the Detour signs. Georgia DOT – Southwest, facebook, August 31 at 9:52 PM

Lowndes Co (close to Lanier Co): the railroad crossing on SR 122 just east of SR 125 is scheduled to close tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 1, and is expected to reopen Thursday, Sept. 3. This is required for repairs to the crossing. Detour routes will be US 129, SR 122 Connector and SR 125. Watch for detour signs.

Thanks to Mike Kondrot for the heads-up.

If you’re coming up I-75 from Florida, you’ll probably also notice this: Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Corn Moon paddle: sunset, moonrise, and bats! 2020-09-02

Update 2020-09-02: Walkers Crossing closed, Full Corn Moon Paddle, Banks Lake 2020-09-02

Leisurely sunset and moonrise full moon paddle on Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee next to Lakeland, GA: with bats!

When: Gather 7:15 PM, launch 7:30 PM, end 9:30 PM, Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake 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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

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

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Cypress boats]
Bobby McKenzie: Cypress boats at sunset at Banks Lake, 2020-08-03.

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Gator and bats, sunset, no moon, at Banks Lake 2020-06-05

About 35 paddlers saw bats as the sun set over Banks Lake.

[Bobby McKenzie, WWALS Outings Committee Chair, this expedition leader]
Bobby McKenzie, WWALS Outings Committee Chair, this expedition leader

Thanks to WWALS Outings Committee Chair and Board Member Bobby McKenzie, for organizing and leading this outing.

The moon hid behind clouds, but some of us saw a little gator as we started out. I think Helen Crowley spotted it. Continue reading