Tag Archives: Outing

Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2022-01-29

Join us for a leisurely paddle on the Withlacoochee River past the clean outfall of the Valdosta Withlacoochee Wastewater Plant, which has not spilled in years. See turtles, fish, birds, cypress, pines, oaks, palmetto, and maybe otters. Probably no alligators, although you could be lucky. You will see the signs where the notorious Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline leaked drilling fluid into the river.

Previously called the Mayor’s Paddle, this third annual is the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, as in the Chairman of Lowndes County and the Mayor of Valdosta, who are working to purchase land you will see at the Little River Confluence for a future Troupville River Park and Troupville River Camp. The route also runs along Brooks County, and is upstream of Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida: y’all come.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, January 29, 2022

Put In: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18. Lowndes County. Go west across I-75 on St. Augustine Road (GA 133), turn left at the light for Val Tech Road.

GPS: 30.652536, -83.34586

Take Out: Spook Bridge. Park outside the gate at the corner of Old Quitman Highway and Martin Lane. Do not drive onto the private property; we will have shuttle golf carts and such for the last half mile up from the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access for the lunch spot and the takeout below Spook Bridge.

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/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout]
Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout; Photos: John S. Quarterman on the previous Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

Continue reading

Pictures: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

Third scheduled time was the charm for the Second Annual Mayor’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge. In addition to the nice writeup in the Valdosta Daily Times, here are some pictures. Only two or three people capsized, nobody was mad, and everybody had a good time.

[Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride]
Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride

The 2022 version will be the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, coming up Saturday, January 29, 2021. Stay tuned.

Thanks to The Langdale Company for access at the lunch spot and at Spook Bridge. Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club for shuttling. Thanks to Steve Miller for his ATV for shuttling people up from the river at Spook Bridge to the road. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for leading the outing.

We found some landmarks, such as where the Valdosta, Moultrie, and Western (VMW) Railroad used to cross the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Video: Titanium strip mine too near Okefenokee Swamp; Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2021-10-18

That titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp is still in permitting, as Scott James and I discussed on his radio show Monday morning; here’s video. You can help stop that mine.

There’s serious doubt about the legitimacy of the decision last October by the Army Corps of Engineers to abdicate responsibility, since a District Court revoked last year’s EPA decision that the Corps used to decide. Meanwhile, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) has five permit applications from those Alabama coal miners, Twin Pines Minerals LLC. For details, see Mining moratorium: NWPR WOTUS and Army Corps on Okefenokee mine site –WWALS to EPD 2021-09-27.

[Strip mine discussion and location]
Strip mine discussion and location

You can ask GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining, until the effects of that District Court decision get sorted out, or to deny the permits for that mine, or at the very least to examine the permits very thoroughly and produce the equivalent of the Environmental Impact Statement that the Corps should be working on.
https://wwals.net/?p=55092

And don’t forget the WWALS Boomerang paddle race tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 23, 2021, from Georgia into Florida and back!
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-10-23–boomerang/

Here’s WWALS video of that radio discussion: Continue reading

Videos: Boomerang paddle race, mine too close to Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2021-10-19

On his radio show Monday morning, Scott James and I talked about the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up this Saturday, 9AM, October 23, 2021, at State Line Boat Ramp, aka Madison Highway Boat Ramp or Mozell Spells or GA 31 Ramp or CR 145 Bridge Launch. We’ll paddle downstream into Florida and back up into Georgia! Food, drink, and a silent auction. Fun for the whole family.

The overall winner wins a $100 First Prize. Others will win in many categories.

[Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race]
Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race

Tickets for this WWALS fundraiser are available online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

Registration opens at 9AM, where you can say whether you want to paddle 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream, and the same back up.

Everything about the Boomerang is here:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-10-23–boomerang/

Below are links to each of the video segments about the Boomerang on the radio, followed by a WWALS video playlist. 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

Okefenokee Camp, Paddle, and Cast Iron Campfire Cooking 2021-12-03-05

Two nights of camping at Griffis Fish Camp, with a paddle back down there on the Suwannee River Saturday from Stephen C. Foster State Park, and an optional paddle upstream to Billys Island in the Okefenokee Swamp Sunday, plus cast iron campfire cooking each night.

We have the Red Top Shelter reserved for the group, you can pitch your tent anywhere in that vicinity. Everyone is responsible for paying Mr. Griffis on site for camping and launch fee: $5 per person per night and $2.00 launch fee. Reservations not required for tent camping. There are restrooms and showers. There is one electrical outlet for everyone to share, and one water spigot. This is rustic camping. If you’re bringing a camper, call and get a reservation for hookup.

When: Gather before dark if you can, camping, Friday, December 3, 2021
Gather 8:30 AM, launch 9 AM to paddle from SCFSP to Griffis Fish Camp, Saturday, December 4, 2021
Gather 8 AM, launch 9 AM to paddle upstream from SCFSP to Billys Island, Sunday, December 5, 2021

Camping: Griffis Fish Camp, 10333 Ga Highway 177 Fargo, Georgia 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel 10 miles northeast; Griffis Fish Camp is on left. Clinch County. Call in advance to reserve pavillions: 229-415-9601; pay tharges on site.

GPS: 30.78246, -82.443594

No paddle is planned for Friday so come and set up camp anytime that afternoon. Mr. Griffis will probably come around Saturday evening to collect from campers. We’ll have a campfire Friday and Saturday nights, bring firewood if you can. It’s going to be chilly.

It gets dark early, the sun sets at 5:26 p.m., we’ll get the fire going and prepare for cast iron/campfire cooking. Show us what you can do with your old cast iron pan! There is no menu and anything goes, including hot dogs on a palmetto stick. Or even S’mores. Bring your own drinks, plate, bowl, utensils, etc. to help reduce waste. The more the merrier but cooking is completely optional. Come enjoy the campfire.

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp, 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel to Stephen C. Foster State Park. Charlton County.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

Saturday morning we leave Griffis at 8:45 and drive to Stephen C. Foster State Park. Be prepared to help with shuttling vehicles. Park fees apply if you don’t have a Ga. State Park, or Federal pass. Parking passes are free to borrow at any Ga. library. We launch at the park marina and enjoy a 7.5 mile downstream paddle in the Okefenokee, going past Mixon’s Hammock, on though the Narrows, over the Sill, and back to Griffis. There can be swift, twisting currents, depending on water level. PFD required at all times on the water. We’ll take a break after we get through the Sill.

Sunday morning there will be an optional paddle to historic Billy’s Island. There is no specific checkout time so you can pack up before or after the paddle.

Take Out: Griffis Fish Camp Landing, 10333 Ga Highway 177 Fargo, Georgia 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel 10 miles northeast; Griffis Fish Camp is on left. Clinch 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.

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/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Griffis Camp sign]

Continue reading

One week to WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, October 15, 2021 — We have a group coming three hours from Dublin, GA, to paddle down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back upstream, in the WWALS Boomerang, one week from now, Saturday, October 23, 2021. Last year’s winner came from Tallahassee, FL. In one week, you could be the winner of the $100 First Prize! Or win in one of the many categories.

Today is the last day for the $20 early bird tickets. Later it’s $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

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 provied by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, “Water levels were steadily dropping and now they are rising slightly.” We have a plan if the Withlacoochee River is running too fast to paddle up; we’ll just straighten out the course to go to Sullivan Landing.

“This is a great way to bring the outdoors community together and showcase the recreational opportunities we have to offer locally,” Bobby McKenzie added. “This event caters to all ages and skill levels, you can either blaze ahead and take first place overall, or push yourself for a personal achievement on the main course or one of the modified routes. You can even just come do a leisurely paddle with like minded outdoor enthusiasts. Just remember to make your way back before the time expires, at most will be 2.5 hours.”

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

State Line Boat Ramp is at Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon Paddle 2021-10-20

Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, and the last full moon paddle before the time change in November, after which we will have to meet earlier.

When: Gather 6 PM, launch 6:30 PM, moonrise 7:12 PM, sunset 6:54 PM, end 8 AM, Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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

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 $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Passing the fishing pier]
Passing the fishing pier, 2021-09-20. Photo: John S. Quarterman.

Continue reading

WWALS calls in the Marines to clean up Pafford’s Landing 2021-07-24

Only two of us showed up at Pafford’s Landing for the July Alapaha River cleanup, due to the weather and the state of the access road. But the Marines were there, with recruits! We got 60 pounds of trash, and the Marines rescued my boat.

[Pafford's Landing, trash, Alapaha River, Marines, boat, bags, potholes]
Pafford’s Landing, trash, Alapaha River, Marines, boat, bags, potholes

See also Bobby McKenzie’s facebook video of Marines helping clean up.

Pafford’s Landing is just east of Lakeland, Georgia. It’s a few thousand feet downstream from Lakeland Boat Ramp on GA 122. Both are part of the Alapaha River Water Trail. Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Corn Moon 2021-09-20

Rain around Valdosta scared away many potential paddlers for the Full Corn Moon, but eleven came to Banks Lake Boat Ramp, where there was no rain. They saw a magenta sunset, a cloudy moonrise, and bats.

[banners, sunset, moonrise, bats]
banners, sunset, moonrise, bats

Thanks to expedition leader Bobby McKenzie for organizing. Thanks to Helen Crowley for pictures on the water (I was on dog duty).

There are more pictures on the WWALS website:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-09-20–banks-lake-full-moon-pictures

See also pictures on facebook by Helen Crowley and probably many others.

Thanks to the Lakeland-Lanier Chamber of Commerce for Continue reading