Leisurely paddle on the rarely visited Alapahoochee River from Georgia into the Alapaha River in Florida.
This is a short paddle but may have deadfalls to navigate depending on water levels. We’ve been trying to plan an outing on this river, also called Little River, Little Alapaha, or Grand Bay Canal, since 2014, so come on along! Bring ropes for the front and back of your boat.
Down this secluded winding blackwater river, we will cross the GA-FL line, see an antique road bridge, some Class II (moderate) rapids under the power line, and the very pretty Turket Creek waterfall, on the way to the Alapahoochee Confluence and our takeout on the Alapaha River.
When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 11:30 AM, Saturday, June 5, 2021
GA 135 Bridge, 2.3 miles north of Jennings, Florida, 20 miles southeast of Lake Park, Georgia, by way of Jennings, and 12.5 miles south of Statenville, Georgia.
We’re hoping local musician Bird Chamberlain can direct us to the best side of the bridge and river to put in.
Be warned: “A take out can be done but it’s a steep 25 foot 45 degree slippery climb over sand covered rocks. Putting in would be less difficult but still not easy.” South Georgia Kayak Fishing, 2011-09-03.
Take Out: Sasser Landing
Bring: ropes on front and back of your boat, 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.
Come early or late and you can also help clean up trash at GA 376, where Elizabeth Reynolds reported a big mess more than a year ago.
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:
We recommend you support the work of WWALS by
becoming a WWALS member today!
Friday results by Madison Health and Saturday results by WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach show much improved Withlacoochee River Water Quality, from Nankin Boat Ramp through State Line Boat Ramp and Sullivan Launch down to FL 6.
Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments will probably wait until they get another good result of their own, probably for today or tomorrow, before they lift their health advisory.
However, WWALS already sees two good results in a row, so happy boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River!
We have no new Alapaha River results since the clean WWALS result for Sasser Landing Wednesday, but since there’s been no significant rain since then, the Alapaha is also probably clean for swimming, fishing, and boating.
We have no new results from Valdosta since Monday a week ago, when all of three upstream locations were still bad. Chances are those locations have also cleared up, but we don’t know. Continue reading
Update 2021-01-11: Much better Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-01-09.
The latest Withlacoochee River results still show mostly bad water quality, surprisingly good at the State Line on Wednesday, but bad downstream. The Madison and Hamilton County Health advisory for the Withlacoochee River is still in place.
However, Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River tested OK for Wednesday.
The Madison Health Wednesday tests were not as horrible as for Tuesday, but they still got too high at Sullivan Launch (CR 150) and FL 6. Some of that could be from the Quitman or Tifton sewage spills, but probably most of it is from Continue reading
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.
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
Update 2020-07-23: Excellent water quality, Withlacoochee River, but raining now 2020-07-22.
We don’t always get zero E. coli on the Withlacoochee River, but when we do, we like it!
That’s zero cfu/100 mL at State Line Boat Ramp Saturday, by WWALS tester Suzy Hall, and zero at FL 6 just above Madison Blue Spring Tuesday by Madison Health. With below 410 (that’s good) everywhere upstream in Valdosta Monday, Wednesday, and Friday results.
Plus, we have good results on the Alapaha River, thanks to WWALS testers Tasha Ekman LaFace and Suzy Hall.
Yes, even Knights Ferry and Nankin Boat Ramps showed good results all week. We didn’t know that until today, but now we do, thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson getting those numbers posted about 1PM today. Continue reading
Update 2019-07-08: Pictures.
Experience the wilderness of the Alapaha River Water Trail on this 10.4 mile section with shoals. This run includes a side-jaunt up the Alapahoochee River to Turket Creek Waterfall, one of our favorite spots.
Or maybe a different stretch, or a different river, or a lake, if the water is really low. Check back before we paddle to see where we settle on for July.
When: 9:00 AM gather, 10:00 AM launch, Saturday, July 6, 2019
Put In: Statenville Boat Ramp, 206 GA 94 West, Statenville, GA 31648, in Echols County.
GPS: 30.70426, -83.03275
Take Out: Sasser Landing.
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. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Turket Creek Waterfall closeup, in Statenville to Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River, 15 February 2015.
We last did this February 15, 2015, when there was plenty of water, at 9.99 feet (86.09′ NAVD88) on the Statenville gauge, and only three hours paddle time. We’ll probably see opposite, low, conditions this time. Continue reading
Kenneth Lowe, Assistant Plant Superintendent of the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, explained that plant’s that recent spill to the organizational meeting of the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee.
He apologized profusely several times for the spill. Continue reading
Valdosta spilled again, and again bigger than any recently from Albany or Tifton. This news was first seen on WALB TV out of Albany 5:10 PM last night. Valdosta sent email to WWALS at 10:17 PM.
Should Suwannee Riverkeeper have to watch WALB in Albany to learn first about a wastewater spill in Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin?
More importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?
See three sinks, a waterfall, and a distributary in these videos from the WWALS Outing to Turket Creek Waterfall, the Alapahoochee River, the Alapaha River Sink, and the Dead River Sink, June 14, 2015. A WWALS video playlist follows the links to each video below. Continue reading