Tag Archives: Sasser Landing

Statenville to Sasser Landing, Alapaha River, plus Turket Creek Waterfall 2022-07-09

Paddle with WWALS down the blackwater Alapaha River over some rapids, with side trip to Turket Creek Waterfall.

[Jennings Defeat, Turket Creek Waterfall, Statenville Boat Ramp]
Jennings Defeat, Turket Creek Waterfall, Statenville Boat Ramp

Bring a rope for each end of your boat, for towing and carrying. Shortly after the GA-FL line are the notorious shoals Jennings Defeat, so named because even the founder of Jennings, Florida, portaged around them. Last time WWALS went through there, only three boats paddled through those shoals. Continue reading

Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River 2022-01-05

Ken Sulak, retired from USGS, sent this update on the Alapaha River bridge site 0.8 miles downstream from Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing, or 0.64 miles downstream from the CR 150 bridge. Plus a likely old ferry site, and maybe a previous location of Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing.

[Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989]
Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989 –Florida Memory

This is the site of the ‘Jennings Bridge’, a steel through-truss bridge, apparently built around 1902-1903. Some online bridge websites state that this is the oldest steel/iron highway bridge in Florida. But, that is doubtful—if the construction date I have is correct. For example, the ‘Adams Bridge’ aka ‘Steel Bridge’ in White Springs was built in 1891, and the original 2-span bowstring style bridge, the ‘Lee Bridge’ over the Withlacoochee (right where the current CR-141 bridge is located) may have been built in the late 1880s. I would like to explore the riverbank and look at what remains of the bridge supports. If there are cutoff Lally columns, then the Jennings Bridge was probably indeed built around 1902-1903. But if the supports are old limerock concrete or brick, then it would have been built before 1898.

[Jennings Bridge in WWALS ARWT map]
Jennings Bridge in the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) map.

Anyway, I was just writing to note the name of the Jennings Bridge—you might want to add that to your interactive map. Hinton’s 1976 History of Hamilton County calls it by that name, as well as Florida Memory. Some folks say it collapsed in the late 1970s, one article says 1981, Florida Memory Archive has several photos of the falling-apart, but still-standing bridge dated 1989.

Continue reading

Pictures: Alapahoochee River, GA 135 to Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing 2021-06-05

Bird Chamberlain and others had been suggesting it for years, and we finally did it: the Alapahoochee River from GA 135 to Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River. We paddled over many deadfalls, across the GA-FL line, past the creek of shark teeth, under old abandoned steel Beatty Bridge, through Devil Shoal, right by Turket Creek Waterfall.

[Banners, Alapahoochee River, Deadfall, Beatty Bridge, Devil Shoal, Turket Creek Waterfall]
Banners, Alapahoochee River, Deadfall, Beatty Bridge, Devil Shoal, Turket Creek Waterfall

Many thanks to Bobby McKenzie for organizing this expedition, to the WWALS Outings Committee for planning it, and to all who paddled, including Suzanne Welander, author of Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia, who came down from Atlanta for this outing. Continue reading

Not-so-dry Alapaha River to Suwannee River –Bobby McKenzie 2021-05-07

WWALS members Bobby McKenzie and Russell Allen McBride took advantage of water in the usually-dry lower Alapaha River to paddle from Sasser Landing to the Suwannee River and Gibson Park Boat Ramp. The Jennings gauge read 74 feet.

[Sasser Landing, sun tree, Jennings Bluff Landing, US 41 Alapaha River Landing, twisted tree, Gibson Park Boat Ramp]
Sasser Landing, sun tree, Jennings Bluff Landing, US 41 Alapaha River Landing, twisted tree, Gibson Park Boat Ramp

Along the way, they saw the new still-steep stairs at Jennings Bluff Launch and discovered a US 41 Alapaha River Landing.

These are all on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT). Continue reading

Alapahoochee River paddle, GA 135 to Sasser Landing, 2021-06-05

Update 2021-12-26: Pictures: Alapahoochee River, GA 135 to Sullivan Launch 2021-06-05.

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

Put In: 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.

GPS: 30.628652, -83.088283

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:
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

[Alapahoochee River, GA 135 Bridge, Swilley Road Bridge, Turket Creek waterfall]
Alapahoochee River, GA 135 Bridge, Swilley Road Bridge, Turket Creek waterfall

Continue reading

Much better Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-01-09

Update 2021-01-12: Contaminated Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers 2021-01-04; cleaner 2021-01-09.

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.

[Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map]
Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map

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

Bad Withlacoochee, OK Alapaha 2021-01-07

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.

[Bad Withlacoochee, good Alapaha]
Bad Withlacoochee, good Alapaha

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

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

All green to go, Withlacoochee River 2020-07-18

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.

[Green on Swim Guide, Withlacoochee River]
Green on Swim Guide, Withlacoochee River

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

Statenville to Sasser Landing, Alapaha River, 2019-07-06

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!

Event: facebook, meetup

600x450 Waterfall closeup, in Statenville to Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 15 February 2015
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