Tag Archives: Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Floyd’s Island, Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River 2020-11-07

A little rain didn’t stop us on a fun two nights of camping and two days of paddling to and from Floyd’s Island in the Okefenokee NWR. Yes, the dozen of us saw gators, cormorants, and herons on the Suwannee River, the tree canopy over the run to Floyd’s Island, and deer on the island.

Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for leading this expedition, and to Shirley Kokidko for provoking it.

[banners, river, gator, canopy, island, deer]
banners, river, gator, canopy, island, deer

Also we saw Georgia River Network’s thirty paddlers coming in Sunday as we were going out, but my camera had run down by then. Here’s a picture of GRN E.D. Rena Ann Peck on the Friday before, in Moniac, GA.

Here are more pictures, also on the WWALS website.

Many paddlers posted pictures on facebook. Continue reading

Pictures: Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers 2020-01-20

The manatee swam under my boat; I was sitting still. This was on the Ichetucknee River, just above the Santa Fe River. Shirley Kokidko led us on the Redo: Ichetucknee and Sante Fe River Paddle 2020-01-20.

We’re going again January 2, 2021.

[Manatee under boat, 14:07:12, 29.9327060, -82.8000880]
Manatee under boat, 14:07:12, 29.9327060, -82.8000880

This is just a small selection of pictures. There are more here:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2020-01-20–ichetucknee-santa-fe-pictures

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading

New Year Ichetucknee to Santa Fe River Paddle 2021-01-02

First paddle of 2021, from Ichetucknee to Santa Fe Rivers.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park tells us no Ichy Nippy Dip Day for 2021, due to the virus pandemic, but the North Entrance will be open. So see you there, but keep your distance. Then WWALS will paddle downstream. We will also paddle past the notorious Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.

When: Gather 9:00 AM, Launch 10:30 AM, End 4:00 PM, Saturday, January 4, 2020

Put In: Ichetucknee S.P. North Entrance, 8294 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038.

GPS: 29.9859, -82.7602

Take Out: Hwy 129 Boat Ramp, William Guy Lemmons Memorial Park Ramp @ 296th St. Ramp, From Branford, travel east on US 27; turn right on US 129; travel south to 296th Street; turn right and William Guy Lemons Memorial Park is on the left, in Suwannee County. 29.912717, -82.860514

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.

NOTE: The Ichetucknee is a non-disposable river; do not have any food or drinks in disposable packaging. All liquids and foods should be in reusable type containers. This helps keep litter out of our rivers.

Free: Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay at the event 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

Fee: There is a $5.00 park fee.

Event: facebook, meetup

[Start]
Start, 2020-01-20.

Continue reading

Floyd’s Island Okefenokee Camping, Stephen C. Foster State Park, 2020-11-07

Update 2020-11-22: Pictures

Overnight Camping at the Okefenokee Swamp: herons, fish, otters, and yes, gators! Maybe you’ll see the black bear that hangs around Stephen C. Foster State Park.

When: Gather 10 AM and launch 10:30 AM on Saturday, November 7, 2020
Camp overnight, in the Swamp if possible, otherwise at the State Park or Griffis Fish Camp.
end 5 PM Sunday, November 8, 2020

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 proceed to Stephen C. Foster State Park, which is after you pass Griffis Fish Camp.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

Take Out: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp

Bring: camping gear, and 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: wwals.net/donations/#outings

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

Boats: are for rent at the State Park.

Paddling: We’d like to paddle as far in as Floyd’s Island, but depending on conditions we may go to Billys Island or Minnies Lake. Camping on a platform is somewhat difficult in the virus pandemic situation, so this is currently planned as a day trip with camping at Griffis Fish Camp or at the State Park.

Camping: Griffis Fish Camp is at 10257 Ga Highway 177, Fargo, GA 31631-4547; 912-637-5289.
For reservations at Stephen C. Foster State Park, please use this form:
https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/stephen-c-foster-state-park/GA/530194/overview

Health: We are watching the virus pandemic situation, which may affect campsite availability as well as other things. We will update as needed.

Event: facebook, meetup

[Many]
Map, heron, signs, gator, boats
The map is from the WWALS Suwannee River Wilderness Trail map.
That WWALS map includes the Okefenokee Wilderness Area Canoe Trails (OWACT).
Photos: Continue reading

Pictures: Suwannee River, Dowling Park River Camp 2020-07-18

Bobby McKenzie organized kayak and canoe camping on Saturday July 18, 2020, from Dowling Park Boat Ramp across the Suwannee River and slightly upstream to Dowling Park River Camp and then a bit upstream past Dowling Park Christian Village to a Party beach. Here are some pictures of that much of the expedition.

[Stairs, Platform, Beach, Bathrooms: Dowling Park River Camp]
Stairs, Platform, Beach, Bathrooms: Dowling Park River Camp

Later I’ll post the pictures of the further upstream adventure only three boaters dared to brave.

These pictures concentrate on Dowling Park River Camp, which is the model for the proposed Troupville River Camp just west of Valdosta, Georgia, between the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers.

[Banners on the stairs, 2020:07:18 17:21:28, 30.2464159, -83.2460987]
Banners on the stairs, 2020:07:18 17:21:28, 30.2464159, -83.2460987

There’s also a Google Map showing the approximate locations of these pictures on the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Continue reading

Bike and Paddle Suwannee River, Hal W. Adams Bridge, 2020-08-29

Canceled due to “the Weather Channel reporting 80% chance of severe weather.” We look forward to seeing you on future outings.

Bicycles and boats! There’s no shuttle, because we get from the takeout to the put-in on bicycles, on this Suwannee River paddle, with optional river camping.

[Paddle Map: WWALS SRWT]
Paddle Map: WWALS map of Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT)

Meet at Hal W. Adams Bridge, unload boats and gear. We will have a designated person watch the boasts and gear.

Drive cars to Hardenbergh Public Boat Ramp. Bike about 30 minutes back along CR 354 to Hal W. Adams Bridge, secure bikes, launch boats, paddle to Telford Springs, and cool off a bit.

Paddle to Peacock Slough River Camp. Camp overnight (or paddle through). Call Suwannee River Wilderness Trail for reservations at 800-868-9914.

We can rest at Cow Springs and pass Drew Bridge for historical site and take out at Hardenbergh Bridge.

This outing eliminates putting people at COVID-19 risk by removing the need to shuttle. We will be able to maintain social distancing while paddling and biking.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, August 29, 2020

Bring: a bicycle, and the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. If you’re going to camp, bring camping gear. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks and maybe canoes are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

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!

Put In: Hal W. Adams Bridge Ramp, From Mayo, Continue reading

Next outings: Full Moon Banks Lake and Suwannee River Camping

Tired of being cooped up inside? Want to get out on the water? WWALS has two outings coming up with plenty of room for physical distancing.

First is an easy evening lake paddle out and back, then overnight camping with a brief upstream paddle.

[Moonrise and River Camp]
Moonrise and River Camp

Banks Lake Buck Moon Paddle 2020-07-05

Come see the sun set, the bats come out, and the moon rise over Banks Lake, just west of Lakeland, Georgia, on Sunday evening, July 5, in the Banks Lake Buck Moon Paddle, If you don’t have a boat, let us know, and we can supply you one. Please be there by 7:30 PM. See previous post for more details.

Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp 2020-07-18

Experience one of the fabled River Camps on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, in Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp. Five screened sleeping platforms! (Bring a tent if you don’t get one reserved.) Air-conditioned bathrooms with hot and cold running water and showers!

Please be at the Dowling Park Boat Ramp by Continue reading

Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp, Suwannee River, 2020-07-18

As an introduction to Kayak and Canoe camping, we will visit the Dowling Park River Camp on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

[Ramp]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Ramp to bathrooms at Dowling Park River Camp, 2019-06-20.

We will do a short paddle across from Dowling Park Boat Ramp in Suwannee County to the River Camp in Lafayette County. We will check in with the camp host, set up camp and continue our paddle upstream for 1 mile.

We will use Dowling Park Rivercamp as a base camp while having an intimate outing on the Suwannee River. You will have the comfort of having the boat ramp right across the river in case you forgot something or its just not working out.

Dowling Park River Camp is the model for the Troupville River Camp WWALS is proposing at the confluence of the Little River with the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta. Come see it for yourself!

Plus, there’s even a rope swing! There 5 are screened in platforms with fan, lighting and electrical outlets as well as multiple primitive camping sites. Along with a communal pavilion, there are also hot and cold showers and air conditioned bathrooms. There is a Camp Host that you can get firewood ($6 a bundle) and ice ($2 bag) to help lighten you load.

Platforms are available for families first until 6 July, 2020. After that platforms will be available to everyone on a first come basis. To maintain physical distancing, we recommend only families or already closely-associated groups stay in a platform. Everyone else, please bring a tent: primitive Camping is open to all. Message us with any questions/reservations and we will help you get setup.

Also there is no shuttle for this trip.

Dowling Park River Camp is the model for the Troupville River Camp WWALS is proposing at the confluence of the Little River with the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta. Come see it for yourself!

When: Gather 11:30 AM, launch 12 PM, Saturday, July 18, 2020

Put In: Dowling Park Boat Ramp. The boat ramp is on the north side of CR 250 at the Suwannee River, in Suwannee County, Florida.
That’s an hour south of Valdosta, GA, an hour west of Lake City, a little more than an hour east of Tallahassee, and an hour and a half northwest of Gainesville, FL. It’s only about half an hour from Live Oak, Madison, or Mayo.

GPS: 30.244833, -83.249

Take Out: Dowling Park Boat Ramp

Bring: a tent, plus 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.

Boats: Kayaks and maybe canoes are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

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

[Elevated]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Elevated sleeping platform at Dowling Park River Camp, 2019-06-20.

Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River until next big rain 2020-05-05

2020-05-13: A clean week, Withlacoochee River 2020-05-08.

More good news! The Withlacoochee River is still clean. Of course, all these posts are advisory, because conditions can change at any time, it takes 24 hours to process a sample, and everyone’s reactions are different to E. coli and other pollution.

We can guess the Suwannee River is clean, although nobody is testing it, and it seems to have its own sources of contamination.

This clean spell will probably last until the next big rain, which may be some weeks away. So now’s a good time to get out there on our rivers, where you can easily stay 50 feet apart on the water and six feet on land.

WWALS continues water quality testing, and you can help.

[State Line Boat Ramp]
State Line Boat Ramp Photos: Suzy Hall, downstream, John S. Quarterman of 2019 WWALS Boomerang paddle race, and of Waterkeepers Florida toast to Earth Day, all at State Line Boat Ramp.

We’re even thinking of taking down our yellow diamond Caution signs for now.

[Clean with no rain]
Clean with no rain
For context see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Thanks to Madison Health for the most recent results, from Continue reading

More testing needed to track river pollution –Suwannee Riverkeeper in Gainesville Sun 2020-03-16

Gainesville Sun, 12:01 AM, Monday, March 16, 2020, John S. Quarterman: More testing needed to track river pollution (see also PDF),

Fecal bacterial contamination from Georgia probably reached the Gulf of Mexico about March 3, 2020, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

[Tifton to the Gulf]
Tifton to the Gulf
In the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

The good news: we know about that, because of much more water quality monitoring being done since I wrote a column about the issue last year for The Sun.

This recent testing was provoked by a spill of 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage into Sugar Creek near Valdosta, Ga., in December. With no rain, the sewage sat there for a week, and then moved down the Withlacoochee River in about three weekly globs, at least once reaching the Suwannee.

This Valentine’s Day, Valdosta exceeded our request, testing not one but Continue reading