Tag Archives: Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail

Why Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation from Valdosta? @ GLPC 2021-07-26 2021-07-26

Valdosta should not deannex 310 acres of Withlacoochee River floodplain around Cherry Creek. No good reason for deannexation has been given by the applicant, and there are substantial reasons to be concerned about potential uses of that land if deannexed. Instead, Valdosta and Lowndes County should purchase the entire 530.24 acre property down to the Withlacoochee River to add to a trails system up and down the Withlacoochee River. The advisory Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) at its meeting this Monday should recommend against annexation, and then the Valdosta Mayor and Council should deny.

I am sending a letter to that effect today to Valdosta City Planner Matt Martin, and I recommend you do, as well: mlmartin@valdostacity.com

[Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River]
Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River

That deannexation is on the GLPC agenda for this Monday, July 26, 2021. The only land access to the property is through the City of Valdosta, and since that whole area of the river has extensive flood plain and little road access, Lowndes County cannot provide public utilities, fire/police protection, or emergency medical response across the river to the subject property, as the City Planner points out in the agenda sheet. The landowner’s stated purpose would be better served by the property remaining inside the city limits: “to use for wildlife management, and rec. use as it is in a mitgation bank & has no development use.” The City Planner even recommends annexing the rest of the subject property into the city, down to the river. Continue reading

Pictures: Juneteenth @ Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation 2021-06-19

Fannie Gibbs of Macedonia Community Foundation invited WWALS to their Juneteenth celebration at Reed Bingham State Park Lake. So we took boats and volunteers and got people in boats on the lake.

Including Fannie, in a boat, with a paddle, in the rain!

[Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation and Suwannee Riverkeeper]
Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation and Suwannee Riverkeeper

Thanks especially to Fannie Gibbs for inviting WWALS. We will keep writing joint grant proposals until we get some funded for boating and swimming lessons, historical research, and paddle outings designed around African-American waterway history. Meanwhile, we will keep doing things like this anyway. Continue reading

Upgrade Suwannee River Basin rivers to Recreational –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-06-30

There are a couple of new things in what I sent on the deadline day, yesterday. (PDF)

  1. Funds are now available to buy the private land at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, which was the main impediment to plans for the Troupville River Camp and Troupville River Park.
  2. Stakeholders in the One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative met and decided their number one community and economic development priority is: Troupville River Camp.

For what this is all about, see Calling for pictures of swimming, diving, rapids, tubing, water skiing, or surfing, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia.

[Rivers, Letter]
Rivers, Letter


June 30, 2021

To: EPD.Comments@dnr.ga.gov
Elizabeth Booth, Environmental Protection Division
Watershed Protection Branch,
Watershed Planning & Monitoring Program,
Suite 1152 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334

Re: Georgia Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

Dear Ms. Booth,

Once again I would like to commend you and all the GA-EPD staff for your diligence in this Triennial Review process. I thank you for your consideration of the request by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) to upgrade GA EPD’s designated use of the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Grand Bay WMA, Banks Lake NWR, and the Okefenokee NWR, from Fishing to Recreational, to set higher water quality standards for these bodies of water.

In the interests of saving you and me time, I will try to merely summarize the arguments I have already made, while adding some material you may not have previously seen.

Year-Round

As you know WWALS would prefer that redesignation applied uniformly, year-round. As you mentioned in the recent EPD zoom meeting on this subject, perhaps one reason Florida has all its rivers as Recreational by default is its climate. South Georgia, like north Florida (and unlike north Georgia) has a subtropical climate in which we are not surprised by 80-degree weather in January. People swim, dive, fish, and boat on our rivers year-round. Some people even prefer to be on and in the water in the winter because there are fewer insects. I have recently been reminded that local churches also use them for immersion baptisms, which can happen in any season of the year.

Recreational Data Spreadsheet

Per request of EPD, please find attached a Recreational Data Spreadsheet, which is also online here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9gLcNnbRx4H9djZAlKd1ZaB7zrlmDbz/view?usp=sharing

In that spreadsheet are examples of swimming and diving locations, including almost every boat ramp or landing, plus selected sandbars, beaches, and springs. Also included are a few examples of rapids. None of them are Class III, but at least two are Class II+, and as Gwyneth Moody pointed out on the recent zoom, people frequently capsize in those.

Included for every location in that spreadsheet is a link to further information, mostly to one of our three river trails (“blue trails”):

Continue reading

Nankin to State Line, Withlacoochee River, 2021-08-07

Join us on a leisurely Paddle down the Withlacoochee River southwest of Valdosta and Clyattville, dipping into Florida twice. We will visit two second-magnitude springs, of only six in Georgia. We will see the ruins of an old railroad trestle just before State Line Shoals.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 3 PM, Saturday, August 7, 2021

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

Take Out: State Line 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.

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

[Nankin Boat Ramp, River Bend Shoals, McIntyre Spring, Valdosta Railway Trestle]
Nankin Boat Ramp, River Bend Shoals, McIntyre Spring, Valdosta Railway Trestle

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Clean Rivers Again 2021-06-10

Update 2021-06-19: Clean eleven sites: Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers 2021-06-17.

All clear again on the Withlacoochee River, as far as we can tell, which is from US 41 at North Valdosta Road down almost to the Suwannee River. Valdosta’s results for Friday, Monday, and Wednesday at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 concur.

Also Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, and Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River were clean Thursday. Of course, if the predicted rains arrive, they could wash something into the rivers.

But for now, by the recent water quality results we have, happy boating, swimming, and fishing!

[Chart, Swim Guide, many river test sites]
Chart, Swim Guide, many river test sites

All the WWALS results for Thursday, June 10, 2021, were well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit, and most were below the 126 average limit. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for testing at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, as well as at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, plus Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River.

Thanks to Gus Cleary for samping at Cleary Bluff, which is between Allen Ramp and the Suwannee River on the Withlacoochee. All those sites are on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

And thanks to new tester Valerie Folsom for testing Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River Wednesday, in the Alapaha River Water Trail.

Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for reviewing all the plates.

And thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting at least the upstream Valdosta data on the Valdosta website in a timely manner. The downstream Valdosta data continues to lag two weeks behind. Continue reading

Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park, Little River, Reed Bingham State Park East Boat Ramp, 2021-06-19

Update 2021-07-12: Pictures, including Fannie in a boat with a paddle in the rain.

Update 2021-06-17: We’ll actually have the boats at Reed Bingham State Park West Boat Ramp, so go through the park entrance, across the dam, in Colquitt County, Georgia. Macedonia Community Foundation has rented the beach or swimming pavilion, which is on the lake at the west end of the dam.

WWALS will be joining the Macedonia Community Foundation at Reed Bingham State Park on Saturday, June 19, 2021, to help people from Brooks, Cook, and Tift Counties, Georgia, and beyond to celebrate Juneteenth.

[Fannie Marie Gibbs, Reed Bingham State Park Lake, WWALS canoes]
Fannie Marie Gibbs, Reed Bingham State Park Lake, WWALS canoes

Our contribution will be to supply boats and boating assistance for those who want to paddle out on Reed Bingham State Park Lake. For children whose parents do not want to paddle with them, we will have some adults ready to assist, as we did in June 2019 at the Cook County Centennial in the same location. All paddlers with WWALS will need to sign the WWALS event waiver so you will be covered by WWALS insurance; we will have copies of that form there.

We’ll also have the WWALS booth at the pavillion with information about water trails, water quality testing, and advocacy.

When: Noon to 5 PM, Saturday, June 19, 2021

Put In: Reed Bingham State Park East Boat Ramp, 542 Reed Bingham Rd, Adel, GA 31620. Take I-75 Exit 39, turn west on GA 37, right on Evergreen Church Road (CR 99), left on Reed Bingham SP Road (CR 221), in Cook County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.16253, -83.54123

Free: This outing is free.

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

Event: facebook, meetup. Continue reading

Water Trail signs planted 2021-05-21

Bobby McKenzie has been busy planting water trail signs, both road signs and at-water signs. All these signs were paid for by a grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). There was a cash match, so if you want to help with that, you can:
https://www.gagives.org/story/Wwalswatertrailsigns

[Kinard Bridge Road, Adel-Moultrie, andAntioch Road Landings, Cook County Boat Ramp, Folsom Bridge, Hagan Bridge, and Pafford's Landings]
Kinard Bridge Road, Adel-Moultrie, andAntioch Road Landings, Cook County Boat Ramp, Folsom Bridge, Hagan Bridge, and Pafford’s Landings

Little River

Kinard Bridge Road Landing

We bought road signs from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). GDOT is planting road signs on state and federal highways, but WWALS has to put them on county roads, like Kinard Bridge Road. There are two sets of road signs for each location, for each direction. In this case, for Kinard Bridge Road Landig, the most upstream landing on the Little River in the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Continue reading

Salty Snapper Lunch and Withlacoochee River Wilderness, Langdale Park 2021-05-15

Valdosta, May 12, 2021 — WWALS offers a pop-up paddle along the amazingly wild west edge of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin. Join us at Langdale Park Boat Ramp at 9AM this Saturday, May 15, 2021, to paddle three miles to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper for lunch. Then we’ll paddle another four miles to the future home of Troupville River Camp at the Little River Confluence, and a few thousand feet up the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp, where someday will be facilities for Troupville River Park.

“What better way to enjoy a Saturday, than combining a wilderness paddle and one of Valdosta’s local restaurants,” said Bobby McKenzie, whose idea it was. “Come see what you’re missing!”

Garrison Wood, manager of the Salty Snapper Seafood & Oyster Bar, said, “We’ll give each paddler 10% off their meal and have a spot inside ready to serve.”

“I’ll paddle to the Salty Snapper!” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James, on the air on his radio show Tuesday.

“A sprinkle of rain mid-week is keeping the water level up, yet still below last week’s flooding, so we’re taking this opportunity to paddle this stretch,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “You can meet us at the Salty Snapper for lunch at 11:30 AM, but you only get the lunch discount if you paddle.”

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 3 PM, Saturday, May 15, 2021

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

Take Out: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18.

Free: As a one-time experiment, we are waiving the outing fee for this one pop-up outing. The fee has never seemed to be a deterrent to anybody paddling, but we’ll see if anybody says they came because this one was free. Everyone will still have to sign in so everyone will be covered by WWALS insurance.

All WWALS outings are free to WWALS members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Shuttle: 7.5 miles, 30 min.
If you can, please organize your own shuttle. This outing includes the traditional WWALS team shuttle. Everybody takes their boats to the put-in, most people drive to the take-out, and the drivers pile into one or two vehicles and go back to the put-in. We will require masks and open windows.

[Troupville Boat Ramp, Salty Snapper, Troupville River Camp]
Troupville Boat Ramp, Salty Snapper, Troupville River Camp

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Water Trail signs planted at Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2021-05-06

In time for the Salty Snapper Pop Up Paddle and Lunch this coming Saturday, April May 15, 2021, Bobby McKenzie planted the WWALS water trail signs next to the put in, Langdale Boat Ramp.

[Signs, Camera]
Signs, Camera

Thanks to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) for re-opening Langdale Park after the recent high water.

These WWALS signs are for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), and here they are next to the boat ramp, which is on the Withlacoochee River. Thanks to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR) for the grant that funded making these signs. Continue reading

Salty Snapper Pop Up Paddle and Lunch, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park 2021-05-15

Update 2021-05-14: There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper. Not so good downstream.

Update 2021-05-13: Water levels are going down, so probably just the first stretch, from Langdale Park to the Salty Snapper; stay tuned. Meanwhile, you can probably schedule a shuttle for $2 with Valdosta on-demand, and hear all about it on radio TV, with Suwannee Riverkeeper and Scott James on 92.1 FM.

Update 2021-05-12: 10% lunch discount for paddlers at The Salty Snapper Saturday.

Update 2021-05-08: Water Trail signs planted at Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2021-05-06.

Leisurely paddle promoting ecotourism as we sieze the rare optimal water levels to paddle from Langdale Park to Troupville Boat Ramp as we stop in halfway for lunch at the Salty Snapper. Each participant will be responsible for purchasing their own lunch. This is a pop-up paddle meaning that we have a rare window to paddle this section of the river in favorable conditions for a group. This also means that conditions can rapidly change. We will keep regular posts on this event to ensure optimal water levels for this paddle. We will gather at Langdale Park at 9am and perform a team shuttle at 9:30 returning to Langdale and launching at 10:00 am. We will arrive at the Salty Snapper (3 miles) for lunch/beverages around 11:30 shortly after they open. Lunch should wrap up around 12:30 and paddle on down to Troupville Boat Ramp (4 miles) arriving and finishing up around 2:30pm.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 3 PM, Saturday, May 15, 2021

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

High Water Put In: If Langdale Park is closed due to high water, we will put in at US 41 Landing, 3966 N Valdosta Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602. This landing is tricky, so we will post further directions if we have to use it.

Take Out: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18.

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: As a one-time experiment, we are waiving the outing fee for this one pop-up outing. The fee has never seemed to be a deterrent to anybody paddling, but we’ll see if anybody says they came because this one was free. Everyone will still have to sign in so everyone will be covered by WWALS insurance.

All WWALS outings are free to WWALS members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Langdale Park Boat Ramp sign, map]
Langdale Park Boat Ramp sign, map

Continue reading