An annual educational adventure and fundraiser for the network, a statewide river advocacy group, Paddle Georgia is entering its ninth year. In the event’s first eight years, organizers have guided more than 2,400 paddlers down more than 800 miles of Georgia rivers, including trips on the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, upper Flint, Coosawattee-Oostanaula, Broad-Savannah, Oconee and Altamaha rivers. The trips have generated more than $125,000 for river protection in Georgia.
The popular trip has become the largest week-long canoe/kayak camping adventure in the country. Registration for Paddle Georgia 2013 opened in mid-February and the trip sold out in just 24 hours.
Paddle Georgia 2013 will introduce paddlers to southwest Georgia’s unique Flint River. Fed by clear, cold springs bubbling up from the Floridan Aquifer, the lower Flint flows 106 beautiful miles from Lake Blackshear Dam near Warwick, through Albany and on to Bainbridge and the backwaters of Lake Seminole. Along the way, paddlers will coast beneath ancient limestone bluffs, cool off in “blue hole” springs and get a chance to see alligators, otters, bald eagles and a host of other wildlife.
Fashioned after the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, Paddle Georgia is more than just a canoe trip. The event includes educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment, and even a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data to give a snapshot of the current health of the river.
Organizers are billing it as an inexpensive, eco-friendly vacation. “For less than $60 a day, you get an all-inclusive vacation,” said Georgia River Network Executive Director April Ingle. “Paddlers meet great people, learn about our rivers and see parts of Georgia most people never get a chance to see.”
On the river by day, at night, the participants will camp at Chehaw Park, Mitchell County High School, Bainbridge High School, and Cheney Griffin Park in Bainbridge. For additional fees, catered breakfasts and dinners are provided, along with sack lunches.
Information: Joe Cook, (706) 409-0128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or April Ingle, (706) 549-4508 or email email@example.com or visit www.garivers.org.