Category Archives: Sink

Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha River, Jennings Bluff Launch, 2019-01-19

There’s nothing else like it in Florida (or Georgia), so come along on the traditional winter WWALS three-mile hike to the Dead River Sink! No boat required to see the Alapaha River run up this distributary and disappear into the ground, not coming back up for 20 miles and three days.

This impressive geological phenomenon is an eye opener that perfectly illustrates the karst topography containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer underneath our rivers. You often see exposed porous limestone along our river banks. However when you see a hole that is capable of swallowing the entire Alapaha for most of the year…. it’s impressive.

When: 12 noon PM, January 19, 2019

Put In: Meet at Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567172, -83.039189 (for the entrance to Jennings Bluff Tract)

Take Out: Same.

Bring: Cold weather gear, hiking shoes, and clothes resistant to thorny bushes. No boat needed. 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

[Right down there, 13:33:30, 30.57888, -83.05025]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Right down there, 13:33:30, 2018-01-27.

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Pictures: Hike to the Dead River Sink 2018-01-27

It was a nice day for a Hike to the Dead River Sink in the Alapaha Quest on the Alapaha River Water Trail, with Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. Here are some pictures and a Google map from Saturday, January 27, 2018.

[Almost there, 13:16:34, 30.5837666, -83.0535975]
Almost there, 13:16:34, 30.5837666, -83.0535975

You can come along when we do it again in January 2019. Continue reading

A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June. Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times, often in June.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading

Five Holes Cleanup and Site Exploration, Suwannee River 2018-02-10

Update 2018-02-10: It’s a Go!.

Join us to clean up and scout a chain of springs and sinks next to the Suwannee River. If it looks good, we may plan a bigger outing later in the year.

No boat required; we’re going by land.

This 5 Holes site exploration is immediately after the Organizing Committee meeting for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest; you can come to either or both.

When: 3PM, Saturday, February 10, 2018

Where: CR 141 Boat Ramp, aka Florida Campsites Ramp, in Suwannee River State Park.

GPS: 30.414, -83.159167

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members. For non-members, it is $10.00, per decision of the WWALS board at its 14 January 2018 meeting for all WWALS outings scheduled since then. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today! If you want to pay for membership or the outing at the site, please bring cash.

Event: facebook meetup

The waters fine! at Five Holes
Photo by John S. Quarterman for WWALS, along with many more, from August 15, 2015.

Bring: swimming gear (suit, goggles, etc.), and a change of warm clothes. A rope wouldn’t hurt. Trash pickers and trash bags: this is a cleanup. Most of us do not plan to paddle, but if you want to, you can put in at the boat ramp and paddle upstream to 5 Holes; in that case bring Continue reading

Staten Road to Langdale Park, Withlacoochee River, 2018-03-03

A leisurely five mile paddle in about two and a half hours through a surprisingly wild section of the Withlacoochee River, much of it actually inside Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

When: 9 AM, Saturday, March 3, 2018

Put In: Staten Road Landing, 4556 Staten Road, Valdosta, GA 31605, Lowndes County, GA. 7.1 miles north of downtown Valdosta. Beware: it’s a long rough dirt road access, then a scramble down the riverbank.

GPS: 30.9328, -83.28227

Take Out: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, Lowndes County, GA.

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

VALORGIS, Route
Map: VALORGIS. White is Valdosta inside grey city limits, yellow is recharge zones for the Floridan Aquifer, green is Langdale Park.

We start in Lowndes County, cross over the county’s expanded sewer and water lines at Bay Branch (those lines head for Stafford-Wright Road). Then the City of Valdosta is on our left briefly before back to county both sides, and Sermons Branch (is that its real name?). Into a Floridan Aquifer recharge zone, passing on our right the Shadrick Sink, notorious for Continue reading

Eric Draper from Audubon Florida to FL State Parks

Noah Valenstein, formerly SRWMD, now FDEP Secretary, has appointed Eric Draper of Audubon Florida to head Florida State Parks. The same Eric Draper who twice endorsed Sabal Trail in writing, and did nothing to stop Sabal Trail from drilling under the Suwannee, Santa Fe, or Withlacoochee (South) Rivers, nor under the Suwannee River State Park that he will now oversee.

Walton Outdoors, Blog, 2 November 2017, Audubon Florida’s former executive director Eric Draper now director of Florida State Parks,

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein today announced three key appointments to DEP’s leadership team, as part of its continued focus on the protection of Florida’s prized properties through the management of Florida’s world-renowned state park system and land acquisition and conservation. Eric Draper will join the DEP team as the Director of Florida State Parks, effective Nov. 28, and Callie DeHaven will serve as Interim Director of the Division of State Lands effective Nov. 27, subject to Governor and Cabinet confirmation. David Clark, who has previously served as Director of State Lands and has been acting Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation, has officially been appointed Deputy Secretary.

4593 E Spruce Dr, Dunnellon, FL 34434,
Aerial west across FL 200, down Withlacoochee (South) River, across Sabal Trail Marion County drill site, and Halpata Tastanaki Preserve. Photo by Jim Tatum on WWALS Southwings flight 7 February 2017.

As Florida State Parks Director, Draper will Continue reading

Sasser Landing to Jennings Bluff & Dead River Sink 2015-06-14

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

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

Sinkhole half a mile from FPL pipeline, FSC 2017-09-11

Hurricane Irma caused a sinkhole that destroyed the entrance to a subdivision less than half a mile from an FPL pipeline to the sea, about two miles from Floridian Natural Gas (FlING), and about seven miles from the end of Florida Southeast Connection (FSC). What other sinkholes appeared, and were any under that pipeline, FSC, Sabal Trail, or Transco?

Sinkhole, FPL pipeline, FLiNG, FSC
Sinkhole, FPL pipeline, FLiNG, FSC; map by John S. Quarterman for WWALS.
Click on this link for the interactive google map.

Julius Whigham II, Palm Beach Post, 12:39 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Hurricane Irma: Storm creates sinkhole in western Martin community, Continue reading

WWALS at VSU Learning in Retirement 2017-08-31

Come ask Gretchen questions this Thursday morning, 10-11AM, at VSU’s Continuing Education building in midtown Valdosta.

When: 10AM to 11AM, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Where: VSU Continuing Education
903 N Patterson St, Valdosta, Georgia 31698

Event: facebook

Gretchen Quarterman, Executive Director, WWALS Watershed Coalition
Gretchen Quarterman speaking at a WWALS public meeting at VSU last spring

WWALS will be offering an interactive lecture at Valdosta State Learning in Retirement Fall Session. We will talk about the watershed of the Suwannee Basin, the Floridan Aquifer, current challenges, and how together we can make sure our water is swimmable, fishable, and drinkable.

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