WWALS Watershed Coalition advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.
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
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.
“Finalists will play, and will be judged. The prizes will be awarded, and of course the acknowledgment of the sponsors.”
Plus a buffet of snacks prepared by the Salty Snapper,
including some vegetarian,
all for $10 in advance online,
and there will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets.
Gretchen Quarterman was on the radio with Steve Nichols, WVGA 105.9FM
(I was scheduled, but the flu said otherwise; I’m better now).
Gretchen said you don’t need to write a song, just come listen
to the finals this Saturday afternoon, with
Cindy Bear from Jacksonville,
Dan Crews from Live Oak, and
J.J. Rolle from Valdosta
Plus the Outings Committee has organized a paddle 9AM Saturday morning
from Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Landing,
just across the railroad tracks from the Salty Snapper,
so you can paddle to the songwriting contest.
Steve Nichols remarked:
“As a kid, I used to go down that stretch of the river with my friends.
When I say as a kid, I was in high school in the early eighties.
It would be fun for me to do that trip as a nostalgic trip,
and going back and look at that beautiful stretch of river right there.”
Gretchen said the water is high so probably there will be no dragging,
and the river is different every time.
Tomorrow morning, 8:30AM, Tuesday, June 19, 2018,
I’ll be on the radio with Steve Nichols, 105.9FM,
talking about the
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest
coming up 1-5PM, this Saturday, June 23, 2018 at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.
When Gretchen was on his show last month,
he said he wanted to hear more, so tomorrow morning it is.
Once the county finishes this project, they will hand over to the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA),
which has said it will probably build a kiosk there.
Lowndes County Public Works will make and plant road signs on US 84
at the Naylor Boat Ramp.
Then it will be good to go on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).
You can still help to pay for the rest of the ARWT road signs.
The rainiest season in south Georgia and north Florida is the summer,
yet that’s when rivers are usually the lowest.
Here are seven years of data from the USGS Withlacoochee River Gauge at US 41 (North Valdosta Road) in Valdosta, Georgia.
Rain is pretty steady through the year (except when there’s no rain),
yet the river level varies wildly, highest in the winter, usually.
Unless there are hurricanes in the fall, as happened in
WWALS member Elizabeth Reynolds recently discovered one of our favorite spots,
Jennings Bluff Spring,
below Jennings Bluff Cemetery on the Alapaha River Water Trail.
We’ve been there on several Dead River Sink hikes, and she also
went back and this time sent some pictures,
posted below with permission.