Tag Archives: Lanier County

Banks Lake New Moon Paddle, 2018-09-11

Join us for a leisurely paddle at sunset approximately 4 miles around the lake, looking for alligators, bats and birds. This is a leg of the Alapaha Quest, since Banks Lake is in the Alapaha River Water Trail.

When: 7 PM, September 11, 2018 (be on the water promptly by then!)

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device (PFD, and you must wear it), boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. For everyone’s safety bring a light for your boat or to put on yourself, such as a glow stick, so that we will be visible to other boats. This will be one night after the new moon. It will be dark once the sun goes down at 7:46PM. Mosquitoes can be bad at the launch, especially after dark, so you may want to bring bug spray, but they are usually not a problem on the water. 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

Shirley Kokidko, On the water
Shirley Kokidko leading a previous Banks Lake paddle, 2018-07-27.

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Banks Lake Sunset Paddle 2018-07-27

Venus gleamed through the fires of sunset as the full moon and Mars hid behind clouds.

Sunset, On the water

The sound of frogs brought out swoops of bats, as a dozen or two paddlers braved the placid flat waters of Banks Lake Friday evening in the least strenuous yet one of the most enjoyable of all WWALS outings. As one new participant remarked, it’s one thing to see it from the road, but out on the water the size, the lucidity, and the sunset are startling while calming.

Bret Wagenhorst, who brought a crew of new people from Tifton and paddled out with them first, reports: “Got to see: ospreys and nest, eastern kingbirds, egrets, ibises, bats, gators and hear Continue reading

Pafford’s Landing, Alapaha River Water Trail 2018-04-26

Looks like plenty of water at Pafford’s Landing to do another leg of the 2018 Alapaha Quest.

Upstream, Sandbar

Upstream, Sandbar

The Statenville Gauge showed Continue reading

Lakeland Boat Ramp road signs planted 2018-04-26

Thanks, GDOT, for planting the ARWT road signs!

Here are the signs for Lakeland Boat Ramp on GA 122 for the Alapaha River Water Trail, put in the ground by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) the other day, along with signs for eight other landings. You can help pay for these signs.

Turnoff in sight, Eastbound

Turnoff in sight, Eastbound

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Alapaha River Beauty should not be hidden 2018-04-07

Randy Patten used to say he’d never seen an alligator on the Alapaha River in Lanier County, but he just saw a log with eyes and a tail.

On Patrol, Stills

He also changed his mind about something else:

I have been against the publication and the making public of our river for people kayaking it, due to the fact that we couldn’t get people out of the river if they got in trouble.

Well, after a couple of years of planning with the assistance of the county commissioners, and volunteer firefighters, and everybody that would assist, we now have signs, 24 actually, up and down the river, from Atkinson County to Echols County. So every few miles you’ll see a sign with a phone number. And later on, when I get close to one I’ll go live again and show you what they look like.

But it makes it a lot nicer to know that if we have people looking at its beauty, which should never be kept a secret, but if something does happen, we have the ability to come get you. Continue reading

Canoeing the Alapaha, April 2018

Received April 21, 2018. I’ve added some links. -jsq

Seven of us drove down from north Georgia to the Alapaha for a long weekend paddling trip starting April 12. I had long thought of making this trip, especially because the Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Georgia rated it as one of the state’s most scenic rivers, “A+.”

We chose the upper stretches, between Willacoochee and Lakeland. One of our group arranged, through extended family, to “camp” the night before putting in, at a house in Lax, just a few miles from the GA-135 bridge where we we started out the next day.

We launched with four boats, three canoes and a kayak, and found the river every bit as scenic as the guide described. We enjoyed the forests of cypress, tupelo, pine, oaks, maples, birch and willow. And the wildlife was equally magnificent: ibis, geese, egrets, herons, buzzards, woodpeckers, beavers (evident through their marks on the trees), and deer and raccoon tracks on the beaches.

First Camp: a beach on a point, Pictures
First Camp: a beach on a point

The paddling was nice and easy, making about 3 mph without breaking a sweat. We had a few tight spots, including Continue reading

Deadfall, Alapaha River, between Berrien Beach and Lakeland 2018-04-15

Update 2018-04-24: deadfall pinpointed, with latlong and map, and see trip report.

Sometimes it takes paddlers from Atlanta to alert us to a river obstruction, in this case Robert Marshall about the Alapaha River:

A group of seven of us mostly from Atlanta paddled from GA-135 south of Willacoochee, to US-129 east of Lakeland, this last weekend. Loved the river, and appreciate all your organization does to promote its preservation.

Deadfall, Picture

You probably already know this, but there is a huge tree totally blocking the river, about halfway between the GA-168 bridge and the US-129 bridge. Water level at Statenville was about 3.5 during our trip. The tree’s top surface was probably a foot and a half above water level, and it spanned from bank to bank. We portaged on the right side.

That’s between Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Fundraising for Water Trail signs

Update 2018-04-27: Pictures of Lakeland Boat Ramp signs in the ground. Just the signs, Westbound

Update 2018-03-15: People want to know how much the signs cost:

  • $150 one road sign
  • $300 pair of road signs for a landing or boat ramp
  • $600 one kiosk at the water

Any amount of donation helps put up the road signs that let people know the Alapaha River Water Trail exists and directs them to the landings, as well as the kiosks that inform people about what to expect nearby, so we get more people paddling the Alapaha River who will take care of the river.

The Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) is a reality. We are ordering the road signs from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and need to pay for them. We have a small amount of money from one donor but need to raise nearly $3,000 for the remaining road signs. You can help!

Statenville Boat Ramp, Echols County, Left, Posts

We can’t put your name on a road sign, but if you donate, your name or your organization’s name and logo can go on a kiosk near the water and in the paper brochures and the online ARWT web pages.

We’re raising another $5,000 for those kiosks.

Thanks to the Atkinson County Commission for Continue reading

Hahira is sixth resolution supporting GA HR 158, now in statehouse 2018-02-01

HR 158 may be scheduled for a vote in the Georgia House as soon as tomorrow. Help dedicate state fees to their intended purposes: please contact your Georgia House Representative or Georgia State Senator (follow the links for contact information) and ask them to pass HR 158. If you don’t know who your Georgia Representative or Senator are, see Georgia My Voter Page.

Hahira is the most recent of six local governments representing the majority of the population in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, in five Georgia House districts and two Senate districts, that have passed a resolution supporting Georgia HR 158 against state fee diversions, with five stories and an editorial in the biggest circulation newspaper in the Basin. More local resolutions passed elsewhere in the state, but that ain’t bad for the Suwannee River Basin.

Camera, City Council

  1. 2018-01-08 Lanier County, House District 176 (Jason Shaw), Senate District 8 (Ellis Black) Continue reading