Posts Tagged ‘recreation’

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day on the river with gorgeous P1010192blue skies, intermittent puffy clouds, and the perfect cool breeze.

Upon arriving at the Put-In, our attention was quickly drawn to a display by the Department of Natural P1010200Resources who were giving awe-inspiring information about the fascinating fishes and mussels that live in the Flint, which they had seined from the river the pP1010266revious evening.P1010406

Adopt A Stream and the Environmental Protection Division have been collecting water quality data at every tributary and spring entering the main channel and are now up to a total of 80 sites sampled! We are so grateful to have such an awesome team  involved with Paddle Georgia and to learn about the water quality of the river in which we swim and fish.P1010496P1010473

We were greeted by staff of the Jones Ecological Research Center along the way. A few staff had just gathered mussels and other organisms from the river bottom and were still in their wetsuits, while others gave educational tours and presentations about the Longleaf pine ecosystem, essential to the survival of many species of wildlife, such as the Gopher tortoise and Red-Cockaded woodpecker.P1010402

The trees on this section were exceptionally large and majestic, towering over you like giant gnomes with pointy hats.P1010410

The morning forays of raccoon, mink and deer were imprinted in the muddy riverbank along with the yummy clams they had pried open for a delicious snack.

After frolicking in the shoals and whirlpools and exploring the many islands formed from the dredging that occurred by the Army P1010234Corp in the early 1800’s to facilitate steamboat passage, we reached the cool, clear, and tannin rich Ichawaynochoway Creek- which almost looked like red tea.

The evening was filled with laughter and cheers of joy as paddlers teamed up to play the game shows ‘Family Feud & Paddle Wet’ Paddle Georgia style.

Excited about boppin’ in blue holes tomorrow!

Keep on rollin’ down the river….

Gwyneth MoodyP1010505

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The overcast skies we awoke to were a welcomed respite from the hot sunny skies of the last couple days. P1000658But once we hit the water, the sun gave the perfect warmth for swimming, splashing, and playing in the river.P1000690

Although it was the shortest paddle trip of the week, at a little less than 14 miles, today was both Trash day and Professionals day and there was no shortage of intriguing conversations and interesting trash items cleaned from the river.P1000821

Professionals ranged from legislators and riverkeepers to representatives from watershed coalitions and community foundations. This was most professionals’ first time on the Flint river and for some their first time paddling on a river in Georgia.

Rivers Alive ‘Trash Queen’ Bonny PutneP1000675y led the clean-up and reported approximately 100 lbs. of trash collected and 10 tires. P1000764In addition to the usual plastic bags, paddlers found some quite interesting items including a vintage coke bottle, basket balls, a dress, a pair of leather pants, and a can of chicken livers.P1000829

P1000809Touted as one of Georgia’s Seven natural wonders, Radium Springs was quite the thrill. Adults and kids alike, enjoyed the striking arched stone bridge and waterfall and large pool beneath it.

No matter what activity evokesP1000747 the idea of fun to you- it was found at every river bend, shoal, and sand bar, from squirt gun fights and rambunctious circus-like stunts (including flipping GRN Development Director, Davin Welter), to bubble blowing and lazy lounging picnics – it was all smiles all around.P1000803

The Blue Springs were truly magical with the cool 68 degree crystal blue water gurgling from the limestone depths below.P1000701

It seems to just keep getting better with each passing day ~ So glad to share it with everyone!

Keep on rollin’ down the River,P1000891

Gwyneth Moody

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The waiting, the anticipating, the excitement in the air, and the dream of going Imageon Paddle Georgia 2013 for the many new attendees, has finally come to fruition, as 380 paddlers rolled into Chehaw Park in Albany and were welcomed with open arms.

ImageVincent Payne and Tonya Bechtler gave an excellent and thorough overview of skills and techniques for the paddling workshop at the Crisp County Power Company Boat launch.


As we slide into summer, the week ahead has gorgeous weather forecasted and the Flint river is flowing fast with all the rain we’ve had. Everyone is excited about a fabulous week of paddling.

Registration flowed smoothly even with all the crazy questions from paddlers… Ha ha!P1000044

We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their awesome support and assistance, so make sure to give them a HIGH FIVE next time you see them!

Everyone got their Paddle Georgia goodies, ranging from the new Paddle Georgia 2013 T-shirt and hats to maps and dry boxes.

ImagePaddlers are super happy to have fair trade coffee and fresh fruit smoothies provided by Cafe Campesino…. oh so delicious and refreshing!

It’s always a delight to see ‘Tent City’ Paddle Georgia style with the colorful collage of domes that pepper the landscape. No need for Imagean assigned campsite – we’re all buddies at Paddle Georgia.

Joe Cook lit up the crowd and got everyone on their toes for the week long journey ahead!

So excited about our first day on the Flint tomorrow!

Keep on rolliImagen’ down the river,

~Gwyneth Moody

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Submit your Photo for this months PHOTO SHOWCASE and STAFF PICK!
Topic: * * *How do YOU Conserve Water? * * *

Send photo to Gwyneth@garivers.org

Check out last months slide show and winning photo: http://animoto.com/play/BXscjgASMOWWKNtqqUv0jQImage

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Georgia Water Trails News

Clearinghouse Corner
Trails in the News
Upcoming Events
Useful Resources
Flotsam and Jetsam
How Can Others Sign Up for This List

Clearinghouse Corner
gwtcsmall.jpg Greetings fellow river rats!
We are so excited to have all of this wonderful rain and hope that it recharges the ground water enough to keep Georgia rivers up for paddling this year! Fingers crossed…

If you haven’t already signed up for our 2013 Georgia River Challenge – then what are you waiting for?  It’s a great opportunity to share the experience of paddling with folks who would otherwise not go on their own!   Also make sure that the 4 Seasons Hidden Gems Paddling trips are on your calendar. This will be an awesome opportunity to explore a hidden gem in 4 different watersheds which you’ve more than likey never seen before!

As always, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or come by for a visit if you have any questions, concerns, need resources, or just want to chat about rivers.

Keep on rollin’ on the river,

Gwyneth Moody

Trail Developments and Trails in the News! 

1. Dub Denman Canoe Trail Soon to be Officially on the Map

TallapoosariverThe 23.8 mile Dub Denman Canoe Trail located on the Tallapoosa River is soon to be officially on the map after years of planning. Five sites along the Tallapoosa River are being considered for trail access, including two on county property and three on private property. Two of the three access point require stream buffer variances which are awaiting approval. Tallapoosa Planning Coordinator, Patrick Clarey, explained that the city has been moving forward with two of the original five proposed kayak and canoe launch sites with the help of a $51,150 Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant awarded to the county. The launch sites will include concrete staircases and wooden canoe launches, where needed, as well as gravel parking lots, trash receptacles and signage.

Read more about the Dub Denman Canoe Trail in the Times-Georgian and on our Water Trails website. If you have any questions contact Patrick Clarey at tigerroooo@aol.com 770-574-3108

2. Visit the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and Sit with Otis Redding!
otis reddingLegendary musician Otis Redding is memorialized in a life size statue at beautiful Gateway Park, trailhead of the Ocmulgee River Heritage Trail.
Sit with him on the dock, hum your favorite Otis tune, picnic on the grassy hillside overlooking the river or drop a line for the catch of the day.Check out the Macon website for more information about the Ocmulgee Heritage trail as well as on our Water Trails Website.

3. Have You Signed Up for Our 2013 Georgia River Challenge? What are You Waiting for? ~ Take 13 People Paddling in 2013 ~

Share the joy of paddling Georgia’s rivers with friends and family who otherwise would not go on their own!

coastal bluewayGeorgia River Network is encouraging river lovers to celebrate Georgia’s rivers – from wild places to urban waterways – by taking 13 people, who might not otherwise go on their own, paddling in 2013.

The goal of this year’s ‘Take 13 People Paddling in 2013’ challenge is to promote Georgia’s growing water trail movement and send more people to the Georgia Water Trails Website to identify water trails to paddle, locate outfitters, find organized paddling trips or plan their own trip with friends and family who have little to no paddling experience.

To join the list of paddlers participating, just send an email to gwyneth@garivers.org with your name and address to sign up.

Upcoming Events

Organized Paddling Trips
There are lots of upcoming paddling trips all over Georgia. To learn more about these events see our calendar. To have your water trail events added to the calendar, just send the details with a note to info@garivers.org.

1. Have you Gotten Wild and Scenic yet? Well Get Ready for March 3!

Get your tickets NOW for our 6th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. They are selling FAST- in fact, we’ve already sold nearly all of our available tickets, so get your ASAP. The festival takes place at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema in Midtown Atlanta. Attendees will enjoy complimentary SweetWater beer (for patrons 21-plus with a valid ID). PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

Get inspired by the following film trailers and well see y’all there!

Carbon for Water, about a practical solution in providing clean water in Kenya’s Western Province; Julio Solis: A MoveShake Story, about a dedicated sea turtle preservationist in Mexico; and How the Kids Saved the Parks, about a grassroots effort to keep all of California’s state parks open.

2. Weekend For Rivers Registration NOW OPEN- Learn about The Value of Water!

WFR Image girlIn 2013, Weekend for Rivers is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act by focusing on “The Value of Water.”

Weekend for Rivers will take place on April 6-7, 2013 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia.

Click here to Register and learn more and remember early bird registration ends March 1st!

3. Mark your Calendar for the 4 Seasons Hidden Gems Paddling Events:

2013-Unveiling-Full-pageWebEach paddling trip will include lunch and presentations along the way ranging from natural history and water quality testing to river cleanup training and kayak fishing.

The location of these hidden gems within the following watersheds will be unveiled soon! Stay tuned for more detail.

*Chattahoochee Watershed Hidden Gem PaddleMay 18 (GRN, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Keeping it Wild & Chattahoochee Riverkeeper)

*Etowah River Hidden Gem Paddle and Book LaunchAug 4 (GRN, Coosa River Basin Initiative, Upper Etowah River Alliance and Cherokee Historical Society)*Central Savannah Watershed Hidden Gem PaddleSept 7 (GRN, Georgia Kayak Fishing-Paddle4Tomorrow & Savannah Riverkeeper)*Altamaha River Watershed Hidden Gem PaddleNov 16 (GRN, Off Grid Expeditions, Rivers Alive & Altamaha Riverkeeper)

4. Etowah River Guide Book- Available May, 2013

Announcing the Georgia River Network Guidebooks series!

The Etowah River User’s Guide is the first in a series of books to be published by Georgia River Network and the UGA Press in May 2013.

Click here to learn more.

Useful Resources

1. Who Wants an Interactive Water Trail Map for their Water Trail?
The altamaha mapGeorgia Environmental Protection Division Outreach Unit and Georgia River Network are working in partnership to develop web-based interactive maps for Georgia‘s water trails. Our goal is to create an interactive map for all water trails throughout the State.Water trails that satisfy the GRN Clearinghouse Criteria will be included on the map as established water trails.  We will have separate map layers for those water trails that are still in the conceptual and developing stages.

If you represent a Water Trail that has been established or is in the developing stage please email gwyneth@garivers.org so we can collaborate on data collection and verification.

2.  Find out How to have a National Water Trail Designated in your Community!

nwtsYou can now experience the new National Water Trails System through an interactive website that connects users to rivers and waterways through stories and tools.

Water trail managers can apply for designation through an easy online application, and visitors can learn more about designated trails through a photo gallery, dynamic stories, and videos. An interactive map and new search functions make it easy for users to find national water trails throughout the country. Visit the new site at www.nps.gov/watertrails.

3.  You May Know ‘Trails don’t just happen’ but Public Users May Not-Use Signs!

signbirdThe message that “trails don’t just happen” is vital in nurturing public support for the funding sources behind trails. The source of funds for land acquisition as well as facilities is also important. Some programs are specific to a locality, such as sales tax support. Other projects are funded by state sources, such as lotteries. Many trails are partly funded by grants from federal funds, such as the Recreational Trails Program and the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Check out our Water Trail Website for Signage ideas and see a gallery of photos of funding signs from the National Trails Training Partnership.

Flotsam and Jetsam

1. Get Fit on a Stand-Up Paddle Board – Whether You are Looking for a Calm Relaxing Experience or a Hard-core Workout!

paddle board 4Stand-up paddling exercise has been described as everything from great, fun and exciting to calming and intense. Stand-up paddle boarding is an ancient form of surfing, yet it is most widely enjoyed on relatively flat water.

Most cities are founded on waterways, so most people have access to a stretch of water where they can get out for a “stroll on the water.” Paddle boarding can be very easy and gentle gliding or it can be flat-out sprinting – depending on whether you are looking for a calm relaxing experience or a hard-core workout. Read full article HERE

2. Ever Tried Emptying a Swamped Canoe When You are in Deep Water?

Video Still

Try the “Capistrano Flip”…

Check out this short video and learn new techniques that you can add to your list of groovy paddling skills.


3. Have You Entered a Photo for GRN’s Monthly Photo Showcase and Staff Pick?

January Photo showcaseEach month we will have a different theme and invite you to send us a photo that you think best represents the theme.

We will showcase everyone’s photos on our website and social media and one photo per month will receive the illustrious title of ‘GRN Staff Pick of the Month’ and the chosen photo’s author will receive a surprise token of gratitude. Watch January’s Photo Showcase HERE. Email your photo to gwyneth@garivers.org and Click here to learn more.

How can others can sign up for this water trails list? 
Visit http://garivers.org/make-a-difference/sign-up-for-info.html and fill out the sign up form.

Please send news and developments on your trail, contributions to be included in the newsletter, and any suggestions to gwyneth@garivers.org

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Columbus Ledger: Leaders bring new ideas to the table for whitewater rafting course

Published: January 10, 2013



With whitewater rafting on the Chattahoochee River less than six months away, about 120 business, political and education leaders from both sides of the river came together Thursday to discuss ways the region can capitalize on what they hope will be a flood of visitors.

It was part pep rally and part brain-storming session for a new game that has been almost 15 years in the talking, planning and construction phases.

W.C. Bradley Co. executive John Turner, the father of the project, said final demolition and construction at the Eagle & Phenix Dam will be completed in two months. Work has already begun on breaching the City Mills Dam and will be finished before rafting begins in June.

“In June, I hope to say ‘mission accomplished,'” Turner said. “In saying that, I hope I am not going to look like George Bush in Iraq.”

Mat Swift, president of the W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division, said the challenge now is to make certain the $24 million project to breach both dams and construct a 2.5-mile urban whitewater course lives up to lofty expectations. He compared it to the move of the Armor School to Fort Benning in the Base Realignment and Closing process completed in 2011.

“There are a lot of expectations with the whitewater project,” Swift said, “just like there were a lot of expectations with BRAC. After BRAC came and went, there was some disappointment.”

Swift also used the comparison to the Tennessee Aquarium that opened in downtown Chattanooga 21 years ago.

“They projected they would draw 500,000 visitors, and the first year they drew a million,” he said.

A 2010 Columbus State University study led by economics professor Mike Daniels said the project could generate $42 million annually in economic development and draw 144,000 out-of-town visitors.

“The expectation with this project — and this is my personal opinion and nothing against the Columbus State University study — but I expect that we are going to exceed the economic development number,” Swift said.

The CSU study also projects that the whitewater course will create 700 jobs, generate more than $2 million in new sales tax revenue and bring an estimated 1.5 million people to the riverfront.

The group assembled Thursday at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center was charged with breathing new ideas into the process.

Columbus attorney Don Morgan represents the Uptown Business Improvement District and has been aware of the whitewater project’s progress and potential for years. Thursday’s summit was the logical next step in developing a plan for promoting and preparing for it.

“Any time you can get 122 brains together, something is going to come out of it that you haven’t thought about before,” Morgan said. “You are going to have a cross-fertilization of ideas.”

Morgan, 60, is a lifelong Columbus resident. The last two decades he has watched the city change in ways few predicted.

“You have the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, South Commons, a new coliseum, redo the Springer, National Infantry Museum, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, now this,” Morgan said. “In was like in 1996 when those Olympic softball fields came into play, someone kicked a snowball down a hill.”

Rob Kelly is vice president of operations for North Carolina-based Nantahala Outdoor Center, one of the two outfitters selected to run guided tours on the course. The other outfitter is Tennessee-based Whitewater Express. Kelly compares what is happening in Columbus to MasterCard, a credit card whose logo is two overlapping circles.

“You have two outfitters that both know the business, and you have a city that is making this thing happen,” Kelly said. “They are all key components. What we are doing is creating a product. And those who come and use the product are going to tell us how successful it is going to be.”

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