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We met at the put in and had our wives shuttle the truck to the take out. Once the canoes were loaded, we were off for a great over night trip with our kids.
Beautiful weather for January: temp in the mid 70's, water not freezing, water level low (about 50.6), but no dragging or hitting bottom. The river camp turned out to be 7.4 miles from the Music Park according to the GPS.
The river camp is new and there was supposed to be a fee charged after Jan 1, but the DNR hasn't figured out how they are going to do that yet, or the amount. It has a camp host 24/7, a bath house, hot/cold water, 8 camp platforms with ceiling fan/light electric outlet and fire ring, there are also several tent sites on the ground, and a covered pavilion with a grill. It's a great area to spend the night. One thing to remember though is to not run both showers at the same time, it will trip the breaker and since it's on demand hot water, you'll soon have an instant cold shower.
After a good nights rest, we had a hearty breakfast feast: pancakes/sausage/bacon/coffee/chocolate milk, then loaded up for the second leg of the trip.
We were really hoping the map was wrong on the 150/129 marks which would mean we'd have a 13.6 mile paddle (with kids). Well, the camp host reassured us it was about 11 miles, ok, off we go.
We wanted to check out the Alapaha rise, which is where the Alapaha comes up out of ground during low water level, and we wanted to see Five Hole, where you wade thru a cave/tunnel to get to the open/hole area. There are five of them, so it's called Five Hole.
Well, our info was bad and unfortunately I didn't mark it on the GPS. The Alapaha Rise was about 6.5 miles from Holten Creek Camp. Five Hole is definitely past the bridge, and by a rope swing. Go about 10 miles from Holten Creek Camp, rope swing on river right at a left bend long narrow sand bar, limestone rock in coner of the bend and at low water level you can see the opening which looks like a cave, until you enter it and find out it's a tunnel, very neat to see.
After this stop it's getting real late and we are having to really stroke. Finally we tell the kids that they really need to paddle more because they lock the gate at the State Park after dark and we'll be locked in. My little girl, not wanting to sleep in a tent with her brother another night, finally got it in gear.
About 3 miles later we paddled up to the State Park, and it's dark, my girl hops out and asks to go check the gate. I reassured her that we'd get out, then showed her the combo on the ticket in the truck. We ended up getting home about 8:30p.m.
Great trip, beautiful weather, kids were actually really good and enjoyed themselves. Weekend for us all to remember, and look forward to the next one.
Music Park to Holten Creeck River Camp - 7.4
Holten Creek River Camp to Suwannee River State Park - 13.6
Deck Rigging Gear
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Kayak & Canoe Covers