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Alapahoochee River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: July 28, 2011
Nearest City: Valdosta, GA
Difficulty: Moderate

Description:

We paddled the Alapahoochee River from GA SR 135 to FL SR 150 at Jennings, FL. The float took less than two hours, we didn't have to get out of the canoe at all and there were three or four excellent (for Florida) sets of rapids near the end of the run, including an over-the-edge drop of two feet in the last set.

The water is dark, the flow is good, and the stream is very curvy. Quite shady. Also saw the best-looking waterfall I've seen in Florida. Not huge, about seven feet tall and 18 inches wide maybe, just pretty, dropping into the river off the west bank . Many tiny waterfalls on the banks. The limestone formations near the rapids are very unusual. Only saw two pieces of trash, a plastic flower pot and a cooler, which we removed from the river.

We usually hide bikes at the put-in or take-out and bicycle the shuttle so we only have to take one vehicle. Makes the journey more sociable, in my opinion. This worked well for this run, fetching the truck took about 30 minutes (four road miles each way). I carry a long stick when bicycling, in case of dogs, but saw none. I did startle some horses who weren't used to bicyclers, though.

The water level in the Alapaha was 2.5 feet, I suspect higher than when the other paddlers on this site had to pull over so many logs. You can view stream stages at www.noaa.gov under "climate". I think riverfacts.com is correct to say July is a good month to do this run. I haven't done it but I think it would be okay if the water was a bit lower or higher. No insect problems were encountered. Not one house visible on this run. Altogether pleasant and fun.

Accommodations:

I would stay in a motel or keep going, 'cause I don't like to camp in FL in July. Too hot. October-April would be cool enough to camp at Suwannee State Park or Spirit of the Suwannee in FL. We did it all in one day and went home (two hours each way).

Fees:

No

Directions:

Buy or print out a map of Jennings, Florida, and the area just to the east. You would access the area from I-75 between Valdosta, GA anad Live Oak, FL. FL SR 143 takes you from I-75 to Jennings, maybe 1 1/2 miles.

Resources:

DeLorme Florida Atlas and Gazetteer. I recommend these for all explorers if they still make them. Many states should be available. Used to be phone # (207) 865-4171.


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