Swainsboro gage was 11.6. The river was up about 2 ft. since last week when I paddled it. It seemed that the level was up more than 2 ft. at the put in at 152 which is where I took out one week previous. The Swainsboro gage was 9.6 on this previous trip. I assume the Swainsboro gage is at a wider point in the river or there is creeks etc. that brings it up by the time it gets to the 152 bridge.
Paddlers were Jeff, Stacy and kids Shane and James and me.
Put in at Ga. 152 and take out at Ga. 292.
GPS showed it to be 6.1 miles. “A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Georgia” showed it to be 8.3 miles.
Put in time was about 10:45 a.m. but we spent about 15 minutes practicing eddy turns before we left the put in. Take out time was 3:25 p.m. We took 3 rest stops.
The river was higher than I expected considering I was taking inexperienced paddlers down the river. Also the water was more murky than usual due to the higher water level. I had not been down this section of the river but I thought It was a good choice for showing new paddlers a beautiful gem in South Georgia rivers. It was a beautiful day so we decided to go for it even given the higher water level.
For trip pictures click here.
There were a few sandbars out. Early in the canoe trip most of sandbars had stilt houses or fishing shacks close to them. As we progressed down the river we encountered a few sandbars that did not have stilt houses close by. Most of the sandbars without houses were around the middle of the trip. There was one really nice sandbar I liked. See pics 571-574. There were a few other nice bars but I liked this one due to the length of the bar and the scattered trees. This bar would be about 2:30 hrs. after the put in and looked to be a great camp site for an overnighter. Img 576 was also a nice bar.
At this water level dead falls and strainers were not a problem. At 2 ft. lower level or more I think there would be several dead falls that would have to be negotiated. This section of river was still very nice. Very comparable to the section from US1 to 152. Definitely worth doing again.
As a note I think a good 3 day 2 night camping trip would be to put in at US1 and take out at Ga292. The first night camping after Griffin Ferry (before Ga152) and the 2nd night about half way between Ga152 and Ga292.
Dickie Tillman 10/19/09