Trip: Ohoopee River from Ga. 292 to the boat landing on river left at James B. Toler Rd.
Meeting place, time and date: Ohoopee and Ga. 292 bridge Saturday March 12, 2011 at 10:00 am.
Put in: Ga. 292 bridge river right at 10:45 am. River access here is good with plenty of parking.
Take out: Boat landing at the end of James B. Toler Rd. at 03:30 pm. This access point is about 1.2 miles below US 280. River access here is good but there is not as much space for parking due space needed for the boat landing and trailer parking.
Trip distance: 8.7 miles according to the Southern Georgia Canoeing Guide.
Shuttle distance: Approximately 10 miles
Trip notes and comments (paddlers, good stuff, bad stuff, river level, lunch stop, etc): Paddlers were Lamar Phillips, Buddy Goolsby in sea kayaks and Dickie Tillman in a solo canoe. This was the 2nd trip of a three day paddle on the Ohoopee Lamar, Buddy, myself and others had planned for some time but all previous trips had to be cancelled due to high water, bad weather, life conflicts or a little of all three. I have paddled all sections of the Ohoopee from US1 down to the Carter bight on the Altamaha with the exception of this section, so todays trip was truly exploratory for all of us. The Ohoopee is a small beautiful backwater river that drains a good portion of Middle Georgia and dumps into the Altamaha River at Tattnall County Landing about 1.5 miles above the Carter Bight Landing in Appling county. Much of the Ohoopee has frequent beautiful white sandbars but this section is much more swampy. Also this section is fed by Pendelton creek from river right about halfway through the run. Pendelton creek provides significant volume to the Ohoopee. The Ohoopee had risen a little from Friday morning. At the Swainsboro gage it was reading 11.9/500 cfs and the Reidsville gage was 7.9/1200 cfs. which is below Pendelton Creek. Note the significant volume increase on the Reidsville gage. Todays paddle would be more leisurely since we got an earlier start.
We had to negotiate 2 river wide strainers. The first was around 12:35 and we were able to get past it on river left by a combination of wading and paddling through some tight turns through trees. (Note IMG_1456 & IMG_1457) We encounter a 2nd river wide strainer about 20 minutes later. We were able to get around this one on river right after eddying out and dragging our boats over some tree roots and cypress knees. There were other instances where we had to make some tight turns to avoid over hanging trees and limbs but no more that totally blocked the river.
We passed one large sandbar at about 1:17 pm just upstream of a large and obviously occupied house. This was the only significant sandbar we saw until we got close to hwy’ 280. We stopped for a late lunch around 2:10 pm on a small grassy bank river right.
This section more interesting areas of partial dead lakes and slues that could be explored. We passed a large open swampy area on river right that we thought was the Pendelton Creek confluence but we did not take time to paddle up it.
We arrived at the take out around 3:30 pm making our total time on the water about 4 hours 45 minutes.
There is also river access at US 280 but there were several mud holes that you must go through to get from the highway ramp down to the river. We chose avoid the possibility of getting stuck and not use this access. It would probably be okay with a 4 wheel drive or drier weather.
Here is a link to some pictures of this trip: