Ogeechee Riverkeeper Paddle Trips

Experience the natural beauty of Southern “blackwater” rivers, observe wildlife, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow paddlers. There is nothing quite like the tranquility and intimacy of floating right on the surface of the water in a kayak or canoe without the sound of a motor. Join us on the fourth Saturday of each month at 9:00 AM (unless otherwise stated) as we explore beautiful places in the four sub-watersheds of the Ogeechee River Basin.

Experienced ORK guides have carefully planned each trip so that river access and car shuttles will be easy for everyone. In addition, many trips will feature a guest guide who will share with us special knowledge of the locale’s biology and various points of interest along the way.

Price: $0 per trip for members, $35 for non-members (includes one-year membership in ORK). Limited boat rentals are available. Most trips involve 3 to 4 hours of paddling time plus an hour lunch stop: however, times can occasionally be affected by river level and weather conditions.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 4 P.M. ON THE DAY PRIOR TO THE PADDLE TRIP.  NO REGISTRATIONS OR RENTALS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS TIME

What to bring: Lunch/snacks, water bottle(s), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water shoes or old tennis shoes (flip-flops/sandals not recommended), dry bag or other way to store keys/phone (if you plan on bringing them).

ORK Trip Rules:
1) Follow all local, state, and federal laws
2) Leave no trace – whatever you bring in leaves with you
3) Stay between the lead and sweep boats at all times
4) All participants must wear a properly fitted personal floatation device at all times

Transportation: For trips that have separate put-in and take-out locations, we meet at the put-in at 9:00 AM to unload boats and sign waivers.  Then we send all of the drivers only down to the take-out.  The drivers then return in 1-3 cars so that most of the vehicles are at the take-out at the end of the day and only a few people need rides back up to their cars.

Please note: The following information is subject to change due to river levels and weather conditions.

March 25, 2017 – Daisy Nevils Hwy to Hwy 280 (Canoochee River):  We’ll kick off the season with a 6-mile paddle on the Canoochee River.  One of ORKs organizational ancestors, Canoochee Riverkeeper, was founded to protect this beautiful, aquatic treasure.  The Canoochee’s winding blackwater is both serene and challenging for paddlers.  Our put-in is on Daisy Nevils Hwy, two miles north of the intersection of US Hwy 280 in Claxton, GA. Beginner to Intermediate difficulty (depending on water level).  MAP – Register.

April 22, 2017 – Scarboro Landing to Rocky Ford: Moving over to the Ogeechee, this 7-mile portion of river looks different every time you set out.  Several alternate routes present themselves at high water only to be replaced by frequent portages and deadfall limbo competitions at low water.  We will put in at Scarboro Landing, just outside of Millen, GA. Intermediate difficulty.  MAP – Register.

May 27, 2017 – George L. Smith State Park: This paddle for the whole family wanders through an enchanting, submerged forest created by an impoundment of 15-mile Creek (a Canoochee tributary).  One of our easiest paddles, this trip pays huge visual dividends for a little paddling effort.  Want to make a weekend out of it for more paddling and hiking?  Call the park office to reserve a cabin or campsite.  ***All you paddle boarders, this is a nice trip for SUPs.***  Paddlers will need to bring $5 for a parking pass.  George L. Smith State Park is at 371 George L. Smith State Park Road, just outside of Twin City, GA in Emanuel County.  Beginner difficulty.  MAP – Register.

June 24, 2017 – Morgan’s Bridge (Hwy 204) to the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal:  This 9-mile trip will take paddlers through some of the Ogeechee’s more labyrinthian passages.  Paddlers will need to bring $3 for admission to the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal where we will be taking out. Morgan’s Bridge is on Hwy 204, one mile west of the intersection with Old River Rd. Intermediate difficulty.  MAP – Register.

July 22, 2017 – Butterbean Beach Race: We are in the planning stages of putting together a kayak and SUP race along the Moon River near Butterbean Beach instead of a regular paddle trip this month. Stay tuned for more details!

August 26, 2017 – Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge: Soak up the final days of Summer Break with a coastal paddle.  We will put in at the Wildlife Refuge and paddle through marshland filled with all kinds of wildlife including dolphins, spoonbills, crabs, osprey, and much more.  ***If you’re feeling strong, this trip would also accommodate paddle boarders***  Our put-in location is the boat ramp to your left as you pull into the refuge from Harris Neck Dr. Beginner difficulty.   MAP – Register

September 23, 2017 – Wadley (Hwy 78) to Coleman Lake: Paddlers will enjoy a 7-mile journey through the upper Ogeechee’s narrow twists and turns to take out at Coleman Lake. The put-in location is five miles east of Wadley, GA in Jefferson County. Beginner to Intermediate difficulty (depending on water level). MAP – Register.

October 28, 2017 – Oliver (Hwy 24) to River Retreat: This challenging 9-mile paddle winds in between Statesboro/Brooklet and Guyton/Springfield.  Plenty of tree cover provides shade while a handful of fallen trees will make life just a little tougher for us. The put-in is 2 1/2 miles southwest of Oliver, GA on Hwy 24 at the Bulloch/Screven county line. *The take-out for this trip is a private landing and should not be used by the public without express permission from the landowner*  Intermediate difficulty.  MAP – Register.

Don’t see your favorite Ogeechee/Canoochee paddling spot here?  Tell us about it and we will try and incorporate it in future schedules.

Questions? Problems with registration? Feel free to contact Luke Roberson at luke@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or 866-942-6222.