COVINGTON, Ga. - Kenneth, Bennett, Lochlan, and Maddox Swift of Covington will be among the more than 275 people participating in Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia 2018 set for June 16-22 on the Yellow and Ocmulgee rivers.
Participants are joining canoeists and kayakers from across Georgia, nine states and even Australia for the 86-mile, 7-day journey from Stone Mountain to Macon.
On the river by day, at night, the participants will camp at nearby facilities. The group will tent at Yellow River Park in Porterdale from June 15-19 as they explore the Yellow River through Gwinnett, DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties; and then move downstream for three nights at Danridge Farms near Monticello as they journey down the Ocmulgee through Jasper, Butts, Monroe, Jones and Bibb counties.
The event includes educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment, and even a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program to give a snapshot of the rivers’ current health.
This is the 14th anniversary for Paddle Georgia. In the event’s first 13 years, GRN has introduced more than 4,500 paddlers to water trails on 13 Georgia rivers. Along the way the event has generated more than $400,000 for river protection. Altamaha Riverkeeper, Yellow River Water Trail and Ocmulgee River Water Trail will be the local groups benefitting from this year’s event.
Many participants will be embarking on their 14th Paddle Georgia, meaning they have journeyed more than 1300 miles on Georgia rivers.
Both the Yellow and Ocmulgee rivers are home to emerging water trails, and event organizers hope to highlight the efforts of locals working to improve access to these rivers and promote them as amenities for local residents and visitors to the area.
“Both the Yellow and Ocmulgee are often overlooked as boating destinations,” Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator, said. “But, both rivers are actually home to some great paddling and both are within an easy drive of metro Atlanta. As these trails are developed, local communities are realizing the economic development potential of river recreation.”
Information for the media, including a daily itinerary, directions to campsites, launch sites, and take-out sites can be found on the Paddle Georgia website: www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia
Sponsors of the event include Hennessy Land Rover Centres; Cedar Creek RV and Outdoor Center; Nomadic Flow Outfitters; Cary Baxter, CPA; CYA Agency, Inc.; Oglethorpe Power; StreamTechs; Terry Pate, PC, CPA; China Clay Producers Association; Georgia Mining Association; Storm Water Systems; The Rain Barrel Depot; Patagonia; EarthShare of Georgia; Len Foote Hike Inn; and Friends of Georgia State Parks. Partners include American Canoe Association, Café Campesino, Altamaha Riverkeeper, Yellow River Water Trail, Ocmulgee River Water Trail, Georgia Canoe Association, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Project WET.
Georgia River Network is a non-profit 501c3 organization working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to protect and restore our rivers from the mountains to the coast.