The country’s largest week-long canoe/kayak camping adventure this year embarks on the Yellow and Ocmulgee Rivers between Stone Mountain and Macon to highlight Georgia’s emerging water trail system.
The event, which attracts more than 400 participants each year, is set for June 16-22. Registration for the annual event organized by Georgia River Network is now open at www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia. Registration is on a first-come, first serve basis until all spaces are sold.
The 14th annual Paddle Georgia charts a four-day course through suburban Atlanta on the Yellow River in Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties to Lake Jackson and then continues for three more days on the Ocmulgee River, flowing through Jasper, Butts, Monroe and Jones counties before finishing in Macon.
Local river boosters, with assistance from Georgia River Network, are developing water trails on both the Yellow and Ocmulgee by improving public access to the rivers, providing information about river conditions and promoting events on these rivers.
“During the past several years, we’ve seen an explosion in water trail development,” said Gwyneth Moody, Director of Programs and Outreach with Georgia River Network. “Local communities are rediscovering their rivers and recognizing them as a recreational amenity for residents and visitors on par with ball fields, parks, walking trails and other more traditional public recreation projects.”
The event is designed to connect people with Georgia’s rivers. In addition to paddling about 12 miles each day, participants will learn about the river through nightly programs about the river’s ecology and cultural history and special tours of historic sites and industrial facilities.
Registration fees are $425 for adults, $230 for children 8-17 and $30 for children 7 and under. A very limited number of spaces are available for “Paddle Georgia Lite,” an abbreviated version of the trip that includes either the first two days of the trip (June 16-17) or the last two days of the trip (June 21-22). Registration fees for Paddle Georgia Lite are $120, $70 and $15. Additional registration information is available at www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia.