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Georgia Conservancy's Altamaha River to Sea Paddle




Known as Georgia’s “Little Amazon,” the Altamaha is a mighty river. It drains the second largest watershed on the east coast into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of over 100,000 gallons per second. Its main stem, forming in Lumber City at the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers, is undammed and free-flowing, creating a relatively intact and healthy ecosystem that is home to more than 100 rare and endangered species – the largest concentration in the state.

The Altamaha is also a little known paradise for paddling, bird watching and camping. Photographers, artists and nature lovers enjoy the abundance of wildlife found in this pristine waterway.

Join the Georgia Conservancy on March 22 - 24 as we explore the lower Altamaha, introducing first-time visitors to one of Georgia’s greatest treasures and welcoming returning paddlers to this second annual paddling and camping adventure.

If you RSVP for this trip, please register through the link at the bottom of the page. 

Watch our wrap-up video from last year’s trip

Read about a recent conservation victory on the lower Altamaha




The Georgia Conservancy will be welcoming campers at the Altamaha Regional Park (ARP) starting at 4:00 p.m. We will serve dinner at 7:30 p.m. in the pavilion area of the park for guests who purchased a meal from the Conservancy. This year we are setting up a community campfire area on the bluff overlooking the Altamaha River. Join us around the campfire after dinner for an adult beverage and river talk.


Altamaha River - 17 miles - Canoe and Kayak appropriate.

From the ARP we will paddle the main stem of the Altamaha, Stud Horse Creek, Lewis Creek and Rifle Cut. We will make our way to Darien Creek as we enter downtown Darien. This is a stunningly beautiful paddle through forest and marsh.
For beginner paddlers and/or families, we will arrange a shorter paddle exploring the side creeks and lakes near ARP.
On Saturday evening, we will return to ARP where the Conservancy will host a low county boil. The Georgia Conservancy and other environmental groups will make a campfire presentation about coastal Georgia conservation issues.


Altamaha Delta - 4 miles - Kayak appropriate.


On this day we will start out from Darien's historic waterfront and paddle past the picturesque shrimp fleet. We will explore the tidal creeks and marshland around Darien.


We are camping both Friday and Saturday nights at Altamaha Regional Park (ARP), an RV and tent camping facility. According to their website, ARP offers “rental cabins, bait, swimming area, picnic facilities, boat ramps, fishing, fishing pier, camp store, bath houses, laundry facility, wilderness trail, and wilderness surroundings.” Your registration includes a tent or RV space rental, as well as access to the new shower houses (some of the nicest you will find in Georgia).


Boat rental: Registration for our trip down the Altamaha does not include a canoe or kayak rental. Our preferred outfitter is Danny Grissette from Altamaha Coastal Tours.
To rent a boat, contact Danny at [masked] or[masked]-6010. Let him know you are with our group; he has a special rate for our paddlers.

Camping equipment: we have a limited number of REI tents and REI sleeping bags to rent free-of-charge.

The Georgia Conservancy will provide dinners on Friday and Saturday night for guests who purchase meals. On Friday night we will be serve our award winning, homemade, from scratch chili and on Saturday night we will host a low county boil. Please bring your own breakfast and lunch. There is a small store that serves breakfast at the campground. We can accommodate any reasonable food preparation request. Meals Friday and Saturday, make sure you select our discounted "meal plan" for both!

Bonus paddle:

For those who arrive early on Friday, a trip will be available that afternoon on Cathead Creek. Cathead Creek drains part of Buffalo Swamp and was used by rice growers during the 18th and 19th centuries. The abandoned rice fields and irrigation canals, now overgrown with freshwater vegetation and teaming with wildlife, provide miles of waterways and canoe trails.

Prices (not including boat rental)
Overnight - $75
Overnight couple - $125
Overnight Family - $200
Day Pass (no overnight accomidations) - $30
Add Friday Meal - $10
Add Saturday Meal - $10
Add Meal plan (Friday and Saturday) - $15


The Altamaha River to Coast paddle is one of our nine Heartland Rivers of Georgia trips featuring camping, paddling and stewardship in south and central Georgia. The series brings to light conservation efforts, economic development and recreational opportunities on the Flint, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Chattahoochee, Altamaha and Savannah rivers.


Largely unknown to the Georgia outdoor enthusiast, Georgia’s heartland rivers are a treasure trove of unparalleled natural beauty and recreation opportunity just a short drive from home.

CLICK HERE to Register for the 2013 Altamaha River to Sea Paddle

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Brian, even Sharon Collins excellent coverage of this river on PBS can't compare, I'm sure, with being there. So I wanna' be there. However, I need to ask you about accessibility. Have good upper body strength but mobility is a problem. What arrangements does GA Conservancy make here and elsewhere?

    1 · January 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Perhaps the shorter trip would be best for me, eh?

      January 25, 2013

    • Bryan S.

      Nothing else i can think of. The water is moving pretty fast so the trip takes between 3-4 hours. That would be the big question - can you handle being in the canoe for that long!

      January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Planning a trip from Atlanta to Darien this summer. Wouldn't miss this. Even old men can get excited. lol

    1 · January 24, 2013

  • marie s

    my favorite paddle!

    January 24, 2013

  • Cara M.

    The grit/cheeze, egg (and sausage if you like it) bowl breakfast at this campground is wonderful!

    January 24, 2013

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