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Join Georgia River Network and St Marys Riverkeeper for this special Hidden Gem on the established Okefenokee Wilderness Canoe Trail and up-and-coming St. Marys River Water Trail. A few highlights of our itinerary include a catered low country boil dinner on Friday evening, followed by a Saturday morning hot breakfast, a 9.25-mile float on the St. Marys River, and a farm to table dinner grown locally and served up by Grassroots Farm. After breakfast on Sunday, we will explore an 8-mile stretch of the Okefenokee enjoying the sites and sounds of a plethora of wildlife. Tickets include weekend camping/lodging at Okefenokee Pastimes. All skill levels are welcome to attend this special weekend paddling event, which includes live music by Ray and Hupp, fascinating evening programs, performing artists and educational presentations along our paddling route, and delectable farm to table cuisine. The headwaters of the 126-mile long St. Marys River are located in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The St Marys is a beautiful blackwater river and serves as the southernmost point in the state of Georgia. The Okefenokee is the largest blackwater swamp in North America and offers over 400,000 acres of wetland wilderness to explore. Registration coming soon! For more information visit https://garivers.org/hidden-gems
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRELY BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR THIS TRIP. REGISTRATION IS GOING TO BE TRICKY! TO COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION GO TO: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/okefenokee-gator-hunt-cameras-only-spring-in-the-swamp-tickets-85273414077 We do this trip at least twice a year. We keep going back because it is always amazing and breathtakingly beautiful. I first visited the Okefenokee in 2016 and am truly sorry I did not go sooner. My wife and I fell in love with it and will go back at least twice a year as long as I can walk or be carried!! The Okefenokee contains many types of habitat – islands, lakes, cypress forests, scrub-shrub areas and open ‘wet’ prairies. We might see sandhill cranes and bald eagles. As we paddle through the swamp, keep a lookout for alligators, otters,deer, white ibis, herons, egrets and maybe even a black bear. We will paddle different sections of the swamp on Friday and Saturday and possibly a black water lake on the way home Sunday.. We will be leaving the boats to explore some islands and have lunch on dry land. We will get off the water early enough Sunday for you to drive home. This is about a 5 hour drive from Atlanta. We will be staying in the State Owned, very beautiful Eco-Lode. The Lodge is located in Fargo, GA, just north of the Suwannee River, and is managed by the Stephen C. Foster State Park. The Eco-Lodge is a conference center with a commercial kitchen, meeting room and 10 cottages, each in a beautiful, natural, private location. There will be no other guests at the Eco-Lodge besides us! This facility is as nice as anyplace I have ever stayed on a kayak trip. This is a kid friendly trip. There are 4 efficiency cabins that each have one double bed. 4 efficiency cabins that have 2 double beds. (Efficiency means one large room with separate bathroom) Since none of the cabins have twin beds filling each of them is going to get tricky. Hopefully we will have 4 couples that take the 1 bed efficiencies. The two bed efficiencies are suitable for families since they will sleep up to 4 people. I know many of you will be coming alone and will not want to share a bed so we will pair you up with a same sex roommate. Because of the bed situation we could have from 20 to 40 people on this trip. PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME AS WE TRY TO ASSIGN BEDS AND MAXIMIZE PARTICIPATION. VERY IMPORTANT: HOW MANY TICKETS DO YOU NEED? If you are staying off site, NOT in the Lodge, you need one event ticket. If you are staying in the lodge you need two tickets. One for the event, one for the lodge. (Several choices to stay in lodge) If you need a rental boat you need an additional ticket whether you stay off site or in the lodge. Cost of the trip is $175 per adult, $75 per child under 16. That fee will include a catered meal Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. You will be responsible for breakfast and lunch. (This fee does not include your cabin or boat rental) The 1 bed efficiencies rent for $375 for all 3 nights. These units sleep 2 people. The efficiencies with 2 double beds rent for $495 for all three nights. These cabins sleep up to 4 people. If you are coming by yourself and want to be matched up with a room mate the cost will be $250 for three nights. Tandem (2 person) sit on top kayaks will be available to rent for $95 for the weekend. Single kayaks (sit inside or sit on top) kayaks will be available to rent for $75 for the weekend. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CALL ME BEFORE SIGNING UP. John Miller,[masked]
The nearest pt to put in on the Lake from the Atlanta/south side is our favorite park, LITTLE MILL PARK. My wife & I would be happy to coordinate a late morning, 2 hour paddle around the islands near this spot & paddle to 2 other Parks nearby, any day, Sunday thru Sat. Picnic afterwards, if interested.