PADDLE GEORGIA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many people participate?
Each year, between 300 and 450 people participate, ranging in age from 4 to 84. Most of these adventurers are “thru-paddlers” traveling all seven days. A smaller number choose Paddle Georgia Lite, our weekend-only and two-day options.
Can I go for just part of the trip?
Yes. Our Paddle Georgia Lite package includes the first two days of the trip (June 15-16) on the Withlacoochee River or the last two days of the trip (June 20-21) on the Suwannee River. A limited number of spaces will be available for this option based on how many thru-paddlers register.
What does my registration fee include?
Your Paddle Georgia registration fee includes a T-shirt, boat decal, maps and river descriptions, souvenir cup, a year’s membership to Georgia River Network, camping with bath facilities, shuttles to campsites, entertainment, activities, educational programs and special swag from our sponsors.
What’s a Canoe-A-Thon?
Like a walk-a-thon, Paddle Georgia’s Canoe-A-Thon will raise money for Georgia River Network. Each participant is asked to solicit donations on a per-mile basis. Those participants generating more than $850 may choose to have their registration fee reimbursed, and the top 250 Canoe-A-Thon participants who raise at least $300 will be eligible for priority registration for Paddle Georgia 2020. Canoe-A-Thoners compete for gifts and prizes, including new canoes and kayaks and other great goods from The Outside World and our many other sponsors.
How much does it cost?
There’s not a better deal to be found! For about $90 a day, you get an all-inclusive educational adventure vacation that includes three meals a day. And, you travel for seven days through beautiful scenery without ever stopping at the gas pump! Paddle Georgia thru-paddler registration fees range from $425 to $230. Paddle Georgia Lite registration fees range from $120 to $70. These fees may be reimbursed if the participant garners more than $850 in Canoe-A-Thon pledges. Registration fees do no include meal plans. Meal plans begin at $250 for our “full meal deal” (breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the trip) or you can choose from other options and provide some of your own meals. Learn more under “Do I need to bring food?”
Do I need to be an experienced paddler?
What about boats? And, what do I need to bring?
You are responsible for bringing a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or other person-powered vessel, paddles and a personal floatation device. Paddle Georgia does not supply or rent boats. See our list of outfitters to find an outfitter near your home or secure your rental boat from one of the Withlacoochee/Suwannee river outfitters listed below. Also bring standard camping gear including a tent and personal items. Camp gear is limited to 40 pounds and two bags per person. Your boat should be of a size and weight that you and another person can carry. No camp stoves or fuel are permitted. If you need to rent a vessel for the trip, we recommend one of the following outfitters who will deliver and pick up your boat for you.
Southern Paddling Guide, 3816 Saddlebred Lane, Valdosta, GA. 31605 (229) 630-8179
Suwannee Canoe Outpost, 2461 95th Drive, Live Oak, FL 32060 (386) 364-4991
Where do we camp?
For Paddle Georgia 2019 we will enjoy some of the best campsites we’ve had in 15 years of Paddle Georgia adventures. Our first four nights will be at Grassy Pond Recreation Area in Lake Park, Georgia. You can choose to tent camp, sleep in a screen covered pavilion, bring your RV and stay in the RV camping area, rent a bed in a Paddle Georgia designated cabin or rent your own cabin directly from Grassy Pond. Our last four nights will be at Camp Suwannee at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Florida. You can choose to tent camp, sleep in an air-conditioned gym-like pavilion, rent a bed in hostel-style bunkhouses or rent a hotel room directly from Advent Christian Village. There will also be an area for RVs and campers though there will be no electric or water hookups. Restrooms and shower facilities are available at both campsites.
Do I need to bring food?
Breakfast, dinner and sack lunches will be provided for a fee (see registration page). Participants may choose to bring their own food, but cooking is not permitted at the campsites and access to ice is not guaranteed. A shuttle will be available at most campsites to take participants to select nearby restaurants and stores for fast pick-up of food items. Participants are strongly encouraged to make use of the meals provided at campsites. Meal plans begin at $250 for all breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the trip or you craft your own meal plan using some of our catered meals and coordinating your own servings for other meals.
Where do I leave my car?
Paddle Georgia encourages thru-paddlers (those paddling the whole week) to take advantage of the Kick-Off Day Shuttle or the River’s End Shuttle. The Kick-Off Day shuttle allows participants to leave their vehicles at Camp Suwannee at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Florida on June 14 and be shuttled along with boats and gear to the trip’s starting point near Valdosta. The River’s End Shuttle allows participants to leave their vehicles at Grassy Pond Recreation Area in Lake Park, Georgia and then be shuttled back to their vehicles on the morning of June 22. Which ever shuttle option you choose, you will have access to your vehicle for half the week since the vehicle will be parked at one of our campsites. At the campsite where you do not have access to your vehicle, you won’t need it. Free shuttle services will be provided each evening to nearby amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants and drug stores. Those who choose not to use the Kick-Off Day or Trip’s End shuttles must make their own arrangements. Shuttle services and parking areas are also provided for Paddle Georgia Lite paddlers.
Can I fish during Paddle Georgia?
Yes, but you are responsible for obtaining appropriate licenses and understanding and following the proper rules and regulations.
Paddle Georgia Policies:
For your safety and the safety of others.
- No alcoholic beverages will be allowed.
- All participants must attend the pre-launch safety briefing. Participants must adhere to the safety guidelines presented.
- Participants must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device at all times on the river.
- Participants under age 18 are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian.
- Sorry, no pets allowed.
- All participants must sign a Medical and Emergency Contact Information sheet and a Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability form. Parents must sign for children under the age of 18. (These forms will be sent in the info. packet.)
- Person-powered watercraft only.
- All participants must respect private property along the river.
- All participants must have basic paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water.
- No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
- All participants, especially small children, must have a designated seat in the vessel in which they are traveling.
- Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.
- No firearms are permitted on the trip.
Violations of these policies can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.
Changes can be made to Kick Off and Trip’s End shuttle, meals, and merchandise through May 31. Any registration cancellations made prior to June 1, will incur a 10% processing fee. As of June 1, no refunds will be granted.
The paddling and time on the river is, of course, the reason we come but the people that come together for the week have become the main reason I do the trip. It is the highlight of the summer.