PADDLE GEORGIA 2024

SPRING ON THE ST. MARYS

 PADDLE GEORGIA 2024 SPRING ON THE ST. MARYS

APRIL 5-7, 2024

About the Trip

When spring has yet to spring in North Georgia, we do what all good snowbirds do. We head south! Join Georgia River Network as we explore Georgia’s southernmost river, the blackwater St. Marys as it winds along the Georgia-Florida border. With its headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys is one of Georgia’s most pristine and most beautiful rivers. On this journey we’ll explore an 18-mile run of river over two days with an option to paddle a portion of the Okefenokee Swamp. We’ll camp at historic Traders Hill Campground near Folkston in a meadow beneath sprawling live oaks and dine in an ample outdoor pavilion on site. Restrooms, showers, catered meals and educational programs will round out the weekend adventure.

Registration Fees: Registration fees are $350/$375 for adults, $220/$245 for youth 8-17 and $120 for youth 7-under.  Registration opens Thursday, Dec. 28 at 8 a.m. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Journey Details

The blackwater St. Marys  winds some 130 miles from the Okefenokee Swamp, forming the distinctive thumb along the Georgia-Florida border before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean between Cumberland and Amelia islands. Expect snow white sandbars, mysterious backwater sloughs and abundant wildlife. If you opt to join us for Friday’s adventure in the Okefenokee Swamp, you’ll get a taste of the wild beauty of one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders in the heart of a 400,000-acre wilderness.

Paddle Georgia 2024 Spring on the St. Marys Itinerary 

April 5: Okefenokee Swamp Stomp. Need a swamp fix? Arrive early to explore the eastern side of the swamp with its vast open prairies, carnivorous aquatic plants, birds and, of course, alligators. We’ll embark from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge access and explore 4-8 miles of the swamp. The adventure will leave at 8 a.m. providing enough time for us to get to Traders Hill Campground, set up camp and get settled in for our initial dinner and educational program that evening.

 

April 6: Murray Landing Mambo. The journey on the St. Marys proper begins after a hearty breakfast and shuttles to Murray’s Landing, a private launch site some 9 miles upstream from Traders Hill. The route is wild and remote and rarely travelled because of the lack of public access. Brilliant white sandbars and dense riverside forest will greet you as we wind down the historic waterway to Traders Hill (in the late 1800s it would have been difficult to travel this section of river for all the logs being floated to sawmills and coastal ports). The first leg of our adventure ends at our campsite at Traders Hill.

 

April 7: Camp Pinckney Polka. The second leg of the journey again begins after a hearty breakfast. Our nine-mile route runs from Traders Hill to Camp Pinckney Landing, a historic ferry crossing on the “King’s Road” during the colonial period. Along the paddle path we’ll explore backwater oxbows filled with wildlife and drift below riverside fish camp neighborhoods as we enter the tidally-influenced portions of the St. Marys. Indeed, high tide at Traders Hill will be about 1 p.m., meaning much of our morning paddle will be against the incoming tide (fear not! the influence isn’t especially strong as far inland as Traders Hill). Upon reaching our final destination, buses will transport paddlers back to camp where they can retrieve their vehicles and then return to the final take out to fetch their boats.

 

INFORMATION FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS

American Canoe Association Liability Waivers

All participants must complete an American Canoe Association liability waiver to participate in the trip. The process is all online and takes just a matter of minutes. Click on the link below, sign the form and then respond to an e-mail you will receive to complete the liability waiver form process.

WAIVER

If you have difficulty completing your online waiver, contact Joe Cook at joe@garivers.org 

All participants are encouraged to participate in Georgia River Network’s Paddle-A-Thon! In 2024, the Paddle-A-Thon challenges supporters to explore Georgia’s rivers and raise funds to protect those rivers. Thousands of dollars in prizes–from gift certificates to merchandise–from our many Paddle Georgia sponsors will be awarded to participants in numerous categories: most miles paddled, most funds raised, most trash removed and more! Check out our Paddle-A-Thon website!

ON SITE REGISTRATION AT TRADERS HILL CAMPGROUND APRIL 5

Check-In Times:        

April 5: 2-8 p.m.

All participants must check in at Traders Hill Campground during the times listed above. Upon check-in, you will receive your event packet that includes items like your Paddle Georgia t-shirt or other swag and your on-river maps and descriptions.

 

Directions to Traders Hill Campground from Folkston: From the intersection of U.S. 301 and Main Street in Folkston, travel west on Main Street four block to Ga. 23 (Okefenokee Parkway). Turn left and proceed 2.8 miles. Turn left on Traders Hill Road and proceed 1.3 mile to stop sign. Turn left and proceed 0.2 mile to campground entrance.  1388 Tracys Ferry Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 GPS Coordinates: 30.780410, -82.027019

BOAT DROP OFF

Boat Drop-Off Times:

April 5: 2-6 p.m

All participants must drop off their boats at the private boat landing at Murray’s Landing, located approximately 10 miles south of Traders Hill Campground.  After registering, you will be directed to the boat drop off area. An attendant will be at the boat drop off area to direct you. Overnight security will be provided.

Directions to Murray’s Landing Launch Site from Traders Hill Campground: From the entrance to the campground continue straight on Tracys Ferry Road 1.4 mile. Turn left on Ga. 23 (Okefenokee Parkway) and continue 6.1 miles. Turn left on to Dixon Road and proceed 0.8 mile to sharp bend. Continue on Dixon Road 0.3 mile. At fork bear right on Murray’s Landing Road and proceed 1 mile. At gate and fork bear to the right and follow Georgia River Network signs to the launch site. GPS Coordinates: 30.706161, -82.037804 (Refer to map and directions. GPS coordinates alone can lead you down the wrong path…perhaps on the wrong side of the river!) 

FINAL TAKE OUT SHUTTLE ROUTE

April 7: 1-4:30 p.m.

Upon completion of our journey Sunday afternoon, buses will carry participants from Camp Pinckney Landing to Traders Hill where they will retrieve their vehicles and then return to Camp Pinckney Landing to retrieve their boats.

Directions from Traders Hill Landing to Camp Pinckney Landing: From the entrance of the campground, return to Traders Hill Road. Turn right and proceed 1.3 miles to Ga. 23 (Okefenokee Parkway). Turn right and proceed  2.9 miles. Turn right on Main Street and travel 0.3 mile to Third Street. Turn right and then immediately left on Ga. 40. Proceed 1.6 miles. Turn right on Camp Pinckney Road and travel 1.9 miles to entrance to landing on left. GPS Coordinates: 30.819026, -81.964272

MEAL INFORMATION

Meals are included in the cost of registration. We encourage you to arrive Friday, April 5, and enjoy our kick off evening meal beginning at 6:30 p.m.. Breakfasts and sack lunches will be provided April 6-7. Dinner will also be provided Saturday, April 6.

Dishwashing Station: We will provide a dishwashing station with hot water, soap, rinse and sterilizing rinse so that you may bring your own dishes and utensils. This helps reduce the use of disposable plates and utensils and cuts down on waste.  Please bring your own dishes and utensils if you are so inclined! 

Coffee: Coffee will be provided with breakfast each morning.

Lunches: Sack lunches come with your choice of sandwich: turkey wrap, ham wrap, roast beef wrap, veggie/hummus wrap or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You will pick up your sack lunch AT THE CAMPSITE following breakfast each morning. Make sure you bring a waterproof bag to keep your lunch dry on the river. Lunches include chips, fruit and dessert.

Breakfasts: Breakfast will be served daily beginning at 7 a.m. Daily menus may include breakfast casserole, breakfast wraps, muffins, biscuits, oatmeal, fruit, cereals, milk, juice and coffee.

Dinners: Dinners will be served daily beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 5: Pork loin, twice baked potatoes, green beans, brown rice, rolls, peach cobbler with ice cream, teas. Vegetarian Alternative: Eggplant parmesan.  

Saturday, April 6: Fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad, rice and tomatoes, biscuits, teas. Vegetarian Alternative: zucchini, tomato, onion pasta. 

CAMPSITE INFORMATION AND ALTERNATIVE LODGING

Traders Hill Campground: Our campsite is a Charlton County Campground with a rich history and beautiful landscape. The tenting area is a large meadow shaded by numerous, large live oak trees with picnic tables stationed throughout. A large covered pavilion with picnic tables will host our meals and educational programs. Nearby are restrooms with showers and the campground trading post with snacks and supplies for sale. The St. Marys is a short walk from the tenting area. RV campsites are available for additional fees (contact Traders Hill Campground directly at 912-390-9288 to reserve your site).  There is no “indoor camping” or indoor accommodations at the campsite. However, Folkston is located just four miles from the campsite with several lodging options. Click here for a listing of alternative accommodations. 

Distance to Launch Sites/Take Out Sites:

April 5: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge: 9 miles from Traders Hill Campground

April 6: Murray’s Landing: 10 miles from Traders Hill Campground

April 7: Camp Pinckney Landing: 9 miles from Traders Hill Campground

 

SPECIAL EVENTS, TOURS AND MORE 

Georgia River Network will offer educational tours/programs of local points of interest during the weekend. As we firm up our plans for our evening programs and on-river educational activities, that information will be posted here.

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Workshop

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream instructors will offer chemical water quality monitoring workshops during Spring on the St. Marys. During the on-river training, trainers and students will stop at several locations to demonstrate chemical monitoring protocols, collecting and testing water quality samples. Following the on-river training, participants can complete the Adopt-A-Stream certification process in camp. By participating in this training, you’ll have the opportunity to assist in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream’s assessment of the health of the Satilla River and its tributaries. When you return home, you’ll have a greater understanding of rivers and streams, and you’ll be certified to conduct routine water quality monitoring on a local waterway. Interested participants will be encouraged to assist the monitoring team by conducting additional sampling during the course of the trip. 

You can sign up to participate in the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream workshop when you register online. 

DAILY ITINERARY

Friday, April 5

Okefenokee Swamp:   8:00-1:00        Optional Paddle Trip in Swamp! 

Registration:               2:00-8:00        Traders Hill Campground

Boat Drop Off:            2:00-6:00        Murray’s Landing Launch Site 

Set- Up Camp:             2:00-8:00        Traders Hill Campground 

Dinner:                        6:30-7:30

Evening Program:      7:30-9:00         Welcome, Safety Briefing, Program

Lights Out                   10:00

Saturday, April 6

Breakfast:                      7:00-8:00

Shuttle Service:             7:45-8:45          Buses Leave for Murray’s Landing

Launch:                           8:15-9:15          Murray’s Landing 

Take-Out:                       2:00-5:00        Traders Hill Landing 

Special Tour:                 4:00-6:00        Chesser Island Homestead

Dinner:                           6:30-7:30

Evening Program:        7:30-8:30         TBD

Lights Out                      10:00

Sunday, April 7

Breakfast:                       7:00-8:00

Shuttle Service:              8:00                   

Launch:                           8:30-9:30         Burnt Fort Landing (High tide at Burnt Fort is at 11 a.m.)

Shuttle Service:             1:00-3:00         Buses Depart Camp Pinckney Landing to Traders Hill   

Boat Pick Up                  1:30-4:30          Boat Pick Up at Camp Pinckney 

Dinner:                            2:00-6:00         Break Camp & Depart

 

PADDLE GEORGIA POLICIES, SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS, WHAT TO BRING, WHAT NOT TO BRING AND MORE!  

Paddle Georgia Policies

  1. No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the river.
  2. All participants must attend the pre-launch safety briefing. Participants must adhere to the safety guidelines presented.
  3. Participants must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device at all times on the river.
  4. Participants under age 18 are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian.
  5. Sorry, no pets allowed.
  6. 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 information packet.
  7. Person-powered watercraft only.
  8. All participants must respect private property along the river.
  9. All participants must possess basic paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water.
  10. No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
  11. All children must have a designated seat in the vessel in which they are traveling. (no children on decks of kayaks or as “passengers” in cockpits of solo kayaks)
  12. Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.

Code of Conduct

At Georgia River Network, we like to think of our river adventure participants as our “river family.” We come from many different backgrounds, but the river is the great equalizer and our common bond. We want all participants to treat one another as family.

Dos…

  • Be respectful of all participants, including their property, their person and their personal views. On our river adventures you will paddle, eat and camp with people that are very different from you. Please respect and celebrate those differences.
  • Be helpful. If you see someone that needs a hand in camp or on the river, please lend yours.
  • Be courteous. Be prepared to wait in lines for restrooms, shuttle buses, meals and more. Remember, we are all in the same boat; only by working together can we get everyone safely down the river.

Don’ts

  • Use inappropriate language. This is a family event with participants of all ages.
  • Verbally or physically intimidate or abuse other participants.
  • Become intoxicated or under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
  • Violate quiet hours by engaging in loud talk and disruptive behavior between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Violations of these policies and our code of conduct can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.

For Parents and Guardians of Children

Parents and guardians are responsible for the welfare and safety of their minor participants at all times, both on the river and in camp. Understand that while Georgia River Network’s river adventure trips almost without exception attract uncommonly good and kind people, Georgia River Network does not screen participants or conduct background checks on participants.

Refund Policy

Registration and meal fees may be reimbursed prior to Aug. 21. Refunds will deduct a 10% processing fee.

What Should I Bring? (here’s a checklist of essential items!) First Aid Kit; Sunscreen; Necessary Medication; Water Bottles (at least 3 quart bottles for each person); At least two paddles for each boat; Flexible mindset; Tent or other shelter, sleeping bag or sleep sack and sleeping pad (if you are camping); proper footwear for river and land; rain gear; whistle for signaling emergency.

Here’s a checklist of suggested optional items: Labels with your name for your boat, luggage, and other personal belongings; Ground Cloth; Reusable Plate/Utensils (wash stations provided); Clothing for weekend; Waterproof Stuff Sacks for Camp Gear; Waterproof stuff sack or case for lunch and other on river items (like dry clothing); Clothes/Swimsuit; Money to tip the caterers; Insect Repellent; Towel/Wash Cloth; Soap, Toothpaste, Toiletries; Flashlight/Head Lamp; Book; Camera; Watertight cases for Boat; Fishing Gear/License; Duct Tape; Sponge; Bailer; Snacks for river and camp; Hat or Cap (don’t forget to get your Paddle Georgia hats!); Bug netting; Extra Length of Rope; Ear Plugs (Some of our paddlers snore!); Sleep Shades (Lights out at 10 p.m.); Laptop & Electronic Communication Devices (optional and frowned upon!); Water Guns/Cannon (optional and encouraged!);  Lightweight long sleeved pants or shirts for bug protection in the evening; Layered non-cotton clothing; Bottled Water (potable tap water at Satilla Lodge has strong sulfur scent and taste which may be unpalatable for some)

What Shouldn’t I Bring? No alcohol Permitted

16 Things You Should Bring on the Water Each Day 

  1. At least two paddles for each boat.
  2. PFD—every Paddle Georgia participant must wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device at all times while on the river (no ifs, ands, buts or “gee, it’s really hot!” – this policy is STRICTLY enforced)
  3. Every canoe should have two lines, a bow line and a stern line 8-10 feet each in length secured in such a way that they are readily accessible, but cannot come loose accidentally. Loose rope increases the risk of entanglement in the event of capsize. Kayaks should have grab loops at both bow and stern.
  4. An extra throw rope in case of emergencies should be stored safely in each boat.
  5. Attach a whistle to your life vest or body to signal for help in case of emergency.
  6. A Knife
  7. Waterproof matches or other fire source in waterproof covering.
  8. First Aid Kit—while boats will be on the river with basic first aid supplies, each vessel should bring a first aid kit stored inside a waterproof bag or container.
  9. A repair kit—each vessel should be able to make their own repairs (duct tape, sealant, waterproof tape and other materials are recommended)
  10. Rain Gear—Be prepared to get wet and potentially cold. Every participant should have access to a lightweight rain jacket and rain pants in a waterproof bag or container.
  11. Change of Clothes—Be prepared to take an unexpected swim. Every participant should have access to a dry change of clothes kept in a waterproof bag or container.
  12. Appropriate footwear that will protect your feet from unseen underwater hazards and permit you to walk comfortably on land when launching and taking out and in the event that you must exit the Paddle Georgia course.
  13. Sunscreen—Sunburn might be the trip’s biggest hazard.
  14. Water Bottle or Three —At least three quarts per person per day is recommended. Bring sufficient water for the day’s paddle for everyone in your boat. Also consider bringing electrolyte packs or powdered sports drink mix to add to your water to avoid dehydration. Drinking water is not available along the Paddle Georgia route and no drink is provided w/ sack lunches. Many paddlers will fill one bottle with water and another with sports drinks (provided each morning for you to fill your own bottles).
  15. Food—There is no access to food along the Paddle Georgia route. Sack lunches are provided to participants. No drink is included with the lunch.
  16. Dry Bag or Ziploc—Bring a waterproof bag to protect items you don’t want to get wet, including your lunch.

Paddle Georgia Safety Procedures

Paddle Georgia participants should be aware that this canoe trip is not a commercially-guided trip. While Georgia River Network and Paddle Georgia staff will be available on the river during each day’s paddle and participants with medical and/or First Aid training will be identified, we cannot personally ensure the safety of all participants. Unlike a commercial trip in which paid guides direct you through each bend of the river, Paddle Georgia is designed to be your adventure, and as such, you are responsible for your own safety. All participants are assuming risks (some of which are outlined below) while participating in Paddle Georgia.

Skill Level Required: Spring on the Satilla is suitable for novice paddlers. Paddlers should have a basic understanding of paddle strokes, should be able to control their vessels in moving water and be capable of self-rescue in moving or deep water. If you are new to paddling, we highly recommend that you take a canoe/kayak paddling course prior to the trip. There are no shoals or rapids on this section of the St. Marys. It is a Class I flatwater paddle.

For a reminder of basic paddling safety practices, watch this American Canoe Association Video.

Weather: Average High Temperature: 83 F; Average Low Temperature: 55 F. Average April Rainfall: 3.1 inches

Hazards:                              

Strainers—Strainers are branches, trees, vegetation or other partially or totally submerged obstacles in the river’s current often found along the river’s edge. These hazards allow only water to pass through freely. The current will pull anything else down, plastering it into place, similar to the action of a kitchen colander. It is best to approach submerged trees or logs along the river bank from the downstream side to avoid having the current pin your boat against the obstacle or flipped by the force of the water. You should also avoid grabbing on to low hanging branches of partially submerged vegetation as this action can often cause your boat to capsize. To avoid a multi-boat pile up, leave enough room between boats to allow each boat to safely navigate around these obstacles.

Weather—Strong thunderstorms and high winds are not uncommon. In the event of inclement weather that includes the risk of lightning, paddle to shore, secure your boat and find cover under a dense stand of small trees. Avoid open areas, especially open areas with solitary trees, and avoid gathering in large groups. By dispersing yourselves over a large area, you reduce the risk of lightning striking numerous individuals at one time. Squatting, with your feet on a personal flotation device or seat cushion, is a good idea when in the midst of a thunderstorm (while on solid ground—not in your boat!).

Sun and Heat—Hats and appropriate sun screen are recommended. If you get too hot, the river comes with built in air conditioning – get in and cool off. You should carry at least three quarts of water each day to avoid dehydration. Sports drinks with electrolytes are also recommended. The first two days are usually the most difficult as we acclimate from spending lots of time in air-conditioned buildings to spending all day in 80-90-degree heat. Prepare by drinking lots of fluids in the days leading up to the trip.

Water Temperature—The combination of cold water and a cold afternoon thunderstorm raises the risk of dangerous changes in body temperature. Be prepared with rain gear and layered clothing that stays warm even when wet (avoid cotton).

Water Quality – Due to a variety of conditions, water quality can vary throughout the entire Satilla River and organisms that cause illness may be present. Swimming and submersion in the water increase the risk of contracting water-borne illnesses. Ingesting river water should be avoided and cuts and sores should be kept out of the water and treated if exposed.

Trash—Unfortunately, the river collects refuse from surrounding communities. Proper footwear and exercising caution can prevent unnecessary injuries. Participants should wear sandals or shoes that provide adequate protection from broken bottles, rusted appliance parts and tin cans and anything else you might find at your local landfill.

Venomous Snakes—The river and the land surrounding it are potential habitats for three venomous snakes—rattlesnakes, water moccasins and coral snakes. If you encounter any snakes, simply leave them alone. Should you have the misfortune of being bitten, remain calm and get medical assistance as quickly as possible. Bites from these venomous snakes are rarely fatal, given proper medical attention. At any given moment on this trip you will not be more than a few hours from a hospital.

Terra Firma—On its journey through the Coastal Plain, the river winds past varied terrain. Please step carefully when paying visits to land.

Your Fellow Paddlers—This is a journey involving many individuals with varying degrees of skill level. Space yourselves so that you do not interfere with one another when maneuvering around obstacles. Pileups on the river can be just as dangerous as those that occur on interstate highways.

Paddle Georgia “Buddy System”

We will rely on the “Buddy System” to ensure that all participants arrive safely at the day’s take-out point. Before each day’s paddle, identify your “buddy boat or boats.” This will be the boat or group of boats with whom you will paddle for the day. The group is responsible for ensuring that if someone needs help on the river that someone is nearby to provide help and that no one is left behind. Do not lose sight of your buddy boat or members of your buddy boat group. Participants who have not identified a buddy boat for the day’s paddle will not be permitted to launch from the day’s put-in point. A sweep boat will bring up the rear of the day’s paddle to further ensure that no one is left behind

For tips on kayak safety, watch this American Canoe Association intructional video:

Other Considerations

What do I do if I capsize? On slow moving water, stay with your boat and swim it to shore or shallow water where you can dump the water and right your vessel. It floats even when full with water and can support you if you become tired. Make sure your belongings are secured to your boat to keep from losing them in the event of a capsize. Your fellow buddy boaters can assist in recovering any belongings and help you right your boat.In fast-moving water or rapids, get away and upstream from your boat until you reach slower moving water. Float on your back, feet downstream.  Don’t try to stand in fast-moving water.  Rocks or other objects can trap your feet and the force of the water can hold you under. Moving canoes filled with water can pin or crush paddlers against rocks or trees.

In the event of inclement weather…As noted above, thunderstorms are not uncommon, however, usually these afternoon-variety showers do not last long. If you are on the river during a storm event, take appropriate cover as described above, wait out the storm and continue your journey when it appears safe. Protective facilities along the river for large groups are not available.

We will make every effort to ensure that each day’s paddle is completed in full. However, if all-day dangerous weather is predicted, Spring on the Satilla will be cancelled for the day. Boats will be shuttled to the day’s next put-in point. Rain alone does not constitute dangerous weather. All participants are expected to paddle rain or shine, or they may make their own arrangements for moving themselves and their boats to the next put-in and campsite. Exceptions may be made for families paddling with small children.

Swimming…Swimming is permitted with PFDs, but of course, swim at your own risk. Water quality on this journey varies due to point and non-point source pollution. Water quality is generally at its least healthy immediately following rain events—this is especially true downstream of urban areas.

Private Property…As you will see, the Satilla takes you through many a neighbor’s backyard. Private property must be respected. It is illegal to trespass onto someone’s property, and it is an offense that is prosecutable by law. You may not enter someone’s property unless you have first received permission. At least one rest stop, with portable toilet facilities and/or restrooms will be available at the approximate midway point of each day’s paddle, therefore it is imperative that you make use of bathroom facilities when they are available. If nature calls, please use a camp trowel and cover all human waste appropriately or carry a sealable plastic bag to remove your waste with you.

Communication in the Event of Emergency…There will be cellular phones on the river at all times (one with the lead boat, one with the sweep boat and others in between). In the event of an emergency, attempt to signal or locate a boat with a cellular phone. If cellular service is available, the participants in these boats can communicate with land-based emergency personnel and on-the-water motorized boats where available.

Universal River Signals…Participants are expected to use universal river signals to communicate with other boats. They are as follows:

  • Stop: Potential Danger Ahead—Form a horizontal bar with your paddle and outstretched arms above your head. Those seeing this signal should pass it back to others in the party. Participants should wait for the “all clear signal” before proceeding.
  • All Clear—Form a vertical bar with your paddle, raising your arm and paddle above your head. The paddle blade should be turned flat for maximum visibility. This means the trip can proceed. To signal direction or preferred course through an obstacle, lower the all clear to a 45 degree angle toward the side of the river with the preferred route.
  • Help/Emergency—Wave paddle over your head and give three long blasts on your whistle. Whistles are best carried attached to your life vest. This means other paddlers should assist the signaler as quickly as possible.
  • I’m OK—Holding your elbow out to the side, repeatedly pat the top of your head with your hand. This signals that you are not hurt and do not need assistance.

 

 

Paddle Georgia 2024
Spring on the St. Marys is

a project of
Georgia River Network

126 South Milledge Avenue, Suite E3, Athens, Georgia 30605 | (706) 549-4508 (phone) | info@garivers.org