SPRING ON THE SATILLA
Spring on the Satilla 2019
Paddle Georgia Spring on the Satilla Information for registered participants
If you have not already signed an online American Canoe Association liability waiver, it’s time to do it! It take just minutes and saves time during registration on April 5 at Satilla Lodge. Click on the link, sign the form and then respond to an e-mail you will receive to complete the liability waiver form process.
If you have difficulty completing your online waiver, contact Joe Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text Message Alert System
To receive text message alerts from Georgia River Network staff regarding Spring on the Satilla please text GARIVERS to 84483 on your cell phone. This system will be used to communicate important information to Spring on the Satilla participants in a timely manner in the event of an emergency or other situation in which information needs to be sent to all participants as quickly as possible.
ON SITE REGISTRATION AT SATILLA LODGE APRIL 5-6
April 5: 2-8 p.m.
April 6: 7-8:30 a.m.
All participants must check in at Satilla Lodge during the times listed above. Upon check-in, you will receive your event packet that includes items like your Spring on the Satilla T-shirt and your on-river maps and descriptions.
You may choose to drop your boat at our initial launch site (Still Lake Fishing Club) prior to registering at Satilla Lodge. Please note that after dropping your boat at Still Lake Fishing Club, you will then have your vehicle parked at Satilla Lodge for the remainder of the weekend. Upon completion of the trip Sunday, April 7, at Satilla Lodge, your vehicle will be waiting for you. Overnight security will be provided for the boats located at our launch/take out sites.
Bus transportation is provided to and from launch/take out sites on April 6 and April 7.
Note: Participants arriving earlier than 2 pm on April 5 WILL NOT be allowed to register early.
Directions to Satilla Lodge from I-95: From Exit 14 near Woodbine, go west on Ga. 25 2.5 miles to U.S. 17 in Woodbine. Turn right, proceed 1.7 miles (crossing Satilla River on the way) to Refuge Road on left. Turn left and proceed 5.1 miles to Ga. 252 (Burnt Fort Road). Turn left and proceed 7.1 miles to Bailey Mill Road on left. Turn left on dirt Bailey Mill Road and travel 2.7 miles to entrance to Satilla Lodge on right. Turn right and follow drive 1.5 miles to Lodge.
BOAT DROP OFF
Boat Drop-Off Times:
April 5: 1-6 p.m.
April 6: 7-8 a.m
All participants must drop off their boats during these times at our initial launch location, Still Lake Fishing Club.
Directions to Boat Drop Off from I-95 Southbound: From Exit 26 (Dover Bluff Road) go west 1.9 miles to U.S 17. Turn left and proceed 10.4 miles to Ga. 252 in White Oak. Turn right and proceed 17.3 miles across Satilla River into Charlton County to River Road (Riverside on some maps). Turn right on River Road and travel 8.8 miles. Turn right on unpaved Still Lake Road and proceed 1 mile to Still Lake Fishing Club.
Directions to Boat Drop Off from I-95 Northbound: From Exit 14 near Woodbine, go west on Ga. 25 2.5 miles to U.S. 17 in Woodbine. Turn right, proceed 1.7 miles (crossing Satilla River on the way) to Refuge Road on left. Turn left and proceed 5.1 miles to Ga. 252 (Burnt Fort Road). Turn left on Ga. 252 and go 12.4 miles to River Road (Riverside Road on some maps) on right. Turn right on River Road and proceed 8.9 miles to unpaved Still Lake Road on right. Turn right left and proceed 6 miles to unpaved Still Lake Road on left. Turn left and proceed 1 mile to Still Lake Fishing Club.
Directions to Boat Drop Off from Satilla Lodge: Return to Bailey Mill Road. Turn left and proceed 2.7 miles to Burnt Fort Road (Ga. 252). Turn left and proceed 5.3 miles to River Road (Riverside Road on some maps) on right. Turn right and proceed 8.9 miles to unpaved Still Lake Road on right. Turn right and proceed 1 mile to Still Lake Fishing Club.
Directions to Satilla Lodge from Boat Drop Off: Return to River Road (Riverside Road on some maps). Turn left and proceed 8.9 miles to Ga. 252 (Burnt Fort Road). Turn left and proceed 5.3 miles to Bailey Mill Road (CR 39) on right. Turn right and proceed 2.7 mile to entrance to Satilla Lodge on right. Turn right and follow drive 1.5 miles to Lodge.
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 and April 7. Dinner will also be provided Saturday, April 6.
In an effort to reduce the amount of waste created on our journey, please bring a Reusable Plate and Utensils. Dishwashing stations will be available so that you can easily clean these items following each meal.
Coffee: Paddle Georgia sponsor Café Campesino will provide organic, fair trade coffee and tea each morning and evening for a fee. Purchase your coffee by the cup or pay one price for unlimited morning coffee on-site.
Lunches: Provided by Creative Catering, sack lunches come with your choice of sandwiches: tuna salad, turkey & cheese wrap, hummus & veggie wrap, egg salad wrap, roast beef & cheese wrap. If you did not choose your sandwich for each day when registering, please return to the registration site, sign in and choose your sandwiches. 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 menu includes veggie egg casserole, sausage and bacon, vegan friendly-breakfast potatoes, cereals, biscuits, assorted muffins, fresh fruit, orange juice, milk and alternative non-dairy milk for vegans.
Dinners: Dinners will be served daily beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 5: Barbecue chicken, pulled pork, quinoa salad (vegan friendly), black bean & rice casserole with roasted sweet potatoes (vegan friendly), potato salad, mixed green salad with assorted vegetables and dressings, yeast rolls with butter, peach cobbler, fresh fruit salad, teas and lemonade
Saturday, April 6: Low country boil with shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. Separate sausage mix for vegans/vegetarians. Vinaigrette cole slaw, cucumber-tomato salad (vegan/vegetarian), roasted veggies with feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, yeast rolls, key lime – white chocolate gooey bars with whipped topping, fresh fruit salad, teas and lemonade
WATER WARNING! Tap water at Satilla Lodge has strong sulfur taste and smell (really strong). If you find this distasteful you may wish to bring your own water.
SPECIAL EVENTS, TOURS AND MORE
Georgia River Network and Satilla Riverkeeper 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.
Once again, Satilla Riverkeeper will be raffling off a kayak during the weekend. Check back soon for detailed information about the boat and how you can purchase tickets!
Apr. 6 Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Workshop
Georgia Adopt-A-Stream instructors will offer chemical water quality monitoring workshops during Spring on the Satilla. During the on-river training April 6, 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, either that evening or Sunday morning, April 7. 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 during registration on Friday, April 5.
CAMPSITE INFORMATION AND ALTERNATIVE LODGING
Satilla Lodge: Our campsite is a private retreat overlooking the river at Long Bluff. Tent camping will be on the grounds surrounding the main lodge. Indoor lodging, for those who reserved spaces, is available in the main lodge, riverside cabin, treehouses and trailer. An indoor shower and restroom is available at the main lodge. Porta-toilets and an outdoor camp shower with hot water will also be available. The screened porch at the main lodge has plenty of rockers and great views overlooking the river. Meals will be served outside with seating in covered pavilion by main lodge. Evening programs will be held outdoors at this same covered pavilion. There is a fire pit for hanging out and spinning stories. If you are lucky, the dedicated staff of GRN will bring makings for s’mores! Hopefully, the fire will not be needed to chase off mosquitoes!
On-Site Lodging: If you reserved a room or bed at Satilla Lodge, the River Cabin, trailer or treehouses when you registered, your room/bed assignment will be given to you during registration. Linens are provided, but feel free to bring your own!
Nearby Amenities: Satilla Lodge, is, by design, as they say, “in the middle of nowhere.” The nearest amenities are in Woodbine 16 miles to the east and Folkston 15 miles to the west.
Alternative Lodging in Woodbine: Stardust Lodge 210 Bedell Ave., Woodbine, GA 31569 912-576-3207
Alternative Lodging in Folkston: There are numerous options in the Folkston area. Click here for a full listing and contact information.
In addition to these accommodations, you may have luck finding private accommodations through various online vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Distance to Launch Sites/Take Out Sites: Shuttle Distance to Initial Launch Site on April 6: 19 miles Shuttle Distance to Launch Site on April 7: 5 miles. Final take out is at Satilla Lodge where your vehicles will be parked.
Map of Satilla Lodge Campsite:
Friday, April 5
Boat Drop: 1:00-6:00 Still Lake Fishing Club
Registration: 2:00-8:00 Satilla Lodge
Set- Up Camp: 2:00-8:00 Satilla Lodge
Dinner: 6:30-7:30 Kick-Off Feast provided by Creative Catering
Evening Program: 7:30-9:00 Welcome, Safety Briefing
Lights Out 10:00
Saturday, April 6
Registration: 7:00-9:00 Satilla Lodge
Boat Drop: 7:00-9:00 Still Lake Fishing Club
Breakfast: 7:00-8:30 Provided by Creative Catering
Launch: 7:30-9:30 Buses Leave for Launch Site
AAS Training 8:00-4:00 Adopt-A-Stream Training
Take-Out: 2:00-5:00 Buses Leave from Burnt Fort Landing
Dinner: 6:30-7:30 Dinner provided by Creative Catering
Evening Program: 7:30-8:30 Satilla Riverkeeper
Lights Out 10:00
Sunday, April 7
Breakfast: 7:00-8:00 Provided by Creative Catering
Launch: 7:30-9:30 Buses Leave for Launch Site
Take-Out: 2:00-5:00 Take Out At Campsite!!!!!
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
- 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 information packet.
- Person-powered watercraft only.
- All participants must respect private property along the river.
- All participants must possess 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 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)
- Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.
Violations of these policies can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.
Registration and meal fees may be reimbursed prior to March 18. 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
- At least two paddles for each boat.
- 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)
- 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.
- An extra throw rope in case of emergencies should be stored safely in each boat.
- Attach a whistle to your life vest or body to signal for help in case of emergency.
- A Knife
- Waterproof matches or other fire source in waterproof covering.
- 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.
- A repair kit—each vessel should be able to make their own repairs (duct tape, sealant, waterproof tape and other materials are recommended)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sunscreen—Sunburn might be the trip’s biggest hazard.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 Satilla. 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: 79 F; Average Low Temperature: 52 F. Average April Rainfall: 3.5 inches
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.
Tides—While technically not a “hazard,” it is worth noting that the section of the Satilla we will paddle is tidally influenced from around Burnt Fort downstream to our final take out on Sunday, April 8—a distance of about 9 miles. The good news is the tides are in our favor. High tide at Burnt Fort is at 7:09 a.m. on Sunday April 8 and low tide is at 2:42 p.m.. This means for the better part of the day we will paddle with the outgoing tide. However, after 2:40, the tide will turn, forcing us to paddle against the tide. It is likely that most of our paddlers will be off the river by 3 p.m. Paddling this section of the Satilla against the tide is very doable, but just requires a little more energy.
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 Satilla 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 Satilla 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:
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.
Spring on the Satilla is
a project of
Georgia River Network
in partnership with