Albany residents glide down the Flint River during a leisurely outing. Paddle Georgia has opened registration for people to take part in a kayak and canoe paddle trip down the Flint this summer.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Gentlemen and ladies, start your kayaks.
Paddle Georgia, a project of Georgia River Network is entering its ninth year, officials say, and has opened registration for the 106-mile canoe and kayak paddle down the lower Flint River June 15-21.
According to GRN, in previous years organizers have guided more than 2,400 paddlers on more than 800 miles of Georgia rivers, including the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee-Oostanaula, Broad-Savanna, Oconee and Altamaha. The trips have generated more than $125,000 for the purpose of protecting Georgia’s rivers. Officials say the 350 available paddle spots were claimed within 14 days from the opening of registration.
“The event has become a hot ticket, so we’re encouraging people to make their plans for the summer now,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator in a special release. “This is a unique opportunity to vacation in Georgia and see it in a way you never have before.”
The week-long excursion will begin at Lake Blackshear Dam near Warwick, continue past Albany and on to Bainbridge and the backwaters of Lake Seminole, officials say. Paddlers will coast beneath limestone bluffs and visit a “blue hole” spring. There will expecting viewings of alligators, otters, bald eagles and other wildlife.
The trip will include educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment and a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data on the current health of the river.
According to GRN materials, proceeds from the event will provide funding to Flint Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization working to protect the Flint River from its headwaters near Atlanta to its confluence with the Chattahoochee River in Southwest Georgia.
The trip is said to be suitable for novice as well as experienced paddlers, with ages ranging typically from age four to 84 and is popular with families. Registration ranges from $150 to $275. For additional information call Joe Cook at (706) 409-0128 or visit http:// www.garivers.org/paddlegeorgia.