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Paddle the Upper River
October 7, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
JOIN ST. MARYS RIVERKEEPER AND EARTH KINSHIP TO EXPLORE THE UPPER ST. MARYS RIVER!
Arising from the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys River flows 130 miles to the Atlantic Ocean at Cumberland Island National Seashore. As it meanders, the river’s diversity changes based on high water levels, salinity, and land use. The Upper River flows from the swamp to St. George in Charlton County, where you can often see alligators, turkeys, white-tailed deer, turtles, birds and evidence of black bears, river otters, and bobcats. Cypress and willows create a canopy to provide shade along the narrowest section before the river widens. The Upper River is truly unique. With very little development along the waterfront, you can go 4 miles without seeing a single home! With blue skies, green trees, white sandy shorelines, and the darkest blackwater, you cannot help but be in awe in the beauty of this spectacular place.
Kayak Rental $55; Tandem Rental $110; BYOKayak $45
- 3-6 hours (depends on water level). At a water level of 4 ft, it took us 4 hours.
Launch and Takeout
- at least 4 feet
- Water Level @ Macclenny
Recommended Skill Level
- Intermediate due to the length of trip, large number of strainers, and potential speed of water flow.
Park Entrances and Fees
- There are two entrances to Shoals Park. If the main entrance is closed, go to Shoals Road about a mile east.
- River access is about 10 minutes from when you enter the Park
- $5 entry fee.
- There are no amenities at the river’s edge at the launch site or at the takeout.
What to bring
- Safety gear: lifejacket, spare paddle, water pump
- Sunscreen, bug spray, hat
- FULL (Reusable) water bottle. I suggest 2
- Lunch and snacks. PACK IN, PACK OUT!
- River etiquette!
As a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, St. Marys Riverkeeper is partnering with local river-loving business this October for our TOAST TO CLEAN WATER CAMPAIGN. Through a series of events and engagement opportunities, we will work together to strengthen the clean water movement and connect our community with their waterways. See what else we have in store this October.
Visit TOAST TO CLEAN WATER for more information!