As we continued our southbound Suwanee River Kayak junket, we started where we left off last year at the Suwanee River State Park on a rainy Sunday November Morning. The five paddlers met before daylight and loaded equipment into two trucks and drove to the State Park.
Fortunately, the rain subsided and the weather could not have been better for the three day trip with highs in the 70’s and lows at night in the 50’s which kept the mosquitoes at bay.
With day 1 in the books, the paddlers pulled into the first stop of the trip, Dowling Park River Camp. These river camps are state run camps only accessible by the river. There is a camp host at these sites who oversees and maintains the properties. The camps are free but you do have to make reservations ahead of time. They are a very welcome sight to weary paddlers. They have restrooms and bath houses with hot/cold running water. They have picnic tables and screened in houses to sleep in. They could not be nicer!
Day 1 consisted of 14.5 miles of paddling at a 3mph pace. The winds were light and the paddling was excellent. The river was very low which, over the course of 3 days, exposed 12 sets of rock shoals that the paddlers had to navigate. These shoals were challenging and added some excitement to the trip!
Shortly before noon on day 2 a big whitetail buck flew down the eastern bank of the river and with one huge leap hit the river. He was on a mission as if swimming for his life. I paddled close to him in order to take a few photos, trying not to get too close, but he spotted me and turned back. I backed off all the while taking photos. Unfortunately, he swam into a large, downed oak tree in the river and got trapped. He desperately fought to get over the tree and finally made it. Once away from the tree, he swam to the shore and climbed the bank and ran south. Having seen little wildlife on the trip this was an exciting occurrence!
Paddlers paddled 18 miles on day 2 with an average speed of 3mph.
Day 3 was the longest day of paddling with approximately 20 miles having been covered. The trip ended at the Hwy 27 bridge/boat landing where the next leg of this journey will begin. This was a wonderful adventure with 5 great friends! The entire trip was approximately 52 miles at a 3mph average. The river was low and we encountered 12 rocky shoals. Wildlife was scarce however we did see a deer, turkey, otter, and a lot of birds. Very little boat traffic and few people were encountered! This trip only leaves us to strongly anticipate the next leg! Hope you enjoyed this blog! All photos were taken with a Go Pro Hero 8 Black.