Rowing enthusiasts can help pick river for 2019 Paddle Georgia

Cary Baxter of Perry navigates through Cedar Shoals on the Yellow River in Porterdale. He was one of 250 paddlers who participated in an 86-mile trip down the Yellow and Ocmulgee rivers during the June 16-22, 2018, Paddle Georgia.

Paddling enthusiasts can help pick the 2019 Paddle Georgia destination with a visit to www.surveymonkey.com/r/PG2019destination.

Six rivers – Upper Flint, Savannah, Withlacoochee, St. Mary’s, Oconee-Altamaha and Satilla – are on the list for the annual weeklong canoe/kayak camping adventure set for June 15-19, 2019. The event, believed to be the largest of its kind in the Southeast, will also celebrate Paddle Georgia’s 15th anniversary.

Paddle Georgia, which launched in 2005, is funded by the Georgia River Network. Since its inception, it has introduced more than 4,500 people ages 2 to 82 to Georgia’s rivers.

Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator, said there are so many places to explore, so why not try something different.

“With more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams in the state, there’s no shortage of places to explore,” he said. “This year, we wanted our supporters to have a say in where we journeyed.”

Cook said the event also offers participants the opportunity to get to know their environment.

“The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of our rivers,” he said. “When people explore a river and develop a relationship with it, they are much more likely to take action to protect our rivers.”

This year, from June 6-22, more than 275 people floated down the Yellow River starting near Stone Mountain highlighting emerging recreational boating trails on the Yellow and Ocmulgee rivers. 

The  86-mile journey took paddlers – from across Georgia, nine other states and as far away as Australia – through Gwinnett, DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties on the Yellow River and then on to Macon via the Ocmulgee River through Jasper, Butts, Monroe, Jones and Bibb counties. 

For more information, call Joe Cook at 706-409-0128 or email him at joecookpg@gmail.com.